Planetarium Field Trips
Do you have a classroom of children that are curious and eager to discover the wonders of life on earth or a universe filled with stars and other worlds? Perhaps you know of some aspiring astronauts. The Planetarium in the new Ed and Gwen Cole STEM building provides the perfect group setting for inspiring the next generation of explorers and young scientists. The planetarium’s state-of-the-art projection system will immerse the audience in spectacular voyages of discovery that will certainly spark imaginations!
We accept all groups of interested people! That includes group activities such as school field trips, birthday and other party events.
All visitors to the Planetarium are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing as mandated by University policy. Social distancing means there will be two empty chairs between each visitor and only every other seating row will be occupied. This will limit seating capacity to about 21 for each presentation. Please factor these limitations into your field trip plans.
An immersive, full-dome experience, featuring a full-dome program of your choice.
A guided tour of the current night sky.
A question and answer session (time permitting).
Due to scheduling limitations, the Planetarium may not be able to accept reservations less than two weeks in advance. It is best to schedule a planetarium visit well in advance of a planned date. The planetarium can be very busy in certain times of the year. Scheduling early will increase the likelihood of getting a preferred date and time reserved.
Please report cancellations at least two weeks prior to a scheduled show date.
For school groups, one chaperone is required of every 15 students.
Small school groups may be combined with another class if seats are available. Please give an accurate head count when booking a show. The Planetarium’s seating capacity is 21. For larger groups it will be necessary to schedule two or more shows.
Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled show time.
Before entering the STEM building on planetarium day, get a final head count for your entire group including teachers, chaperones and parents. Combine all of the money into one payment and designate one person to make the payment at the Planetarium’s box office.
Plan your time. Planetarium shows last approximately 35-45 minutes. Allow extra time for restroom breaks, for visiting the Solar System courtyard located in front of the STEM building or the Stone Fort Museum across from the courtyard.
There is an Assistive Listening System available for the hearing impaired.
Pricing for Groups
Events during normal business hours (M-F, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm)
After normal business hours (closed on Sundays, Mondays and University holidays)
The Planetarium accepts
Booking a Show
Please assemble the following before calling to schedule a field trip:
School Info: school name and phone number
Contact Person: name, cell number and email address
Attendees: grade level and total number attending (include students, teachers, parents and chaperones). Please keep in mind that the planetarium’s maximum seating capacity is 30.
Preferred date, time, and an alternative. Available times
can be viewed on the scheduling calendar.
Special Needs: The planetarium can accommodate a limited number of persons in wheelchairs. Please include a note in the "Comments" section of the reservation form with the number of students in wheelchairs that will be attending.
To make a reservation you may use the online reservation form
, or contact the planetarium scheduling coordinator at 936-468-3009 (M-F, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm).
You will be contacted by either phone or email within two business days with a confirmation of your request. If the dates and times requested are not available, the scheduling coordinator will make every effort to find an alternative date and time. If you have any questions, please contact us at 936-468-3009 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions and Parking
For buses, enter campus from E. Starr Avenue by turning onto Raguet St.. Turn left into the parking lot behind the STEM Building. Let your students off at the SW corner of the STEM building (see parking map
). Buses are required to park at the Coliseum Parking Lot during the show. For personal vehicles, parking may be available in the two lots adjacent to the STEM building. All personal vehicles are required to display a parking pass during normal business hours (M-F, 7 am – 4 pm). A free temporary parking pass is available at the Information Booth located on Griffith Blvd or at the University Parking & Traffic Office located at 1925 Wilson Drive (first floor of Wilson Parking Garage, email@example.com
). Paid parking is also available at the nearby Student Center Parking Garage located across the traffic circle from the Planetarium ($2/hr).
The Planetarium is a very specialized immersive STEM classroom. It is not a movie theater. Please advise your students the appropriate behavior in the planetarium is the same as it is in their classrooms. For the comfort and safety of all planetarium visitors, we ask that everyone comply with the following policies.
- Before entering the Planetarium, please turn off cell phones. Both the light and ring tones are very disruptive in the planetarium’s darkened environment.
- No food or drinks allowed in the planetarium—this includes gum and candy.
- For safety reasons, no late entry or re-entry into the Planetarium allowed. There are no exceptions to this rule.