Field Trips

Planetarium School Shows

Bring your students into the best astronomy classroom possible -- the night sky. The Planetarium offers an immersive environment, intimate size, and interactive programming aligned with Washington State Content Standards and supporting most K-12 astronomy curricula. In the planetarium, everyone enjoys a front row seat.
School groups can make advance reservations to visit the planetarium for a private astronomy program on weekdays during the school year. Seating is limited to 44 people per show, and children under age 4 are not admitted.
To reserve a show for your class in the planetarium, call the Registration office at (206) 443-2925.

Gravity and Black Holes is all about NASA's cutting-edge investigations into the still unsolved mysteries involving gravity and black holes, as well as NASA's recently launched NuSTAR mission to bring the high energy universe into focus. This new and exciting show highlights some of the oldest and newest mysteries of the universe. Grades 3-12; 40 minutes. There is limited financial assistance available for schools attending this show.

Standards addressed, Washington Content Standards 2012:

  • 2-3 PS3A Heat, light, motion, electricity, and sound are all forms of energy.
  • 4-5 PS1A The weight of an object is a measure of how strongly it is pulled down toward the ground by gravity.
  • 4-5 PS3A Energy has many forms, such as heat, light, sound, motion, and electricity.
  • 4-5 PS3B Energy can be transferred from one place to another.
  • 4-5 PS3C Heat energy can be generated a number of ways and can move (transfer) from one place to another. Heat energy is transferred from warmer things to colder things.
  • 6-8 PS3B Heat (thermal energy) flows from warmer to cooler objects until both reach the same temperature. Conduction, radiation, and convection, or mechanical mixing, are means of energy transfer.
  • 6-8 ES1D Gravity is the force that keeps planets in orbit around the Sun and governs the rest of the motion in the Solar System. Gravity alone holds us to the Earth's surface.
  • 6-8 ES1E Our Sun is one of hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Many of these stars have planets orbiting around them. The Milky Way galaxy is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe.

Standards addressed, National Science Standards (Draft 2012):

  • Grade 3 -- 3.IF Interactions of Forces
  • d. Investigate the forces between two or more magnets to identify patterns.
  • e. Investigate the push-and-pull forces between objects not in contact with one another.
  • Grade 5 -- 5.SSS Stars and the Solar System
  • b. Provide evidence that Earth is spherical and the gravitational force of the Earth causes objects near the surface to be pulled toward the planet's center.
  • e. Gather evidence to investigate that lenses bend light and obtain information about the ways technology has used lenses to improve our ability to see objects
  • Middle School -- MS.ESS-SS Space Systems
  • Use models to support explanations of the composition, structure, and formation of the solar system from a disk of dust and gas, drawn together by gravity.

The Sky Tonight is our best show for visitors ages 6 and above (including adults and high school students); students use a star map and explore tonight's sky. Grades 2-12; 40 minutes. This show can be shortened and offered for grades K-1 as a 20-minute show.

Standards addressed, Washington Content Standards 2012:

  • 4-5 PS1A Motion
  • 4-5 ES1B Earth Spins
  • 4-5 ES1C Different Constellations Through Year
  • 4-5 ES1D Sun Star
  • 6-8 ES1E Galaxy

Preschool Trip to the Moon is an age-appropriate mix of observing the night sky, a puppet story, and a dance party--on the Moon! Preschool; 20 minutes. Content can be added for grades K-1.

Standards addressed, Washington Content Standards 2012:

  • K-1 ES1A Sky patterns
  • K-1 ES1B Sun position
  • K-1 ES1C Moon location
  • 4-5 ES1B Earth Spins

The Planets is best enjoyed as a complement to solar system studies. Students locate planets in the night sky and compare the different classes of planets in our solar system. Grades 2-12; 40 minutes.

Standards addressed, Washington Content Standards 2012:

  • 2-3 SYSA System
  • 2-3 INQB Investigate
  • 2-3 PS1A Motion
  • 2-3 PS2A Properties
  • 2-3 PS2B Materials
  • 4-5 INQC Investigate
  • 4-5 INQD Observations
  • 4-5 INQE Repeat
  • 4-5 INQI Intellectual Honesty
  • 4-5 ES1D Sun Star
  • 4-5 ES2A Earth Materials
  • 6-8 INQA Question
  • 6-8 INQB Investigate
  • 6-8 INQC Investigate
  • 6-8 INQE Model
  • 6-8 INQH Intellectual Honesty
  • 6-8 ES1B Planets and Moons
  • 6-8 ES1C Planetary Motion
  • 9-12 INQA Question
  • 9-12 INQB Investigate
  • 9-12 INQC Explain
  • 9-12 INQE Model
  • 9-12 INQG Intellectual Honesty