Glastonbury Teachers

Welcome

The Glastonbury Planetarium welcomes all Glastonbury students, teachers and parents. The planetarium is available FREE of charge to all Glastonbury classes. The Glastonbury Planetarium offers out-of-this-world learning experiences. Our programs will immerse your students in stunning visualizations in the unique environment of the planetarium. Our programs have been carefully aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and to the GPS Elementary Science Curriculum.

  • Grades K - 5 have specific GPS Science program requirements; see the Science Elementary Curriculum webpage.

  • Grades 6 - 8 have specific GPS Science program requirements.

  • Grades 9 - 12 have the freedom to select from our extensive library of fulldome Space Shows, Large Format films and live lectures.

Both In-Dome and Virtual Field Trip options are available for most programs. For In-Dome Field Trips, the planetarium can comfortably seat a 70 students and teachers (3 classes at a time). Virtual Field Trips are streamed to your device(s) using the Zoom platform. Should you want us to focus on certain concepts or topical areas, please contact us at 860.633 - 4455 or email us at jarcher@crec.org to discuss such options.

Steps to Reserving an In-Dome or Virtual Field Trip

Grade K - 5 Planetarium Experiences:

Kindergarten - 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. Click here for a show preview.

Before and 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.

Class Length: 60 minutes

Grade 1 - 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. Finally, 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 program is a perfect introduction to the Earth, Sun and Moon system presented just for the children.

Before and 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.

Class Length: 60 minutes

Grade 2 - 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. Click here is a show preview.

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.

Download Educator Guide

Class Length: 60 minutes

Grade 3 - Earth & Our Human Impact

Humans impact the physical environment in many ways: overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation. Changes like these have triggered climate change, soil erosion, poor air quality, and undrinkable water. A better understand of our global connection to each other and the Earth will help us 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. This program features the shows Habitat Earth and Ice Worlds followed by a live presentation on Earth's place in space.

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.

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. 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. Download Educator Guide

Ice Worlds - The delicate balance between ice, water and the existence of life has been a topic of scientific inquiry for generations. In travels to the Arctic and Antarctic regions of our planet, we'll examine the ecosystems that exist and thrive there and learn how their survival is connected with our own. Beyond Earth, we'll see how the existence of ice shapes the landscape and the natural systems on other planets and moons in our Solar System.

Class Length: 60 - 90 minutes

Grade 4 - Dynamic Earth

A beautiful blue planet. The Earth is a giant heat engine constantly working to expel its inner heat into the cold universe that surrounds us. Geologic processes that operate on a global scale have a profound affected on our planet. We'll explore theses geologic processes, earthquakes and volcanos, that have and continue to shape the Earth. This program features the shows Supervolcanoes and Earthquake, followed by a live presentation about the geologic processes found in the Solar System.

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? Download Educators Guide

Earthquake: Evidence of a Restless Planet explores the forces that transform the surface of our planet. Fly along the San Andreas Fault before diving into the planet’s interior. Journey back in time to witness the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the break-up of Pangaea 200 million years ago. Visit the sites of historical earthquakes from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Learn how scientists and engineers collaborate to help society prepare for a safer environment — and a safer future. Data-driven visualizations illustrate Earth’s story, revealing how subtle motions and sudden ruptures have shaped our planet over eons — and how geological activity influences the course of human history.

Class Length: 60 - 90 minutes

Grade 5 - Earth, Moon, Sun & Sky

This planetarium experience explores the relationship between Earth, Moon, Sun and Sky. Using live interaction and the space show, Earth, Moon & Sun, the planetarium becomes a laboratory allowing students to explore:

  • The current night sky making observations about the movement of the sky and the seasonal changes of the Sun and Moon.

  • The Earth's axis, rotation, tilt, day and night, seasons.

  • The Moon's location in the sky, apparent path across the sky, rotation and revolution, phases, and eclipses.

  • The Sun's properties, apparent path across the sky and eclipses.

The planetarium show Earth, Moon & Sun 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!

Download Educator Guide

Class Length: 60 - 90 minutes

Grade 6 - 8 Planetarium Experiences:

Grade 6 - Origins of Life & Bella Gaia

Origins of Life deals with some of the most profound questions of life science: the origins of life and the human search for life beyond Earth.

Starting with the Big Bang, in chronological order, the show deals with the prebiotic chemistry in the Universe, the formation of stars, formation of solar systems, and the first life on Earth.

Furthermore Origins of Life covers the great extinctions as well as our search for (primitive) life beyond planet Earth.

This show is a inspirational journey through time and a celebration of life on Earth.

It features many recent discoveries related to life science, demonstrating that if there was ever a time that science made its greatest advances, it’s right now!

Bella Gaia – Beautiful Earth, takes the audience on a spectacular journey around planet Earth simulating the transformative effect astronauts feel while orbiting above.

This poetic musical journey features astounding NASA visualizations of science data and enveloping scenery from around the world, from ancient Egyptian tombs, Indian rituals, cherry blossoms, and Tokyo & New York city scenes.

Bella Gaia – Explores the relationship between human civilization and our ecosystem through time and space and illuminates humanity’s impact on nature in a way that taps audiences’ emotional intelligence.

Class Length: 60 - 90 minutes

Grade 7 - Planet Earth

This planetarium experience explores the formation of Earth, its atmosphere, its changing surface, its water resources, and its place in the solar family. This program features the shows Birth of the Planet Earth and Oasis in Space followed by a live presentation on Earth's place in space.

Scientists now believe that our galaxy is filled with solar systems, including up to a billion planets roughly the size of our own. Birth of the Planet Earth employs advanced, data-driven, cinematic-quality visualizations to explore some of the greatest questions in science today: How did Earth become a living planet in the wake of our solar system’s violent birth? What does its history tell us about our chances of finding other worlds that are truly Earth-like? We'll explore the motions, patterns and objects the make up our Solar System for a deeper understanding of Earth's place and scale in the Universe.

Oasis in Space takes students on a startling and beautiful voyage through our universe, galaxy and solar system in search of liquid water - a key ingredient for life on Earth. This show is our “classic” tour of the solar system highlighting its structure, our search for water and the possibility of life on other planets. Download Educator Guide

Class Length: 60 - 90 minutes

Grade 8 - Engineering the Future

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. 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. Download Educator Guide

Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries explores three observatories located in Chile, at extreme and remote places. It gives examples of the multitude of STEM careers needed to keep the great observatories working. The show is narrated by Barbara Rojas-Ayala, a Chilean astronomer. A great deal of astronomy is done in the nation of Chile, due to its special climate and location, which creates stable, dry air. With its high, dry, and dark sites, Chile is one of the best places in the world for observational astronomy. The show takes you to three of the many telescopes along Chile’s mountains. It takes many people with diverse backgrounds, talents, and skills to run a world-class observatory. Meet these people and share in the wonder of the sky—and the excitement of discovery.

Satelix - They are with us all day. When we wake up, go to school, to work or for a trip, and when we spend time with our families in the evening, too. And at night? In the darkness of the night, they guard us while we sleep. Without them, we would not have navigation in our cars or mobile phones, accurate weather forecasts, and in fact many everyday items, either. Do you ask who they are? None other than artificial satellites.

Class Length: 60 - 90 minutes

Grade 9 - 12 Planetarium Experience

Go to our Show Catalog for a list of Full Dome Shows and Live Lectures. Select the program or combination of programs that work best for your class.