illustration of planets and stars in the night sky

Planning a Trip to the Science Dome With Your Class

Who

The Science Dome is open to pre-K–12 classes, homeschool groups and other youth groups for field trips. Private party shows (birthday, retirement parties, etc.) can be booked using a separate form.

Cost

$35 per group for up to one hour in the dome. Large groups that must be split into smaller groups will be $35 per small group.

Seating Capacity

  • 58 seats
  • 2 wheelchair-accessible seats
  • Additional space on the floor in front that is perfect for small children
  • Preschool visits are limited to no more than 25 children

When

  • Field trips last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (longer time slots may be available for additional cost)
  • Available times:
    • M–F from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Evenings and other times may be available upon request (pending staff availability)

How

Please complete the Field Trip request form or call Katie Iadanza at 253-964-6569 to request a field trip. Please allow one week for us to respond to your request.

What

The content is flexible. We will try to match your needs. If you have an idea that isn’t listed, let us know and we can work with you to see if it is possible. There are two types of field trip presentations:

  1. Fully live/interactive presentations done by science dome staff  (~1 hour) covering 2–3 topics
  2. Half live/interactive presentations done by science dome staff (~1/2 hour) covering 1 topic and a full-dome video (20–40 minutes). Total time ~ 1 hour.

Field Trip Conduct Expectations

Full-Dome Videos

Please check out our full-dome video catalog.

Live/Interactive Topics

You can choose any of the topics below OR suggest something new. Some topics take longer to cover than others. With a video, 1–2 topics can usually be presented during a single visit. Without a video, 2–3 topics can be presented.

Topics with an * are designed to take the entire time and can only be done during fully live presentations.

Topics marked with (PS) have versions that are great options for preschool and early elementary.

  • Night Sky Tour – Identify Constellations, nebulas and other deep sky objects in our current night sky.
  • Our Place in the Universe – Learn about the size and scale of the universe.
  • Daily Motions – How do the Sun, Moon and Stars move across the sky? Learn why the answer depends on where you are!
  • Seasonal Stars – The fall night sky is not the same as the spring night sky. Learn why the stars we see change with the seasons.
  • Moon Phases – Why can we see more of the moon at some times than others? Why do we never see a full moon at noon or a crescent moon at midnight? Learn how the sun-earth-moon monthly dance drives what we see.
  • Our Sun – Learn about the lifecycle of our sun and how it compares to other stars.
  • Planets – What makes a planet a planet? How are the planets in our solar system different from Earth? Let’s take a tour!
  • Pluto and Dwarf Planets – Learn why Pluto is no longer considered a major planet and discover other dwarf planets in our solar system. See the latest results from the New Horizons mission to Pluto.
  • Reason for the Seasons – Learn why Earth’s tilt, Earth’s orbit around the sun, and the sun’s path in our sky determine our seasons.
  • Aurora (Northern/Southern Lights) – See the aurora and investigate their causes by looking at global magnetism and solar activity.
  • Light, Electromagnetic Spectrum – Visible light is only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum; learn what we could see if our eyes could detect more of it.
  • Strange Space – What are the really crazy things out in space? Supermassive black holes, diamond planets, planets with two suns!
  • Comets and Meteors – What is that thing up in the sky? What’s the difference between a comet and a meteor and how are they related?
  • Biology from Space – What evidence of Life on Earth can we see from space? What is it like to live in space? What challenges do we need to overcome if we want to plan long trips in space?
  • Planetary Explorers * (PS) — Explorers will start on watery Earth and embark on an adventure taking them to all 8 planets. From bouncing on Mercury to hula-hooping with Saturn, they are certain to have a great journey. 
  • Comets, Meteors and Asteroids Oh My! * – What makes comets, asteroids, and meteors different from each other? Are they just rocks that float around in space? Make sure you’re buckled in as we zoom through our solar system to figure it out! Feel the ice cold of comets and the warm heat from the sun.
  • Pluto: A New Horizon * — Join us on a trip to the outer solar system to visit the frigid Pluto and its companions. Learn why Pluto “the dwarf planet” is no longer Pluto “the planet” and discover other dwarf planets along the way. Now updated for New Horizon’s flyby of Pluto!
  • Wild Weather * (PS) — Travel around the solar system in search of wild weather. What is rain made of on Venus? Does it snow on Pluto? Join us as we find out.
  • Science On a Sphere:
    • Tailor your own field trip with Science on a Sphere
    • Planetary data can be projected onto 3D models of Earth and other planets. Over 300 datasets are available from NOAA, NASA, several universities and other organizations.
    • The data sets are comprised of six main categories: Atmosphere, Ocean, Land, Astronomy, Models and Simulations, and Extras
    • Course ideas: Astronomy, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Biology, Geography, Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography
    • A full list of the Science on a Sphere data available.
    • See the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website for more information