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:
Our planetarium experiences are designed to create enjoyable and pedagogically meaningful interactions between the presenter and the other audience members. This level if interactivity does not scale to large audiences, thus we limit the size of student audiences to a maximum of 40 (roughly the capacity of a large school bus).
If you have reasons why you must come to campus with more than 40 students, we can work with you to split your group into sub-groups of forty or fewer with one sub-group in the Planetarium while other sub-groups are busy at an alternative campus venue within walking distance (for a list of several other possible activities to experience at WKU, click here). Then, after the initial 45 minutes (or so), all groups can rotate to the next activity.
As requests for Planetarium time and programs are extremely competitive, we are reluctant to allocate time to very small groups. Our minimum of 10 attendees is intended to maximize the amount of people to whom we can provide informal science education. If your group is less than our minimum, you are welcome to still submit a program request. We may be able to accommodate your request, and please understand if we have to respond by requesting you join an already existing booking which will be experiencing the same show you want to see. This may require that you be flexible in the dates you can attend. Another alternative for small groups is to come to a Public Show: these are free of charge.
If you have extenuating circumstances which will not allow you to adhere to our attendance requirements, please contact us to discuss your unique situation, at 270-745-4044 or email@example.com.
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.
Though Planetarium shows are free to school groups during school hours, the Planetarium requests that all students attending certain shows 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 please follow these two easy steps.
1. Choose a show: SELECT A SHOW HERE
2. Fill out the form under the show of your choice. You will be contacted within a few days to confirm your booking.
If you have a question, please write or call:
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 with the exhibits in the Ring Hall.
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.
Other things to do while at WKU:
While making the trip to the Planetarium, why not take advantage of other opportunities on campus and nearby. For more ideas on what else to do, click here.