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- Grades 3-5 Field Experience Options
Grades 3-5 Field Experience Options
Note: Each field experience ends with star tour, highlighting the constellations visible in the current night sky.
Patterns in the Sky: Moon Phases and More (1.5 hours):
From making sense of the patterns affecting our world to navigating featureless deserts and seas, the night sky has been a source of inspiration, information and navigation since the beginning of time. Students take an immersive visual journey through space and time to learn how our ancestors pieced together patterns, enabling them to measure time, create calendars and understand celestial phenomena such as moon phases. The wonder of the intricate dance of the Sun, Earth and Moon comes to life on the dome as our virtual journey illustrates key points such as the Earth’s rotation, day and night, patterns of the Sun’s motion across the sky, moon phases and more. Learners intuitively grasp difficult-to-understand concepts in this journey of discovery. This exploration includes the show Perfect Little Planet which features an alien cartoon family touring our solar system for the perfect vacation spot, encountering unique and interesting elements of our solar system along the way. The experience concludes with a short tour of the constellations in the night sky as we turn our imaginations outward.
Note: We recommend that the class complete a full month of moon observation prior to coming to the planetarium for this educational experience. Click here for a web-based moon-phase observation chart that can be printed.
Seasons, Daily Weather and Climate (1.5 hours):
Weather is everywhere on Earth, all the time, changing daily, varying by location. Students’ get a space-eye view that allows them to easily grasp complex 3-dimensional aspects of seasonal variation. This visual immersion enables students to instinctively understand ideas such as the forces and elements that cause Earth’s dynamic, daily weather – the heating of the Sun, the winds that result, and interactions with water – as well as climate. Students virtually cruise in Earth’s orbit to compare various climate regions of the world and make connections to the Sun’s heating and to water. The flight to airless and waterless Mercury highlights a climate that is primarily divided into two different types– very hot and dry, and very cold and dry. A visit to Venus reveals even more extreme climate – where clouds and precipitation aren’t liquid water, but sulfuric acid. This exploration includes the show Oasis in Space which tours our solar system for liquid water – a key ingredient for weather and for life. The experience concludes with a short tour of the night sky as we turn our imaginations to what else might be out there.
Schedule a morning 1.5 hour experience, break for a brown bag lunch in the planetarium lobby or outside courtyard, and come back into the planetarium dome for a second 1.5 hour experience.