students and parents

8th Grade Teachers:  In efforts to create the best experience for your students we are offering you the opportunity to choose the topics discussed during your visit. Each show will include a student activity (gathering data, hands-on manipulation, reflection, etc.).  Please choose 2-3 mini-lessons from the list below that you would like the students to experience during their visit to the Planetarium.  Please coordinate your choices with the other teachers/classes you will be visiting with.

Please email your choices to Leslie Barnhill ( no later than one week prior to your visit.  If you have no preference and would like to have the same lesson from the 2015-2016 visit, please say so in your email. Please include what school you are from.


2015-2016 lesson: Seasons from Space, the Universe from small to big (including briefly the moon, sun, milky way, galaxies and nebulae) and plotting stars on the Hertzsprung Russell (HR) Diagram.

8th grade mini lesson options:

     - Lunar Cycle (with student data sheet)

     - Seasons from Space

     - Tour of the Universe

     - Use of light years to measure distances of stars in our night sky (with student data sheet)

     - HR Diagraming of stars in the night sky (with student data sheet)

     - Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity Fulldome video presentation.  (This is a 24 minute fulldome video)

     - Tides (This minilesson consists of a pre-recorded video clip of Astro Otter explaining tides.  It is approximately 4 minutes long.  I was hoping for something better but unfortunately it will have to wait until our system gets upgraded in December/January. So next year I promise something better.)       

     - Constellations and objects in the current night sky

     - Q & A (something specific or general student questions of the day)

    - Astro Otter Fulldome Short Video Presentations (The Astro Otter Fulldome Short Video Presentations of brief discussions of various Space Science topics.  Astro Otter asks his friends questions about various astronomy topics and his friends answer them with visuals created for fulldome planetarium viewing.  While the animation Astro Otter and his friends are somewhat dated and two dimensional, the questions posed are answered appropriately and vividly for either elementary or secondary students.  Teachers are welcome to peruse the library for the best mini-lesson to present to their students.  Please click on the link below to view the topics, descriptions and lesson length.)

ASTRO OTTER JUNIOR (for elementary students)

ASTRO OTTER (for secondary students)


Please click here to email Leslie Barnhill your choices no later than one week prior to your visit.  


We look forward to seeing you!


TEKS:  8:7A,B,C, 8:8A,B,C,D,E