Teachers and Educators:

We are thrilled you are considering the Earth & Space Science Center for your field trip.  Our mission is to inspire the mind for science -one visit at a time. This year we are introducing many exciting new programs, including an updated planetarium system, that uses a state-of-the-art 4K laser projection system to create vivid, immersive full dome experiences to enhance students' experiences.  Our featured exhibit for 2019-2020 is "Outreach to Space," which provides cutting-edge space exploration content presented through eleven fun and engaging stations.  Our newly updated Hudnall Planetarium will have several new programs, including live-interactive programs as well as four new fulldome movies to choose from.  We also have the ability to create live, educator guided programs that are aligned with state and national standards to meet the specific content needs of your classroom.  Our live programs are led by one of our experienced planetarium educators, and they turn our planetarium theater into an interactive, immersive, fulldome classroom with engaging activities and lessons that will create a memorable learning experience for your students.  

If you would like more information about our field trips, please visit the
Field Trips page.  When you are ready to make a reservation, you may call 903-510-2312 or use the online form to make your reservation.  Be sure to reserve your field trip early, as dates to fill up quickly and are available on a first-come first-serve basis.

We look forward to providing your classroom with a quality educational experience!

 

New Fulldome Shows for 2019-2020 (Available after October 5)

 

 

The Sun: Our Living Star

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: 5th Grade- 8th Grade
Description: The Sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years. The light that warms our skin today has been felt by every person who has ever lived. It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life. The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky — day by day, month by month — was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilisations. Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive fulldome format.
TEKS Covered: 5.8(B)(C) 6.11(A), 7.5(A), 7.9(A), 8.7(A)(C), 8.8(B) 8.10(A)

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing!
Length: 
30 minutes
Rating: 5th Grade- 8th Grade
Description: Follow the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before travelling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone's retina. This fulldome planetarium show explores some of the fascinating processes of the cosmos, from astrophysics to the biology of the eye and brain. Funded through a generous grant from ZEISS, the show is narrated by astronomer and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

 

 

 

The Hot and Energetic Universe
Length: 35 minutes
Rating: Middle school and above
Description:  “The Hot and Energetic Universe” presents through the use of Immersive Visualizations and real images the achievements of modern astronomy, the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories, the basic principles electromagnetic radiation and the natural phenomena related to the High Energy Astrophysics. Topics covered include: electromagnetic properties, wavelength and frequency, characteristics of stars and galaxies.
TEKS Covered: 8.8(A)(C) 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Matter Mystery
Length: 45 minutes
Rating: General Audience 
Description:  What keeps Galaxies together? What are the building blocks of the Universe? What makes the Universe look the way it looks today? Researchers all around the world try to answer these questions. We know today that approximately a quarter of the Universe is filled with a mysterious glue: Dark Matter. We know that it is out there. But we have no idea what it is made out of. This planetarium show takes you on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics. You will see why we know that Dark Matter exists, and how this search is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer. Join the scientists on their hunt for Dark Matter with experiments in space and deep underground. Will they be able to solve the Dark Matter Mystery?

 

Live-Interactive Programs

My Moon, My Sky (PreK-1st grade)

TEKS covered in program and classroom activities:

K. 5(a); 6(c)(d); 8(b)(c), 1. 5(a); 6(c)(d); 8(b)(c)

Inside our immersive planetarium, students will observe, recognize, and understand the Earth, Moon, and the night sky. Students will develop conceptual understanding of Earth’s rotation causing the day/night cycle and how the Earth’s rotation results in the movement of objects in the sky. Students will be asked to describe objects in the sky such as clouds, the Moon, and stars (including our Sun). Students will observe and describe celestial objects in relation to their size, location, shape, color, and texture. This program will also include an introduction to constellations, with kid-friendly stories about some of the easy-to-spot constellations in our own night sky.

Sun, Earth, and Moon LIVE! (Elementary)

TEKS covered in program and classroom activities:

1.3(b)(c); 6(c)(d); 8(b)(c), 2.8(d), 3.7(a); 8(c)(d), 4.7(b)5, 5.6(c); 8(c)(d)

Sun, Earth, and Moon Live! is an interactive planetarium program which teaches students about the interaction between the Sun, Earth, and Moon. Students identify and compare the physical characteristics of the SEM system and observe patterns in the sky due to the rotation of the Earth through the day/night cycle, as well as Earth’s revolution around the Sun. Students will also observe and make predictions regarding the relative positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon which lead the phases of the moon as well as solar/lunar eclipses.

 

Journey Through The Solar System

TEKS covered in program and classroom activities:

3.8(b)(d), 6.11 (a)(d), 7.9(a)(b), 8.8(b)(d)

In this interactive digital tour of the solar system, students will feel like they are traveling through space as they get an up close view of the planets and learn about their unique characteristics. Other features of the solar system featured in this tour will include the characteristics of the Sun, the distances and orbital periods of each planet, the moons of the solar system, and the history of manned and robotic solar system exploration.

 

Colors From Space

What can we learn about the stars and planets from their colors? To answer this question requires a fundamental understanding of why we see color. Through a series of activities, students deepen their understanding. They "travel" to an imaginary planet circling a red sun, and experiment with color filters and diffraction gratings.

 Constellations Tonight

In this participatory version of a classic planetarium program about the night sky, students receive star maps and use them to find constellations in the planetarium sky.

         

Flying High

Flying High was designed to inspire students to learn by letting them know what it would be like to travel into space. Show how distant objects look smaller than nearer objects that are actually the same size. See how the Sun changes positions in the sky as the day progresses. Learn to recognize the Big Dipper in the sky. Appreciate the wonder of human space travel and some aspects of Space Shuttle launch and flight.

           

How Big is the Universe?

Your students will hop on stepping stones to bigger and bigger places, starting with the planetarium and then to the moon, the Solar System, nearby stars, the Milky Way galaxy, and clusters of galaxies. The students will use various methods to determine distance: parallax, "radar," and comparing the brightnesses of objects.

           

Journey to the Moon

Inspire children to learn by letting them know what it would be like to travel to the moon. Observe a cycle of Moon phases and learn the names, and discuss How Do We Get There? Then Blast Off! in a pretend launch, “experience” weightlessness, and look at Earth from space. The pretend 3-day excursion to the Moon gives students a better appreciation for the difficulties and wonder of space travel.

           

Moons of the Solar System

This program begins with observations of the Earth's Moon and a modeling activity that shows why the Moon goes through phases and eclipses. Then the students look at Jupiter's four major moons on a series of nights and figure out how long each one takes to circle Jupiter. Finally the students journey through the solar system to see many moons through the "eyes" of modern spacecraft.

           

Native American Astronomy

There are hundreds of Native American cultures, each with distinctive views of the heavens. In this program, students visit five cultures: the Hupa people of Northern California, Medicine Wheel in Northern Wyoming, Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, the Mayan people and the Incan people. Students observe moon cycles and changes in the sunrise and sunset positions on the horizon to learn how these practices help Native Americans stay in tune with the harmonies of nature.

           

Northern Lights

In this live audience participation show, students identify what areas of Earth are best suited for aurora viewing. They model the different seasonal patterns of the Sun's apparent daily motion in various latitudes, including places where there is the phenomenon of "midnight Sun." They observe and sketch aurorae, learn about the causes of aurorae, and find out about NASA missions that are studying aurorae.

           

Our Very Own Star

Beautiful views of the Sun are featured in this program, from optical effects of sunlight in Earth’s atmosphere, to views of the Sun from space. Students make observations that show how the Sun can be used as a time keeper and how sun- spots can show us that the Sun is giant spinning ball of gas. They use models of the magnetic fields of Earth and of the Sun to see why sunspots come in clusters and how the Earth’s magnetism affects space around Earth.

           

Red Planet Mars

Students discover Mars three different ways during this planetarium program. They find the red planet by observing it over a period of several nights as it moves against the background stars. Then they view it through a "telescope" and try to map its surface. Finally they see Mars via space probes.

           

Stonehenge

In this program, students investigate the possibility that the ancient ruins of Stonehenge could have been used by its builders as a gigantic astronomical observatory and calendar. By actively formulating and testing their own hypotheses in the planetarium, the students learn how astronomer Gerald Hawkins went about discovering Stonehenge's probable function. Along the way, they learn a lot about apparent stellar, solar, and lunar motion.

           

Strange Planets

Are we alone? Do you think there might be other life out there? Hundreds of planets outside our solar system have already been discovered. Learn some ways that astronomers have detected these planets, such as techniques used by the Kepler mission, and discuss what basic requirements would be needed to support life.

 

Existing Show Library
 

Pre-K - 2nd Grade

 

The Little Star That Could

Rating: PreK - 1st
Length: 35 minutes
Description: A story about a Little Star, an average yellow star in search for planets of his own to protect and warm. Along the way, he meets other stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars combine to form star clusters and galaxies. Eventually, Little Star finds his planets. Each planet is introduced to the audience along with basic information about our solar system.

 

 

 

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

Grade: K - 3rd
Length: 30 minutes
Description: Take a trip with two adventurous kids, and a very talkative book from the library, as they explore the planets of our solar system in their very own cardboard rocket. Along the way they learn something special about each of the planets.

 

2nd Grade - 5th Grade

 

Earth, Moon and Sun

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: K - 5
Description: Coyote has a razor-sharp wit, but he's a little confused about what he sees in the sky. Join this amusing character (adapted from American Indian oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun fulldome show that explores lunar phases, eclipses and other puzzles. Engaging and immersive, Earth, Moon & Sun also examines how humans learn through space exploration. Audiences age 5-11.

 

Astronaut

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 2nd-5th
Description: The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body.
Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject ‘Chad’, our test astronaut, to everything that space has to throw at him. Narrated by Ewan McGregor.

 

From the Blue Planet to the Red Planet

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 2nd-5th
Description: Journey to the year 2132 as we follow Carina, a young woman stationed on Mars, as she communicates with her brother Aidan back on Earth. Experience living on a futuristic Mars colony, and ride a rover across the Martian surface. Children and adults alike will learn about the differences between Earth and Mars and what it might be like to live and work on another planet.

 

Extreme Planets

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 3rd and up
Description: Just over a decade ago there were no known planets orbiting sunlike stars outside our own solar system. Since 1995, however, fast-paced developments in detection techniques have revealed hundreds of extrasolar planets--with the pace of discovery increasing all the time. Though it will be years before we have direct images of the surfaces of these worlds, this show gives us an idea of what they might look like - up close and personal! In this original production we'll explore the idea of what "Earth-like" even means, and take an immersive journey to several worlds that may stretch the imagination, but aren't science fiction anymore.

 

Cosmic Journey

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 3rd and up
Description: Nestled deep within a huge spiral galaxy containing hundreds of billions of stars is an average yellow star. Yet there is something extraordinary about this star-it's ours! Travel the solar system faster than the speed of light, taking in all the wonders of its diverse planets and moons. Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above a barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400 years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air. In Cosmic Journey: A Solar System Adventure, you'll make your way to some of the most interesting and intriguing locations that circle our Sun. It will take you on a voyage to the outer reaches of our Solar System in search of worlds that might support life.

 

 

 

Two Small Pieces of Glass

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 3rd and up
Description: A full dome show about the history and science of telescopes. Galileo did not invent the telescope, but he was the first person to use the newly invented device to observe the sky. Through these observations the Italian philosopher-scientist concluded that the heavens were not perfect and immutable: he observed lunar mountains, phases of Venus, Jupiter's largest moons, and even sunspots. The two small pieces of glass revealed a Universe that was far more complex than previously assumed. Telescopes have advanced considerably since Galileo's time. Humanity now has large observatories and even a couple in outer space. "Two Small Pieces of Glass" shows how telescopes work; and how astronomers have used them to scrutinize the structures within our cosmos.

 

 

6th Grade - 12th Grade

Dream Big: Engineering Our World

Length: 45 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Dream Big: Engineering Our World is a first of its kind film for IMAX® and giant screen theatres that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings, to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, Dream Big celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and reveals the heart that drives engineers to create better lives for people around the world.

 

Hidden Universe

Length: 40 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: The full-dome documentary adventure Hidden Universe takes audiences on an extraordinary journey deep into space in the cinematic medium that transports audiences like no other. With the full power of the planetarium, the deepest reaches of our universe are brought to life with unprecedented clarity through real images captured by the world's most powerful telescopes.
Stunning, high-resolution images of space allow visitors to explore the earliest galaxies, watch stars being born in vivid clouds of gas and dust, tour the surface of Mars, and witness images of distant celestial structures including stunning views of the Sun. These dramatic new images offer fresh insight into the origins and evolution of the universe.

 

To Space & Back

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Space exploration, our greatest adventure, is having a big impact on our lives. It is helping us to discover a universe of unimaginable scale and beauty, and it is reaching down into our world and influencing the way we live. To Space & Back takes audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day. What is happening above is coming back down to Earth!

 

Earthquake

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Starting at Point Reyes in Northern California, the show flies south along the San Andreas Fault until it reaches San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge fades away as the clock rewinds to 1906. The audience experiences an all-digital recreation of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake, followed by a scientific dissection of the event-including views of the underground fault plane and the propagation of seismic energy waves based on supercomputer simulations. Guests then embark on a high-speed tour of the past 200 million years, witnessing the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, flying over the cradle of humanity in Africa's Great Rift Valley, and visiting sites of historic earthquakes in India, China, and Japan-including the 9.0-magnitude Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

 

Supervolcanoes

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: The show takes us back 74,000 years ago, to the island of Sumatra. A volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast regional plateau. Toba, as the volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But Earth has seen far larger. 250 million years ago, an eruption in what's now Siberia lasted a million years and was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth's history. 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. Audiences 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?

 

Violent Universe

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: The beauty of a starlit sky conceals the violent forces at work within our universe. From the upheaval of a giant star that explodes to release its material into space, to a future encounter between the Earth and a large asteroid that is too close for comfort, we will witness the forces that hold the universe together and occasionally try to rip it apart.

 

Dynamic Earth

Length: 24 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Now in more than 70 planetariums worldwide, Dynamic Earth explores the inner workings of Earth’s great life support system: the global climate. 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. Audiences 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.

 

 

 

General Public and All Ages

*Available for field trips as well*

 

Humpback Whales

Length: 45 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: An extraordinary journey into the hidden world of nature's most awe-inspiring marine mammal, Humpback Whales takes you to Alaska, Hawaii, and the Kingdom of Tonga for a close-up look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play, and care for their young. Captured with IMAX® cameras, and found in every ocean on Earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a steady recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.

 

Totality

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Totality is a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, especially total solar eclipses. An eclipse is described simply as when one celestial object blocks another from our view. This program examines what eclipses are, how and when they occur, and what wonderful sights they create. We also look back to a fascinating period in scientific discovery when general relativity was proven with the photographic recording of a solar eclipse.

 

Live Sky Tonight

Length: 20-40 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: A classic planetarium show, Live Sky Tonight is an interactive live sky show featuring many of the most popular and interesting objects visible in the nighttime sky. You will not only be able to pick out the Big Dipper or the Sword of Orion in the real night sky, but while in the dome you can travel light-years in seconds, fly to galaxies, and explore the edge of the observable universe.

 

From Earth to the Universe

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description:The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe. Audience members then our home out to the colourful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out, beyond the Milky Way, to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the Universe.

 

Wonders of the Universe

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Peer deep into space through the eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope. Travel back in time to witness the birth of the Universe. See the formation of galaxies, and explore beautiful nebulae. Visit neighboring planets in our Solar System before returning to Earth.

 

Space Park 360

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Space Park 360 is a 9-ride show that takes audiences on a wild immersive ride through the Solar System while recreating the experience of amusement park thrill rides—roller coasters, pendulums, inverters and more. From the top of Jupiter's clouds to the icy depth of Neptune’s moon Triton, each location serves to heighten the thrilling experience. Note: This is a musically based entertainment show with limited to no narration and very little educational value.

 

Rock on Demand

Length: 40 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: "Rock on Demand" fills the entire 40-foot domed theater with vibrant graphics, completely enveloping visitors in a 360-degree view while the 16,000 watt, digital surround sound system plays rock hits ranging from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to The Doors and Aerosmith.

 

Seasonal/Holiday Shows

 

Mystery of the Christmas Star

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Mystery of the Christmas Star deals with one of the most beautiful and mysterious stories ever told - the journey of the Wise Men who visited Christ at his birth. The show takes a sincere and serious look at potential explanations for the Star of Bethlehem. You will be left with a new appreciation for the night sky and the beauty of the starry host above.

 

Season of Light

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: The show recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice — not only Christian and Jewish, but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi. It also takes a look at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions: from gift-giving and kissing under the mistletoe, to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing, and the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles. St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus all drop by as well. Naturally, there is some astronomy in Season of Light. Audiences learn a selection of Northern hemisphere winter constellations, and find out why we even have seasons, as we demonstrate the Sun's path across the sky throughout the year, and the Earth's tilt and orbit around the Sun. And of course, the program explores the possible astronomical explanations for a "Star over Bethlehem" in the last quarter of the show: comets, meteors, novae and supernovae, and planetary conjunctions.

 

Let it Snow: A Holiday Music Journey

Length: 32 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: "Let it Snow" features a new variety of festive classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning multi-media finale by Trans Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, laser imagery, special effects, and all-dome scenery to create a fully immersive holiday experience.