GPS Teachers

Welcome

The Glastonbury Planetarium welcomes all Glastonbury students, teachers and parents. Our shows will immerse your students in stunning visualizations that highlight the latest applications of science in the world today. The best part is that the planetarium is available free of charge to all Glastonbury classes.  

Our programs have been carefully aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and to the GPS Elementary Science Curriculum. Grade K - 5 have specific Planetarium program requirements. Grades 6 - 8 and 9 - 12 can select from our extensive library of show content. 

To book a program, please fill out our GPS Planetarium Field Trip Reservation Form.

Download Visiting the Glastonbury Planetarium for field trip details.

Should you want us to focus on certain concepts or topical areas, please contact us at 860.633 - 4455 (4923)
or email us at Planetarium@Glastonburyus.org to discuss such options.


Grade K - 5 Planetarium Experiences

Kindergarten Planetarium Experience


One World, One Sky


Young audience members will be thrilled when they find themselves on Sesame Street with their famous friends, Big Bird and Elmo. The fun begins when Elmo's friend, Hu Hu Zhu, visits from China and the three of them take the audience on an exciting journey of discovery to learn about the Sun, stars, and Big Dipper. Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu blast off on an imaginary trip to the Moon and when they return home to Earth everyone discovers that, no matter where we live, we all share the same sky.


After the show, we’ll continue our tour of the night and day sky with What’s Up.  We’ll explore what we can see in the sky (stars, planets, the Moon, etc ) and how they move across our sky.  


NGSS Alignment: K-ESS2-1, K-ESS2-2

GPS Elementary Curriculum: Seasons

Target Audience: Grades PK - 1

Class Length: 45 minutes

Downloads: OWOS Educator Guide


Grade 1 Planetarium Experience

The Moon

What child hasn't looked up at the Moon in wonder. In this interactive planetarium program, children will observe the features on the Moon surface such as craters and even gaze at the far side of the Moon. Back on Earth, children will trace the path of the Moon and Sun in the sky.

We'll explore the many "faces" of the Moon and look at the Moon's changing appearance night after night and even month after month. This is show is a perfect introduction to the Earth, Sun and Moon system presented just for the children.

Finally, we’ll explore the objects and shapes found in the night sky and discover why we see the stars only at night.

NGSS Alignment: 1-ESS-1-1, 1-ESS1-2
GPS Elementary Curriculum: Measuring is Knowing & Environments
Target Audience: Grades PK - 1
Class Length: 60 minutes
Downloads: Day and Night Images Pre-Visit.ppt
Moon Post-Visit Lesson.ppt

Grade 2 Planetarium Experience

Life of Trees

Take an adventurous journey of exploration into the wondrous world of trees. Taking the perspective of insects, the film reveals the magic of the microcosm. Students will learn the secrets: How do plants get their food from the sun? How does water get from the roots to the top of the crown? And how does all this make life on our Earth possible? Concepts presented include: the life cycle, photosynthesis, water transport, reproduction, biodiversity and sustainability.

Finally, students will learn of our connection to the changes in the day and night sky and how the amount of sunlight changes through the seasons and how stars change through the seasons.

NGSS Alignment: 2-LS2, 2-LS4, 2-ESS1
GPS Elementary Curriculum: TBD
Target Audience: Grade 2
Class Length: 60 minutes
Downloads: Teacher's Guide

Grade 3 Planetarium Experience

Habitat Earth

Living networks connect and support life forms large and small — from colonies of tiny microbes and populations of massive whales to ever-expanding human societies. In the California Academy of Sciences' 2015 original planetarium show, Habitat Earth, discover what it means to live in today's connected world.

Through stunning visualizations of the natural world, dive below the ocean's surface to explore the dynamic relationships found in kelp forest ecosystems, travel beneath the forest floor to see how Earth's tallest trees rely on tiny fungi to survive, and journey to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks.

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Frances McDormand, this 2015 show from the Morrison Planetarium features stunning visualizations of both biological and human-built networks (and of how they intersect), taking show-goers on an incredible, immersive journey through the interconnectedness of life on Earth.

The show details the ways humans fit into this ever-evolving story of connection. And along the way, audiences will learn more about what we can do to ensure that our cohabitation with the natural world leaves a healthy, sustainable planet for generations to come.

NGSS Alignment: 2-LS2, 2-LS4, 2-ESS1
GPS Elementary Curriculum: Earth and Our Human Impact
Target Audience: Grade 3
Class Length: 60 minutes
Downloads: GEHMS Pre-Visit/Essential Questions
Habitat Earth Educator Guides For Grades 3 - 5
Habitat Earth Educator Guides For Grades 6 - 12
Learn More: Habitat Earth in the Classroom

Grade 4 Planetarium Show Experience

Double Feature Dynamic Earth & Super Volcanoes

Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth explores the inner workings of Earth's climate system. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Students will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes. Dynamic Earth explores concepts and terms essential to understanding the climate:

• The relationship of Earth and the Sun. The Earth is close enough to the Sun to bask in its warmth, thanks to a series of natural defenses, including its magnetic field.

• Life and the carbon cycle. Earth's climate control system depends on the ability of living organisms to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it long term.

• Plate tectonics and its role in the carbon cycle. Audiences will learn that CO2 emissions from human activities now outpace volcanoes 200 fold.

• Comparision with Venus. The story of our sister planet shows just how unique Earth is in its ability to regulate atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures.

• Perspective on climate change. The program fills in major gaps in the public's understanding of climate change, by placing it in a broader context of what shapes Earth's climate.

The scene was 74,000 years ago, on the island of Sumatra. A volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast regional plateau. Toba, as the volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But Earth has seen far larger. 250 million years ago, an eruption in what’s now Siberia lasted a million years and was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth’s history.

Supervolcanoes

Supervolcanoes is an immersive planetarium show that looks back at rare classes of eruptions that have marshaled the energy that lurks, like a sleeping dragon, beneath the surface of planet Earth. The program moves beyond Earth to explore the impact of giant volcanic eruptions around our solar system. Students will fly down to Neptune’s frigid moon Triton, and onto the ultimate volcanic world: Jupiter’s moon Io. On a visit to a legendary North American hot spot, Yellowstone National Park, the film asks: can a supervolcano erupt in our time?  Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

NGSS Alignment: 4-ESS1, 4-ESS2
GPS Elementary Curriculum: Dynamic Earth
Target Audience: Grade 4
Class Length: 60 minutes
Downloads: Dynamic Earth Educator's Guide
GEHMS Pre-Visit/Essential Questions
Super Volcanoes Education Guide

Grade 5 Planetarium Experience

Earth, Sun, Moon and Sky

This planetarium experience explores the relationship between Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions. Coyote has many misconceptions about our home planet and its most familiar neighbors. His confusion about the universe makes viewers think about how Earth, Moon and Sun work together as a system and learn to distinguish between myths and science. Learn the basics of fusion and solar energy and why the Sun rises and sets. Examine the Moon's orbit, craters, phases and eclipses. You'll even take a look at past and future space travel to our Moon ... and beyond!

Next using the planetarium dome and hands-on activities, students will explore:

• Earth: axis, rotation, tilt, day and night, seasons

• Moon: location, apparent path across the sky, rotation and revolution, phases, eclipses

• Sun: properties, apparent path across the sky, eclipses

Finally, we’ll look at light pollution. Our starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

NGSS Alignment: 5-ESS1-1, 5-ESS1-2, 5-ESS3-1
GPS Elementary Curriculum: Earth and Its Place in the Universe 
Target Audience: Grade 5
Class Length: 120 minutes (with a short break)
Downloads: Earth, Moon, Sun Classroom Activities

Other K - 5 Grade Level Options



Flight Adventures
Flight Adventures

Flight of the Butterflies
Flight of the Butterflies

Molecularium
Molecularium







Perfect Little Planet
Perfect Little Planet

The Weather
The Weather

Two Small Pieces of Glass
Two Small Pieces of Glass

We Are Aliens
We Are Aliens







The Zula Patrol
The Zula Patrol




Grade 6 - 8 Planetarium Experiences


Grade 6 Planetarium Experience

Natural Selection

Join Charles Darwin on an adventurous voyage of exploration circumnavigating the World with the HMS Beagle, to the Galapagos islands where he got inspired for his later theory of transmutation by Natural Selection.

In Victorian times many physical phenomena were already discovered and described by natural laws, but life's most eloquent mechanism was still unknown: How could new species arise to replace those lost in extinction? It was time for someone to stand up and come forth with a Naturalist explanation of this mystery of mysteries.

From the comfort of Down House in Kent, Darwin himself will explain the mechanism of Natural Selection to the audience, and support it by showing many beautiful examples in nature. Witness the thrill of scientific discovery by seeing the world through Darwin's eyes, make observations of the most beautiful natural scenery and let the pieces of the scientific puzzle slowly but surely fall into place.

Allow Darwin to reveal the simple and most beautiful mechanism that explains the evolution of all life on Earth. The program presents the concepts of adaption, camouflage, migration, predation, mutation, and more.

NGSS Alignment: MS-LS3-1, HS-LS3-1,3, HS-LS4-1,2,3,4,5
GPS Curriculum: Life Science
Target Audience: Grade 6
Class Length: 60 minutes
Downloads: Educator Guide

Grade 7 Planetarium Experience

TBD

Grade 8 Planetarium Experience

From Dream to Discovery: 
Inside NASA

How do engineers plan for the extreme environments a spacecraft must endure? Where do they test their work?  To answer those questions, From Dream To Discovery: Inside NASA takes us to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Integration and Testing facility, where space missions get tested. It shows how, from design to creation to launch, engineering is an exciting and fundamental process in space exploration. Finally, we witness a launch, the next step for a mission as it leaps up through Earth's gravity well.  From Dream To Discovery: Inside NASA is a fascinating look at how humans take the impossible and make it reality. It's a great way to introduce your audiences to the "right stuff" it takes to explore space.

Finally, using a series of live and interactive video clips, students will explore the mechanics of gravity assists, momentum and how engineers used these properties with the New Horizons mission to Pluto, missions to Mars and other planets of the Solar System.

NGSS Alignment: MS-ETS1-2, 3, 4, HT-ETS1-2
GPS Curriculum: Concepts of Physics
Target Audience: Grade 8
Class Length: 90 minutes
Downloads: Educator Guide


Grade 9 - 12 Planetarium Experiences

Click on each show to learn more.

Asteroid: Mission Extreme
Asteroid: Mission Extreme

Astronaut
Astronaut


Bella Gaia
Bella Gaia







Black Holes
Black Holes

Dawn of the Space Age
Dawn of the Space Age

Dinosaurs of Dusk
Dinosaurs at Dusk







Energy for Life
Energy for Life

From Earth to the Universe
From Earth to the Universe

Oasis in Space
Oasis in Space

Out There
The Search for Extrasolar Worlds
Out There


Seeing
Seeing!










To Space & Back
To Space & Back

A Starry Tale
A Starry Tale




Foreign Language Shows


Mayan Archeoastronomy

In a feast of colours and sounds, Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour of 6 Mayan temples: San Gervasio, Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Palenque and Bonampak where the spectator dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the Sun, the Moon and Venus.

Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe is unique among planetarium shows, intertwining science and mythology to take the viewer on a poetic journey through how the Mayans have viewed and understood the Universe throughout their history. The visuals are stunning, giving the viewer the impression of being inside a beautifully stylistic painting. This artistic interpretation of the Universe makes for a journey that will not be forgotten.

Available in both English and Spanish

Tales of the Mayan Skies

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Chichén Itzá, Mexico, the “seventh wonder of the modern world.” Listen to the story of the ancient Maya civilization.  With unprecedented realism, “Tales of the Maya Skies” immerses us in Maya science, art and mythology, using full-dome digital technology to transport us back into the world of the Maya. The show inspires and educates through its description of the Maya’s accurate astronomical achievements and how astronomy connected them to the universe.

“Tales of the Maya Skies” brings us back to the ancient jungles of Mexico where the Maya built cities and temples aligned to movements of the sun, moon and planets. Over many years they observed and documented astronomical events with great accuracy.

The Maya made sense of an ever-changing world by observing, recording and predicting natural events such as solstices, solar eclipses, weather patterns and planetary movements. These observations, in combination with a sophisticated mathematical system, allowed them to develop a precise calendar system. Their measurements of the length of the solar year were more accurate than measurements the Europeans used as the basis of the Gregorian calendar. The Maya also predicted eclipses, were able to forecast seasonal change and developed the concept of mathematical zero enabling them to predict events into the future.

Recent deciphering of the Maya hieroglyphics is providing archeologists with new and exciting discoveries. Using three dimensional laser scanning and advanced graphic techniques, the virtual reconstruction of architecture in
“Tales of the Maya Skies” also supports these archeologists in interpreting the ancient sites and contributes to their conservation.

GPS Curriculum: TBD
Target Audience: Grade 9-12
Class Length: 60 minutes