For reservations or more information, call the Planetarium at 908-231-8805 x5.  Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm, or e-mail us at: planet@raritanval.eduAll shows run approximately 45 minutes.

Grade Guide

SHOWPreKK123456789-12
Rockin' Rocket RideXX
Sky LightsXX
Storybooks in SpaceXX
Space Shapes & Tycho to the MoonXX
The Weather XXX
Magic Tree House: Space MissionXXXXX
The Little Star that CouldXXX
Perfect Little PlanetXXXX
Follow the Drinking GourdXXX
Earth, Moon, and Sun (and Coyote)XXXX
The Problem with PlutoXXXX
Solar System OdysseyXXXXXX
The Hot and Energetic UniverseXXXXX
To Worlds BeyondXXXXX
Natural SelectionXXXXX
Black HolesXXXXX
Two Small Pieces of GlassXXXXX
AstronomythsXXXXX
Moons of the Solar SystemXXXXX
Exploding UniverseXXXXX
From Earth to the UniverseXXXXX
SunStruckXXXX
Cosmic Origins SpectrographXXXX
Infinity Express & How Big is the UniverseXXXX
The PlanetsXXXX
SETIXXXX
Live Seasonal Sky ShowXXXXXXX
Laser Pop RockXXXXXXX
Laser MagicXXXXXXX
Laser KidsXXX
Rock Laser ConcertsXXXXXX
Winter Wonder Lights laser concertXXXXXXXXX

Preschool - Kindergarten

Rockin' Rocket Ride - Designed for Preschool - Kindergarten 
Put on your space suit and blast-off into outer space to visit the Moon, Sun and planets. A lively experience for young people with selected music from "Journey into Space" by Jane Murphy.  Link for CD: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Into-Space-kimbo/dp/B0002EP34W
Supports NJSLS-Science: 1-ESS1-1, patterns of the Sun, Moon, and Stars; 5-ESS1-1, the Sun is brighter because it is closer to us.
Teacher Guide

Sky Lights Laser and Video Concert - Recommended for PreK and K
Our youngest audience members can sing along with songs by mr. RAY (Family Ride, Kalien the Alien) and Jane Murphy (Moon Rock Rock, The Planet Song). Some songs are illustrated with lasers and other songs feature video images.

Storybooks in Space - Grades PreK-K
Enjoy story time in the planetarium.  Pages from children’s story books are projected on the dome to help us learn about the planets, the Moon, and the stars.
Supports NJSLS-Science: 1-ESS1-1, patterns of the Sun, Moon, and Stars;
Supports NJSLS-English Language Arts: RL.2.2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message/theme, lesson, or moral.

Kindergarten - Grade 4

The Weather - Recommended for Grades K – 2
Topics Covered:

  • Using the five senses to observe and predict weather
  • Cloud types and how they help us predict the weather
  • Ways to describe weather.
  • Measuring weather (including tools to measure weather)
  • Parts of the water cycle

Supports NJSLS-Science: Changes in the Earth and Sky, K-ESS2.D Weather and Climate, 2-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter, 2-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions, Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns, Systems and System Models

Space Shapes & Tycho to the Moon - Designed for grades K-1
We begin by exploring shapes: are the Moon and its orbit "round" like a ball or a pancake?  Play connect-the-dots with the stars to find triangles and squares and constellations.  Fly around the solar system to learn about the planets.  Then meet Tycho, a dog who doesn’t just howl at the Moon, but wants to go there.  Blast off on an amazing ride.  Learn about night and day, space travel, the phases of the Moon, and features of the lunar surface.  Take a close up look at the Sun, watch the effects of gravity, see the Earth from space, and watch meteors shoot across the sky.  
Supports NJSLS-Science: 4-PS4 Waves and Their Applications; 1-ESS1-1, patterns of the Moon, 5-ESS1.B motions of Earth cause observable patterns

Magic Tree House: Space Mission - Designed for Grades K – 4
From the authors of the best-selling novel series, join Jack and Annie as they discover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, planets, space travel, and more.  Who can help them answer the mysterious "M's" questions?  None other than an astronomer, an astronaut, some web surfing, and some thoughtful reflection.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijKFckJ5sR0
Teacher Guide
Supports NJSLS-Science:
K-PS2 Motion and Stability, 5-ESS1. Earth’s Place in the Universe

The Little Star that Could - Designed for grades 1-3
Travel with an average yellow star on his quest to get a “name” and a planet to call his own.  A “cool” red star, a “hot” blue star, a dying star, double stars, and the Milky Way Galaxy teach the Little Star some important things about being a star.  Imagine Little Star’s surprise when he discovers planets already going around him!  After the story, we’ll discover some of the stars and constellations we can see in tonight’s sky.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP4xwZrGQzg
Teacher Guide
Supports
NJSLS-Science: 2-PS1-1 Matter and Its Interactions, 5-ESS1-1 Earth’s Place in the Universe

Perfect Little PlanetDesigned for grades 1-4
Imagine the ultimate space vacation! What if you could travel the galaxy to find that ideal place? Discover our solar system through a new set of eyes – a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, our best known Dwarf Planet. Dive over the ice cliffs of Miranda. Sail through the rings of Saturn. Feel the lightning storms at Jupiter. And walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose? This is the solar system journey for space travelers of all ages.  Created by the same folks who made “The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket,” this new show is for the same audience and covers the same topics, just with more up to date information. 
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C3QO3Y6_H8
Teacher Guide
Supports NJSLS-Science: K-PS3-1 Energy, 5-ESS1-1 Earth’s Place in the Universe

Follow the Drinking Gourd - Designed for grades 2 - 4
Learn to find the Big Dipper and several other constellations in our night sky.  Then, join a slave family as they use the Big Dipper as a guide to escape oppression in the South.  Sing along with the slaves who used the song of the Drinking Gourd to travel north on foot from Alabama to Canada.  Based on Jeanette Winters’ book by the same title, this show describes the astronomy behind the slave song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”
Supports NJSLS-Science:  Earth’s Place in the Universe 1-ESS1-1, 1-ESS1-2
Supports NJSLS-Social Studies: U.S. History: America in the World 6.1.4.D.9 , 6.1.8.D.4.c
Supports NJSLS-English Language Arts: RL.2.2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message/theme, lesson, or moral.

Earth, Moon, and Sun (and Coyote) – Grades 2-5
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 Native American oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun show that tells Native American stories, explores lunar phases, eclipses, and other puzzles.  Engaging and immersive, “Earth, Moon & Sun” also examines how humans learn through space exploration.  This program includes a brief tour of the current night sky.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMPML_SbL1w
Teacher Guide
Supports NJSLS-Science:
Earth’s Place in the Universe 5-ESS1-2. Space Systems MS-ESS1-1
Supports NJSLS-English Language Arts: RL.2.2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message/theme, lesson, or moral.

Grades 4-12

The Problem with Pluto – Grades 3 – 6
Follow Lucy on her trip through the solar system as she gathers data on Pluto’s status as a planet.  Discover current information about the planets and investigate where Pluto belongs in the overall structure of the solar system.  After the story, we’ll discover some of the stars and constellations we can see in tonight’s sky.
Supports NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1-3, Earth’s Place in the Universe

Solar System Odyssey - Designed for Grades 4-12
Go on a futuristic journey through our Solar System.  With Earth's resources being rapidly depleted, a tycoon sends our hero, Jack Larson, on a mission to discover a new home to colonize.  This character-driven show is perfect for middle school students!
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOY9vlEYSF0&t=24s
Teacher Guide
Supports
NJSLS-Science: Earth’s Place in the Universe MS-ESS1, MS-ESS1-3, Earth and Human Activity MS-ESS3.A

To Worlds Beyond: A Journey through the Solar System - Recommended for Grades 5-12
Take an amazing journey through our solar system, visiting each of the planets, plus the most famous dwarf planet, Pluto.  Beautiful images taken from orbiting satellites blend with high-end animations and current information on our neighborhood of planets. 
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUUw5p11uCE
Supports NJSLS-Science: Earth’s Place in the Universe MS-ESS1

Natural Selection - Designed for Grades 5-12
Join the young Charles Darwin on an adventurous voyage of exploration circumnavigating the world with the HMS Beagle.  Witness the thrill of scientific discovery by seeing the world through Darwin's eyes, make observations of the most beautiful natural scenery, and let the pieces of a scientific puzzle slowly but surely fall into place.  Allow Darwin himself to reveal this simple and most beautiful mechanism that explains the evolution of all life on Earth: natural selection, the single most wonderful idea anyone has ever had.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t6mVD2NVs8
Teacher Guide
Supports
NJSLS-Science: MS-LS3-1, HS-LS3-1,3, HS-LS4-1,2,3,4,5
Supports NJSLS-Social Studies: 6.2.12.D.2.d

Black Holes - Designed for Grades 5-12
“Black Holes” takes you on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe: a black hole.  Where do they come from?  Where do they go?  How do we find them?  Is there one on Earth's horizon?  Explore the science and mystery of Black Holes.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2NkJu1miSU
Supports
NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1, HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3

Moons of the Solar System – Grades 5 - 12
A live interactive presentation in four stages

  1. Observing the Moon from Earth
  2. Modeling Moon Phases with a Moon Ball
  3. Tracking Jupiter’s moons as seen from Earth. (Recreates Galileo’s observations)
  4. Tour of moons around Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn as time allows.

Social Studies: 6.2.12.D.2.d

Infinity Express & Cosmic Address – Grades 6 – 12
"Infinity Express" takes the audience on an exciting journey of discovery, from the search for solar systems to the mapping of the Universe.  “Cosmic Address” takes us on a journey from Earth, past the Oort Cloud, the Milky Way Galaxy and continues to the cosmic microwave background radiation to see where our tiny planet fits into this great big Universe.  **Infinity Express also has a Spanish soundtrack available.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUnqe7rdxMw
Supports
NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1, HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3

Exploding Universe - Grades 5-12
The universe we see today is the product of explosive events. They have even shaped our very existence.  Supernovae seed the galaxies with heavy elements that make planets and life possible. When Black Holes collide, they can throw off some of the most energetic particles known, ripping and warping space as they go. But other outbursts have profound effects as well, such as supervolcanoes which have contributed to the transformation of our world into the life-bearing oasis we now enjoy. The smallest of explosions, such as the forced impact of high energy particles, can echo the foundational events of the early universe. As the universe has transformed into the structure we live in now, even the most elementary particles have endured.  This show follows the path of one of these "particles," a proton, as it participates in nature's astounding events of rebirth and renewal.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3810PV0qFk4
Supports NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1, HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3

From Earth to the Universe - Grades 6-12
Experience Astronomy 101 in under an hour.  The splendors of the Universe are revealed in this beautiful program.  Our ancestors used the sky as a time keeper.  Later, philosophers and scientists, from the Greeks to Galileo, began to unravel some of its mysteries.  The invention of the telescope has allowed for still more discoveries.  Fly by all the planets in our solar system, then travel beyond to view the birthplace and death of stars, and still farther to the myriad galaxies in our Universe.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=472qiW3JAEk
Supports NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1-2, MS-ESS1-3, HS-ESS1-1,2,3,4

SunStruck - Designed for grades 6-12
Discover the wonders of our Sun.  It radiates energy in all wavelengths.  How does it produce energy?  What are the different layers of the Sun?  Its incredible energy has supported life on Earth for millennia, but is now threatening our technology and way of life.  Travel to the distant future to discover our Sun's connection to the Universe's cosmic cycle of life and death.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNTWGcWCT5g
Teacher Guide
Supports
NJSLS-Science: MS-PS4-2, MS-ESS3-2, HS-PS3-2, HS-ESS1-1

Cosmic Origins Spectrograph - Designed for grades 6-12
Journey from a distant quasar to the Hubble Space Telescope orbiting the Earth.  Light produces a spectrum.  The spectrum changes as it travels towards Earth, allowing us to learn about the light source, what it passes, and how the light source is moving.  Cosmic Origins Spectrograph wais the final instrument installed on the Hubble Space Telescope during its last servicing mission.  The C. O. S. is allowing us an unprecedented view into the vast spaces between the galaxies surrounding our Milky Way.
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/132481176
Supports NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1, HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3

S.E.T.I. – Grades 6 – 12
As yet, we have no hard evidence of another living thing outside Planet Earth.  “S.E.T.I. – The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence” – is a show that explores all sides of this topic, from the planets we are finding around other stars, to the feasibility of traveling to the stars, and what aliens might actually be like, to the possibility that UFOs have been visiting and the various methods that scientists are using to get in touch.  Will we make contact in our lifetimes?  This program includes a live-narrated trip out of our solar system to see where some planets have been discovered around other stars.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN6wjMK08vY
Supports
NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1, HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3

Live Seasonal Sky Show – Grades 3 – 12
Introduce your students to the wonders of the day and night sky. This program can be tailored to your needs.  Please choose one or two of the topics listed:
* locating stars, constellations, and planets in the current evening sky, stories of the constellations, movement of objects across the sky.
* Seasons          * Moon Phases          * Coordinate Systems
* Daily and Annual Motion of the Sky and Planets.
* Call to discuss topics you’d like to cover during this show.
Supports NJSLS-Science: Patterns, Cycles

Two Small Pieces of Glass – Grades 5-12
Explores the evolution of telescope technology from Galileo’s experiments to the Hubble Space Telescope and beyond.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUe1nX3MDPM&t=79s
Teacher Guide
Supports
NJSLS-Science: 3-5 ETS1-1, 2, 3; MST-ETS-1,2,3

Astronomyths - Designed for grades 5 - 12
The Autumn Skies are full of myth and science. Learn some of the Greek mythology associated with the constellations, then look beyond the stories to discover the deep sky objects hidden within: binary star systems, star clusters, and giant galaxies. "Astronomyths" runs about 30 minutes, and is paired with an introduction to the stars & constellations we can see in tonight's sky.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7t_U-mpQSs
Related NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards: 5.4.12A

The Planets - Designed for grades 6 – 12
Question and answers test students’ knowledge of the planets in our solar system. The audience finds itself transported from planet to planet, immersed in spectacularly different environments. Great fun, the show also has enough facts and concepts to provide real educational value. This program also includes a live tour of the current night sky and/or a trip out of our solar system to see where planets have been discovered around other stars.  (Note: this show was created before Pluto was recategorized as a dwarf planet.)
Supports NJSLS-Science: Earth’s Place in the Universe MS-ESS1

The Hot and Energetic Universe - Grades 5-12
The human eye can only see a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Celestial bodies radiate at many wavelengths simultaneously.  The hottest and most violent processes emit at small wavelengths: X-rays and Gamma rays.  Since most wavelengths don’t penetrate our atmosphere, we use orbiting telescopes to observe the Universe.  An international array of satellites orbit the Earth, turning their sensitive instruments towards deep space.  High Energy Astrophysics allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the universe, from the birth of new stars, to supernovae and black holes, as well as observing the merging of whole galaxies.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgruEzFqO0E
Supports NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1, HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3

Astronaut – Grades 5-12
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 ISS 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.  “Astronaut” is made possible with a grant from FirstEnergy Foundation.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpldahA-pxA
Supports NJSLS-Science: 5-PS2, MS-PS2, MS-PS4, HS-PS4

Dark Matter Mystery – Grades 5-12
What keeps galaxies together?  What are the building blocks of the Universe?  We know that 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 of.  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?
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD4VN4s0EZU
Supports NJSLS-Science: MS-ESS1, HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-2, HS-ESS1-3

Our Violent Planet: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tsunamis – Grades 5-12
We live out our lives on our planet’s fractured crust “plates” that pull apart, collide, grind past each other, and even sink below one another, producing violent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and catastrophic walls of water known as tsunamis.
Supports NJSLS-Science: 4-ESS3-2, MS-ESS2, HS-ESS2

Mayan Archeoastronomy – Grades 5-12
In a feast of colors and sounds, Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour of 6 Mayan temples: San Gervasio, Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Palenque and Bonampak where the spectator dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some celestial objects like the Sun, the Moon and Venus.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-h5npIY5yI&t=16s
Supports NJSLS-Science: Patterns and Cycles

Short Programs

Short Programs, running 10-15 minutes in length, can be added to any of the above Planetarium shows.

Tonight’s Sky – an introduction to the stars and constellations we can see in tonight’s sky.  This is typically included with every show we do, but can be replaced by something else by request.

Seasonal Sun Paths – We say the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but that’s not entirely accurate.  We’ll observe the Sun’s rising and setting positions for each season and compare the lengths of the day over the course of the year.
Cosmic Address takes us on a journey from Earth, past the Oort Cloud, the Milky Way Galaxy and continues to the cosmic microwave background radiation to see where our tiny planet fits into this great big Universe.

Solar Quest demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and that we are "Living with a Star." High quality animations display solar phenomena such as fusion and light energy as well as solar surface features and events. Granules, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are highlighted.  The show discusses the impacts of space weather and how the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protects all life on Earth.

Losing the Dark - Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.  If we all work together, we can bring back the dark of night to planet Earth.

For reservations or more information, call the Planetarium at (908) 231-8805
Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm, or e-mail us at: planet@raritanval.edu

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