Grades K-2 Field Experience Options

Single Field Experience: $7/student

Two field experiences: $14/student:

Spend the day on campus! 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.

While you're at UofL, take your students on a self-guided tour of campus.

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. Young explorers 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 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 moon phases and other celestial patterns. Young 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. NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS1.A, ESS1.B, ESS1.C, ESS2.C, PS2.A, PS2.B, PS3.C, PS3.D, PA4.B, LS1.C

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.


Wild and Wonderful Weather (1.5 hours)

Weather is everywhere on Earth, all the time. Young learners are engaged as the planetarium puts their imaginations on board a virtual spaceship for a space-eye view of imagery captured by numerous satellites. This visual immersion into scientific information enables students to instinctively understand complex ideas such as forces and elements that cause Earth’s dynamic weather – the heating of the Sun, the winds that result and interactions with water. Students consider the weather here at home in Kentucky, and compare it to weather in far-flung locations across the Earth. We fly on to the Moon, learning that the absence of atmosphere and liquid water means there is no weather on our nearest neighbor. Flying to Mars, we find a thin atmosphere with huge red dust devils generated by unequal heating from the sun…but without liquid water, the red planet has very limited types of weather. 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 constellations in the night sky as we turn our imaginations outward. NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS1.A, ESS1.B, ESS1.C, ESS2.A, ESS2.C, ESS2.D, ESS3.B, PS3.B, LS1.C

Show-Only Option

Also available for elementary schools is a traditional planetarium show followed by a star talk: 1 hour/$5 per student.

NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea Progressions

Each experience/program within the astronomical experiences offered by Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium is focused upon the Disciplinary Core Idea Progressions. Each core idea is presented at the appropriate grade band with overlapping of more than one sub-idea, to allow a transition period for understanding and meeting performance expectations. Click "Program Details" below for detailed Performance Expectations and additional information.

Grades K-2 Curriculum Maps