Grades 9-12

The following experiences are designed to address Next Generation Science Standards and are easily customizable. (Click titles for details.)


Big Bang Ballet (9-12)

Explore how humans, confined to one tiny rocky sphere in a distant suburb of an ordinary galaxy, were able to use our intellect to build our understanding of something as vast as the universe by being transported to the beginning of it all! This visually vibrant experience takes the audience on a flight through astronomical data from a multitude of telescopic surveys, with state of the art software to navigate our virtual spaceship through our universe. The journey begins 14.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang and the origin of our universe. The vast time and distance scales seem to come within our mental grasp as we zoom toward our special little corner of the universe. The flight through time and space eventually zooms in on our galaxy, our Sun, and ends at home on Earth. NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS1.A, ESS1.B, ESS2.A, LS1.A, PS2.A, PS2.B, PS3.B, PS3.C, PS4.C

Asteroids - Finding Them Before They Find Us (7-12)

With the recent flyby of DA14 and the atmospheric explosion of a small meteor over Russia, we all wonder when the next “big one” will hit the Earth. Using real world data that tracks near earth and potentially hazardous asteroids, we investigate the thousands of asteroids that travel within our solar system. We will analyze previous impacts on the Earth, Moon, and other celestial bodies. Discussion of the early solar system will describe the formation of our Moon, which was a beneficial result of a huge impact. NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS1.A, ESS1.B, ESS2.A, LS1.A, PS2.A, PS2.B, PS3.B, PS3.C, PS4.C

Our Place in Space (K-12)

Attendees at the Festival of Faiths, Home and Garden Show and school science nights all have been awed by this dynamic, immersive option. The experience is easily adapted to reach a large number of people of various ages and knowledge levels, from kindergarteners to adults. Beginning on the Earth, the audience is launched into space to venture to the edge of the observable universe. The pilot makes stops along the way to point out key astronomical facts and data. This exciting voyage also chronicles man’s desire to travel amongst the stars. NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS1.A, ESS1.B, ESS1.C, PS4.B, PS4.C


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 the button below for detailed Performance Expectations and additional information.

Grades 9-12 NGSS Alignments


Customize Your Experience

Our experienced and knowledgeable planetarium educator can work with you to customize the experience (within the capabilities of the technology). Possible customizations include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanded experiences (up to half a day per session)
  • Concentrated focus on specific learning objective
  • Incorporation of teacher-led instruction into program delivery
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