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Western Kentucky University

School Visits to the Planetarium

Visiting Hardin Planetarium!

Schools may bring their students to the Planetarium for a special presentation. Our full dome shows introduce students of all ages to a variety of topics about astronomy and space science. 

Guidelines for Attendance:

Size limit:

In order to make our educational offering as significant as possible, the Planetarium limits the size of student audiences to a maximum of 40. Should you wish to bring a larger group than this, there are several options you can pursue:
  • Split your group in to sub-groups of 40 or less. Select some other interesting venues to visit on campus and rotate the sub-groups through each of these over the course of your field trip.  For a listing of some of the other possible activities to do at WKU, click here.
  • Planetarium shows are free, but you may elect to pay the $60 fee for a 45 minute custom show during school hours. You may then bring a group of up to 110 people (can be up to 125 for groups of Kindergarten through 2nd grader students). 

Student Behavior:

The visit to the Planetarium is a school-related event and students should follow the same rules of decorum expected of them during any school day. The school should be prepared to provide adequate chaperoning of all student groups. Disruptive students should be removed from the presentation so as not to spoil it for other visitors. Food or drinks in the Planetarium are prohibited, as is the use of cell phones, or other electronic devices.

Admission Ticket:

Though Planetarium shows are free to school groups during school hours, the Planetarium requests that all students attending a show engage in a pre-show activity related to the theme of the show, and present evidence of completion of that activity as their "admission ticket" when entering the Star Chamber for the show. To find out what the admission ticket is, please visit the page for the show you are choosing and check under "admission ticket." If you have questions, please call or email the Planetarium.

Choosing your show.

To select a show appropriate to the age level of students your are bringing, click here.

Call the Planetarium at 270-745-4044 if you need to discuss the show options for the grade level you are bringing.

Booking a Field Trip:

Field trips are scheduled weekdays during school hours. (Special performance times outside regular hours are available upon request for a nominal charge.)

To arrange for a program at the Planetarium for your group, kindly make your initial approach by filling out the on-line form at the bottom of the page describing the show of your choice. You will be contacted within a few days to confirm your booking and/or to discuss any exigencies or special considerations.

If you have a question, please write or call:

Planetarium Coordinator

Museum exhibits and Treasure Hunt: 

In addition to the Star Chamber presentations, the Planetarium features a ring of museum exhibits about astronomy and space science. Schools may choose to come early or stay after the main presentation in order to engage in the Planetarium Treasure Hunt, to help students more fully appreciate the material in the exhibits.

Handicapped Access:

Hardin Planetarium is wheelchair accessible. A ramp from State Street provides access to the building's main floor. The ground floor is accessible via double doors. Two handicapped parking spots are located behind the Planetarium, and three are located by the building next door, Thompson Complex Central Wing. There are spaces available to anyone with a valid permit and not dedicated solely to Planetarium visitors.

For other needs, please request accommodations at least 3 business days before your visit.

Buses and Transportation:

For a campus map showing the passenger/ student drop-off location for visits, and the designated parking area where buses can be legally parked during the visit, click here. School parking lots are accessible only to those holding valid parking permits. Visitors coming by car may park on the street, and should be prepared to look for spaces several blocks from the Planetarium.



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 Last Modified 9/24/14