A galaxy appears on dome screen inside the planetarium theater.

Planetarium Shows for School Groups

Visit the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium

Back to K–12 Group Tours and Field Trips

The Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium offers a wide variety of programs in our state-of-the art domed theater. With interactive live programs and recorded presentations, teachers will find content to fit their learning objectives. Learners of all ages will be amazed and inspired.

Request a visit

Please use our Booking Request Form to book field trips for the 2019–2020 school year.

Questions about group planetarium shows? Contact bellgroups@umn.edu or 612-624-4957.

An astronaut floating with Earth in the background

Under the Stars

Preschool–kindergarten
Come on a journey as we tell a story about objects in our sky. Young learners use their bodies and voices as they make observations about the sky, Sun, Moon, and stars. They’ll even become astronauts and fly to the Moon.

Interactive live program
0.1.1.2.1     0.3.2.2.2

An artist's concept of a solar-powered spacecraft

Space Exploration: Missions to Other Worlds

Grades 6–8
During this collaborative learning experience, the audience works together to make engineering decisions as they design a spacecraft to travel to an alien world. Should the spacecraft be nuclear- or solar-powered? An orbiter or a lander? With these choices and more, the audience will steer the mission to its success—or failure.

Suggested pairing: 
This show complements the labs Mission to Exoplanets (grades 7–8); schedule these two experiences together if you can!

Interactive live program
8.1.3.3.2    8.3.3.1.1      8.3.3.1.3     8.3.3.1.4

 

Illustration of our solar system

Out of this World!

Grades 1-5
Explore our solar system in this free-flowing show. Guided by planetarium staff, we might visit the smallest planet or the largest moon. This dynamic live show incorporates audience feedback and questions to drive the program.

Suggested pairing: 
This show complements the lab Mission to Mars: Motion and the Scientific Method (grades 2–3); schedule these two experiences together if you can!

Interactive live program
2.2.2.1.1     2.2.2.1.2     3.3.3.1.2    3.3.3.2.1     3.3.3.2.2

Phantom of the Universe movie poster

Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter

Grades 6–12
Take a journey of discovery to unlock the mystery of dark matter. From the Big Bang and dark matter’s role in the formation of galaxies to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider, explore one of the mysteries of the universe as the hunt for this mysterious particle unfolds. See the trailer here.

Film followed by live Q & A and presentation
8.1.3.3.2     9.1.1.1.6    9.1.1.1.7     9.3.3.3.1     9P.2.2.1.3

Habitat Earth screenshot from film

Habitat Earth

Grades 3–12
Living networks connect and support life forms large and small—from colonies of tiny microbes and populations of massive whales to ever-expanding human societies. Through stunning visualizations of the natural world, dive below the ocean’s surface to explore the dynamic relationships found in kelp forest ecosystems, travel beneath the forest floor to see how Earth’s tallest trees rely on tiny fungi to survive, and journey to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks.

Suggested pairing: 
This show complements the labs Observations in Biodiversity (grades 7–8) and Nature’s Engineers (grades 2–3); schedule these two experiences together if you can!

Film followed by live Q & A and presentation

3.4.1.1.1    4.1.2.1.1    4.3.2.3.1    5.3.4.1.3    7.4.2.2.1
7.4.2.2.2   8.3.4.1.2    9.1.3.1.1    9.3.4.1.2    9.4.2.1.2