The Mobile Planetarium Program is a unique experience provided by the CMSE that begins in the classroom and ends with a visit from our mobile planetarium. The best part is that this amazing experience happens without your students ever having to leave school!
All dates for the 2019-2020 Mobile Planetarium Program have been filled. If interested in reserving the Mobile Planetarium for the 2020-2021 school year, please click the “Notify Me!” button below to complete the form. Those who complete this form will be notified once the 2020-2021 information is released. See reservation request tab below for more information.
The program begins with fun learning activities which are aligned with the standards and provided to teachers to complete with their students in the comfort of their classroom. After the showing has been confirmed, teachers will choose what materials they would like to receive from a “menu of options.” These materials can be picked up from the CMSE or any of the University of Mississippi regional campuses (Desoto, Tupelo, Booneville, Grenada). After implementation of the activities, the CMSE will bring the mobile planetarium to your school for sessions of stargazing.
The Mobile Planetarium Program lessons are applicable to students ranging from elementary through high school. Students as young as kindergarten are able to grasp concepts shown in the planetarium shows. The planetarium will hold approximately 25-30 students, and sessions range from 20-45 minutes, according to the teacher’s schedule. A maximum of 350 students can be accommodated in one day.
Sample schedules of school day planetarium showings can be provided upon request. It is the responsibility of the requesting teacher/administrator to generate the schedule for their school.
We arrive 30 minutes prior to the first session. This gives us time to set up the planetarium and address any technical issues that may arise. We stay until the last bell. The requesting teacher/administrator should supply the schedule for the day. Remember to include time in your schedule for facilitators to eat lunch!
The planetarium is 16 feet high with a diameter of 16 feet. It will not fit inside a classroom. It cannot be set up outside. The best location is in a gym (without PE classes in session) or on an auditorium stage (must be clear enough for students to enter/exit safely. The planetarium is housed in a large trunk and duffle bag. Please ensure CMSE employees have an entrance with handicap access to the set-up location.
This really depends on the age/size of your students. For elementary students, 25-30 students can fit comfortably; for middle school students, 20-25 students can fit comfortably. If you have students with special needs (wheelchair, claustrophobia, autism, etc), please inform the facilitators so they can provide the appropriate accommodations.
We offer shows from 20 to 30 minutes long. You can choose the length that best fits your schedule. Students need at least 5 minutes between shows to enter/exit.
You can invite students with special needs to enjoy the planetarium. Invite the school administration or workers from the district office or around your school building to show off what you are doing for your students. People of all ages enjoy this experience!
Legally, there must be a faculty member in each session with facilitators to manage student behavior. You may not drop your students off or leave the dome during a presentation. You may rotate with other teachers to attend the sessions; however, they must be able to manage your students’ behavior. If student behavior cannot be managed by a faculty member, we reserve the right to end that session.
We have pulled Earth and Space related lessons from various resources for you to use with your students in the days leading up to the planetarium visit. Teachers receive a link to choose which lessons he/she would like to use in the classroom. Lessons include Learn from Images, Retrograde Motion, Telescopes Help Us See, The Solar System: Changing Perspectives, Alaska Satellite Image Comparison, GLOBE Earth System Satellite Image Sets, and Solar System Walk.
The lessons can be used at any level but correlate to specific grade-level standards. You may choose to use the resource materials differently than the lessons suggest in order to accommodate the needs of your students.
You may pick up the resource materials from the nearest University of Mississippi campus (Oxford, Desoto, Tupelo, Booneville, Grenada). If you are not within driving distance of a regional campus, other arrangements may can be explored.
You are not required to use the resource materials. They are available as a supplemental resource if you choose to use them.
If you need to cancel your confirmed planetarium showing reservations, please do so at least fifteen calendar days before you scheduled event. It is the goal of the STEM Experiences division of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE) at the University of Mississippi to provide high-quality STEM experiences for K-12 students. In order to fulfill the many teacher requests that we receive, it is respectful to allow teachers on the waitlist adequate time to prepare for a large-scale event such as this at their school. Therefore, registrants who need to cancel their registration must do so no later than fifteen calendar days prior to the event.
Registrants who cancel before the fifteen days prior to the event will receive a full refund of all fees paid in advance. However, registrants who cancel less than fifteen days prior to the event will be charged a cancellation fee of $100. Likewise, if a purchase order is submitted as payment for registration and a registrant cancels less than fifteen days prior to the event, an invoice will be sent to the originator of the purchase order in the amount of the cancellation fee.
It is the responsibility of the registrant to notify the CMSE of an inability to host the planetarium.