Glastonbury Teachers


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 unigue environment of the planetarium.

The planetarium can seat upto 3 classes at a time or 80 students and teachers. Most programs last 60 - 120 minutes depending on grade level and needs of the group. All programs include an informative and interactive virtual tour of the night sky, Solar System and Milky Way providing a perspective of our place in the universe. Programs are led by Astronomer/Educator Jason T. Archer with decades of experience working with students and the public.

Our programs have been carefully aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and to the GPS Elementary Science Curriculum.

Grade K - 5 and Grades 6 - 8 have specific Planetarium program requirements.

Grades 9 - 12 can select from our extensive library of fulldome space shows and live space shows.

There are even shows for Foreign Language classes and Geography.

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

Download our Field Trip Guide

Should you want us to focus on certain concepts or topical areas, please contact us at 860.633 - 4455 ext 4923 or email us at to discuss such options.

Grade K - 5 Planetarium Experience:

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.

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. Click here is a show preview.

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

GPS Elementary Curriculum: Seasons

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. Click here is a show preview.

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

Class Length: 60 minutes

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. 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.

NGSS Alignment: 2-LS2, 2-LS4, 2-ESS1

GPS Elementary Curriculum: TBD

Class Length: 60 minutes

Downloads: Teacher's Guide

Grade 3 Planetarium Experience

Earth & Our Human Impact

This Planetarium Experience features two space shows, Habitat Earth and Ice Worlds, followed by a discussion utilizing unique data sets of earth as seen from 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.

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.

NGSS Alignment: 2-LS2, 2-LS4, 2-ESS1

GPS Elementary Curriculum: Earth and Our Human Impact

Class Length: 90 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

Dynamic Earth

This planetarium experience features three space shows, Supervolcanoes, Earthquakes, and Dynamic Earth followed by live presentation of real-time earth systems as seen from space.

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.

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.

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.

NGSS Alignment: 4-ESS1, 4-ESS2

GPS Elementary Curriculum: Dynamic Earth

Class Length: 120 minutes (with a short break)

Downloads: Dynamic Earth Educator's Guide

GEHMS Pre-Visit/Essential Questions

Super Volcanoes Education Guide

Grade 5 Planetarium Show Experience

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 space 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!

NGSS Alignment: 5-ESS1-1, 5-ESS1-2, 5-ESS3-1

GPS Elementary Curriculum: Earth and Its Place in the Universe

Class Length: 120 minutes (with a short break)

Grade 6 - 8 Planetarium Experience:

Grade 6 Planetarium Experience

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.

NGSS Alignment:

GPS Curriculum: Life Science

Class Length: 90 minutes

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

Class Length: 90 minutes

Downloads: Educator Guide

Foreign Language Experience:

Mayan Archaeoastronomy

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 Maya 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

Grade 9 - 12 Space Show Options:

Live Space Shows: