Home » Teachers » Planetarium Programs



In the Hastings Museum Planetarium you’ll experience a sunset – and sunrise – with a terrific show in between!

The Hastings Museum prides itself in being up to date on the current teaching policies, Nebraska state standards, and including hands on learning activities that are difficult to do in a classroom setting in all of our school programs.

Our planetarium gives students an opportunity to travel through the solar system, see the stars being born, new planets being discovered, and learn about the space technology you have talks about in your classroom first hand. Plus, there is no extra charge to see a planetarium show when you arevisiting the museum!

Note that the Planetarium’s seating capacity is 47 people, so if you have a larger group two shows will be necessary.

For details and reservations, contact Visitor Services at at 402-461-4629, 800-508-4629 or visitorservices@hastingsmuseum.org.

Sky Shows

The Sky Tonight – Grades K-12 (30-45 minutes)
This is a live, interactive tour of the current evening sky. Bright stars, constellations, planets, and any unusual sights are highlighted during this program. Questions from the audience are encouraged after the show. This show is adapted for different grades and levels of interest.

First Stars – Grade Pre-K (about 15 minutes)
A shortened version of The Sky Tonight for very young sky watchers introduces the planetarium and its starry sky. This show begins with a sunset and ends with sunrise.

Full Dome Shows

Full dome shows are pre-recorded and include a video image covering nearly the entire dome. A short Sky Tonight Full Dome may be added at the close of the full dome show if desired.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure – Grades Pre K-3 (25 minutes)
Discover the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun, and the Moon with your Sesame Street friends.

The Little Star That Could – Grades K-3 (37 minutes)
The Little Star discovers how stars are born, die, and why stars are different colors. Near the end of his search, the Little Star finds out about planets.

Rusty Rocket’s Last Blast – Grades 1-5 (36 minutes)

Audiences will get an introductory tour of the solar system, focusing on the wide variety of planetary environments and immense distances between them.

Earth, Moon & Sun – Grades 2-5 (27 minutes)
Learn about the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, a fun character adapted from Native American oral traditions.

Flight Adventures – Grades 3-8 (30 minutes)

Discover the science and history of flight through the eyes of a young girl and her grandfather as they explore how birds, kites, planes, and models fly.

Two Small Pieces of Glass – Grades 3-12 (35 minutes)
At a modern star party, see how Galileo Galilei built a “spyglass” and first aimed it to the heavens over 400 years ago.

Back to the Moon for Good – Grades 4-12 (25 minutes)
Immerse yourself in a race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings. See how a competition among teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration. Learn about the Moon’s resources and discover what humanity’s future on the Moon might hold.

Extrasolar Planets: Discovering New Worlds – Grades 4-12 (31 Minutes)
Earth revolves around a star that is no different in size than any other. Astronomers today are using specialized equipment to observe stars in our galaxy to search for a star that might have planets orbiting it. This discovery would prove once and for all that we are not alone.

Nine Planets and Counting – Grades 4-12 (40 minutes)
Discover planets and other celestial objects with a journey through the Solar System. This show was produced in 2006 just before Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status.

Season of Light – Grades 4-12 (38 minutes)
We discuss the Winter Solstice and the origins of holiday traditions, concluding with a possible explanation for the famous Star of Bethlehem.

Black Holes – Grades 5-12 (24 or 39 minute versions available)
Some of the most mysterious objects known, black holes defy the imagination. Explore how black holes form, their strange properties, and what exactly would happen if you got too close!

Infinity Express – Grades 5-12 (30 minutes)
Learn the latest breakthroughs in our quest to understand the universe with Hubble Space Telescope images.

Solar Quest – Grades 5-12 (12 minutes)
This short feature demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and that we are “Living with a Star”.

STARS – Grades 5-12 (27 minutes)
Experience the awesome beauty and destructive power of stars, and we find out why some stars last a billion years and others burn only for a short time.

IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System – Grades 7-12 (30 minutes)
This show follows the creation of NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) and gives audiences an in-depth look at the mission.

DARK – Grades 9-12 (20 minutes)
Explore the nature of Dark Matter, the missing 80% of the mass of the Universe. Finding answers will help us understand why the Universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved over billions of years.

Other Programs

Solar Observing – Grades 4-12 (approximately 20 minutes)
Participants safely view the Sun in three different ways: with the unaided eye, through a telescope equipped with a white-light solar filter, and a hydrogen-alpha filter. The outside temperature must be at least 30° F. This activity is recommended for groups of 20 people or less.

Seasonal Star Gazing
The Sky Tonight in Full Dome is a seasonal sky show discussing the highlights of the current season: Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer. It discusses the issue of light pollution and how it effects our view of the night sky. It is offered in two formats: the full show and mini show. The full show averages 14 minutes and the mini show averages 7 minutes.


Explore Hastings Museum
Follow Us: Facebook YouTube RSS