Bring your students to the Faulkner Planetarium for an unforgettable educational experience. All shows include a question and answer session with a planetarium staff member. School programs are presented Tuesdays through Fridays, September through May. You can check program availability online, then contact our Events Coordinator Kindy Combe at (208) 732-6657 or (208) 736-3059 to make reservations. Please note: Reservations are not final until you receive written confirmation.
|School Program Admission||Price per person*||Minimum charge†|
|Planetarium double feature (any two planetarium programs)||$5.00||$125.00|
|Museum educational program only||$1.50||$15.00|
|Museum educational program add-on (combine with any other program)||$1.00||$10.00|
|Observatory daytime program||$1.50||$15.00|
|Observatory nighttime program (after regular museum hours)||$3.00||$75.00|
|Explore Herrett package (Three programs of your choice, one planetarium show maximum. Excludes after-hours observatory programs.)||$5.00||$125.00|
|*Please note: All chaperones and teachers are charged for program.|
|†Based on 25 attendees for planetarium and after-hours observatory programs; 10 attendees for museum, reptile, and daytime observatory programs. If you have fewer than the minimum number in your group, we will attempt to pair you with other groups to meet the minimum number. Otherwise, you are responsible for the minimum charge.|
|Suggested Grade Level|
|One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure|
|The Accidental Astronauts: An Earth Sun Moon Adventure|
|Flight of the Butterflies|
|Perfect Little Planet|
|Titans of the Ice Age|
|Earth, Moon & Sun(with a live sky tour*)|
|Secret Lives of Stars|
|Ecilipse: The Sun Revealed (with live eclipse viewing tips)|
|Moons: Worlds of Mystery(with a live sky tour*)|
|Solar System Odyssey|
|Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West|
|Asteroid: Mission Extreme(with a live sky tour*)|
|Dream to Fly|
|Astronaut(with a live sky tour*)|
|Violent Universe: Catastrophes of the Cosmos(with a live sky tour*)|
|Back to the Moon for Good|
|Cell! Cell! Cell! The Ex-CELL-ent Adventures of Raj and Sooki|
|Edge of Darkness (with a live Pluto update)|
|Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum(with a live sky tour* or Solar Quest)|
|Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope(with a live sky tour* or Solar Quest)|
|Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth's Climate Engine(with a live sky tour* or Solar Quest)|
|Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity(with a live sky tour*)|
|(*A live presentation of the constellations, planets, moon and other items of interest currently visible in the sky, with tips for finding your way around in the heavens on the next clear night, and stories about the stars.)|
|Suggested Grade Level|
|Let It Snow (available 12/1 - 12/18 only)|
|The Longest Night: A Winter's Tale (available 11/3 - 2/26 only)|
|The Star of Bethlehem (available 12/1 - 12/18 only)|
|Programs run from 45 to 60 minutes including seating, introduction, question and answer, and live sky show segment (where indicated).|
Join Sesame Street’s Big Bird, Elmo, and Elmo’s friend from faraway China, Hu Hu Zhu, as they learn about the sky in this fun adventure, best suited for children ages 4-6. The three friends learn about sunsets and finding starry patterns like the Big Dipper in the night sky.
Using their imaginations, Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu even travel to the moon, where they discover they can jump higher and kick a soccer ball farther, but can't fly a kite, and must wear space helmets to breathe. Returning to Earth, they realize they can see the same stars from their homes in the United States and China.
Students are encouraged to use their imaginations and actively participate in this program.
Follow the adventures of Cy, Annie and Armstrong (Cy’s dog), as they embark upon an unexpected journey into space! Armstrong gets the kids into a little trouble with his antics on a field trip to the science center. From there the adventure only grows as the three are whisked into space by a wise-cracking spaceship named Halley. It's off to the moon for a little exploring, followed by a visit to the sun. What wonders will they discover? Will they make it back to Earth? This wonderful adventure show is based on a story by award-winning children's author Kristyn Crow.
The iconic monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature. Weighing less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent, with pinpoint navigational accuracy, to a secluded place it has never been. Follow the monarchs' perilous and extraordinary journey and join hundreds of millions of real butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico. For the first time ever, look inside a chrysalis, thanks to advanced MRI and micro CT scans. Be captivated by the true and compelling story of an intrepid scientist's 40-year search to find their secret hideaway, with the help of citizen scientists across North America.
Teachers: There is a very extensive education guide available for this film, including vocabulary and classroom activities for all grade levels. You can request a copy of the guide, or just the classroom activities, when you schedule your program and we will e-mail you the guide in Word or PDF format, or the classroom activities in Word format.
Discover our solar system through a new set of eyes—those of a family from another star system, seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the icy surface of dwarf planet Pluto, dive over Miranda's towering ice cliffs, sail through the rings of Saturn, brave Jupiter's raging lightning storms, and kick up some red dust on Mars. With the best vacation spots in the solar system to choose from, where would your students visit?
In the age of the Pleistocene large mammals trod the very ground where we now live. Woolly mammoths, saber tooth tigers, dire wolves, giant sloths, and some creatures still around today, including man, made their existence in Idaho during the last ice age. In some cases, these titans left evidence of their existence around the world for us to find in the form of their bones and even frozen carcasses. Travel back to a time when much of the world was encased in ice and learn about the mega-fauna that ruled the land 5,000 years before the dawn of civilization.
Coyote has a razor-sharp wit and thinks he knows a lot about the sky, but as it turns out, he’s a little confused. Coyote, adapted from American Indian oral tradition, gets set straight with his many misconceptions about lunar phases, eclipses and other puzzles of the sky. What is the nature of the sun and moon? How do their movements and interactions affect their appearance in the sky? This is a great program to reinforce students' understanding of the sun, moon, and stars, and dispel common misconceptions in an entertaining and engaging way.
Name a famous star. Go ahead, name a famous star and you’re likely to spout the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie or Taylor Swift; but can you name a real star, a star in the sky? We clamor for news on the lives of Hollywood stars, but the real stars live their so-called lives out over millions to billions of years in anonymity. However, these stars have stories to tell and they are not all created equal. Some blaze bright in all of their massive glory over relatively short lives, others are tiny, almost insignificant, but outlive their massive counterparts by billions of years.  l;What is a star and just what determines how long a star will live, what kind of life it will live and how it will die? Find out in this exposé that will reveal the amazing variety of stars and peer into their secret lives.
The program concludes with a live exposé of some stars visible in Idaho skies, and others only further south, using the theater's Digistar 5 technology.
The total solar eclipse of August 21st, 2017 will be the not-to-be-missed astronomy event of the year. This brand-new production, from Nashville's Sudekum Planetarium, explores the history of eclipses and the special alignment of celestial bodies that makes them possible, as well as the dos and don'ts of safely enjoying one of nature's greatest spectacles.
After the recorded show, a live show presenter will offer a mini program about the eclipse in Idaho, including tips on where to go for the best views.
Download free instructions for making a pinhole sun projector, including student exercises and answer key (Microsoft Word document).
Our solar system is replete with a star and eight planets that garner most of our attention. But many times we forget altogether about some of the more interesting worlds of our solar system, the many moons that by far outnumber the planets as they orbit around their larger celestial parents. The moons of the solar system are as varied and diverse from one another as the planets. Our own Moon has many stabilizing effects on our planet and without it life may possibly have never developed here. This program explores the diversity of exotic moons found in the solar system and takes a look at these specific moons: Ganymede, Io, Europa, Mimas, Enceladus, Titan, Triton, Phobos, Deimos, Charon as well as our own Moon.
Sometime in the future…
A time has come when humans have depleted our home planet's resources. Multi-billionaire business tycoon Warren Trout, seeking to secure new frontiers for Trout Enterprises, recruits former Space Fleet Command pilot Jack Larsen for a mission to find a suitable extraterrestrial location for human colonization. Now Jack finds himself searching the solar system, but he isn’t alone. It seems that Trout’s precocious daughter, Ashley, has stowed away onboard his spaceship. Together they embark upon a wild ride through the solar system trying to answer these questions: How are the worlds of the solar system alike? How are they different? What features must a world possess for humans to live there?
Will Larson and Ashley find a suitable location? Will they even survive this mission? Find out in this action-packed adventure.
This program is followed by a live interactive exploration of what humans need to survive away from Earth. After a review of the seven requirements for human survival, your students vote on which destinations (not visited by Jack and Ashley) to explore and assess as possible future human colony sites.
Meticulously researched, this National Geographic film uses actors to recreate the Corps of Discovery Expedition’s mission to open up the west soon after the Louisiana Purchase. Watch in awe as the movie transports you back in time to observe Meriwether Lewis and William Clark leading the expedition across the west in an effort to learn more about the land, map the new territory, find an all water passage to the Pacific Ocean and establish an American presence in this territory before Britain or other European powers tried to claim it. Special emphasis is placed upon the expedition’s interaction with native peoples they encountered along the way; including the addition of Sacagawea to the expedition. If the study of the Lewis and Clark expedition is part of your classroom curriculum, you will not want to miss out on this movie. It will truly bring to life the Corps of Discovery for your students.
Asteroids: Menacing threats to Earth, but also full of promise for mankind’s first steps out into our solar system to explore beyond the Moon. An epic journey, 66 million years in the making, to discover how asteroids just might be the key to living on other worlds. Learn what asteroids are, the threat that they can pose to the inhabitants of Earth, how we might be able to divert them from impacting our home planet, the resources that they might provide to future astronauts and how we might use them as stepping stones to other worlds. This National Geographic fulldome film is narrated by Sigourney Weaver and puts the audience in the position of being an astronaut on a future mission to an asteroid.
Have you ever had a dream that you were flying? What does it take to break the bonds of Earth and soar like a bird? Explore humankind’s quest for flight including the ancient myths of Aladdin on his flying carpet, the vimanas—mechanical winged flying machines—of ancient Sanskrit writings, the kites of ancient China, Leonardo Da Vinci's scientific study of wings and drawings of flying machines, and the pioneers of actual flight: France’s Montgolfier brothers, England’s George Cayley, Germany’s Otto Lilienthal and the United States' Wright brothers. Learn how history also shaped the early days of powered aviation with the advent of World Wars. This poetic and visually stunning show takes you on a journey from the time when humans could only dream of flying to our modern day world where all one needs to fly is a ticket. Have you ever dreamed of flying?
Mankind’s greatest endeavor is the exploration of space. What does it take to become an astronaut, and participate in the incredible journey? Your students will find out by experiencing a rocket launch from inside an astronaut's body. Explore both inner and outer space in this exciting show. Just what perils lurk beyond Earth's protective atmosphere and magnetic field? Find out as test astronaut "Chad" is subjected to conditions simulating the harshest environment of all—space. Does Chad have the right stuff? Would you?
Few things appear more peaceful than a quiet, starry sky. Year after year, the same stars return, apparently inhabiting a tranquil and unchanging universe. Yet terrific, unseen forces shape the cosmos. Galaxies collide; supernova explosions rip stars apart, blasting deadly gamma rays across space; black holes in the hearts of galaxies devour whole stars; asteroids and comets streak past, occasionally crashing into Earth and catastrophically disrupting its ecosystems. In reality, the universe is a violent and dangerous place. What dangers lurk out there, and how safe is our planet?
Over forty years ago mankind left the Moon. After walking its surface, conducting experiments, and collecting samples, astronauts would no longer return, despite the dreams of lunar science stations, manufacturing facilities and colonies. Now, a new generation of engineers and scientists are dreaming of a return to the Moon and competing to win Google’s $20 million first place Lunar XPRIZE. To win, they must land a robotic rover on the Moon and return images, video and data to the Earth.
This show traces the history of mankind’s lunar exploration—past, present, and future—and looks at what it takes to get to the moon. What challenges face the competitors? Who will prevail? Who will claim the XPRIZE? Meet the teams and see who might have the right stuff to achieve the competition’s goal by the end of 2015, and possibly pave the way for a permanent human presence on the Moon.
Join Raj and Sooki’s ex-CELL-ent adventure to explore the microscopic cells we're all made of. Students will see the wonderous human cell from within, witnessing how the various organelles and cell structures function. Genes and genetics are explained while examining egg fertilization, revealing how we acquire the individual DNA that makes us unique. Also detailed is the process of cell specialization to create the diverse biological systems within us, and how those systems interact to allow us to accomplish amazing feats.
This program is followed by a live, interactive exploration of the discovery of the cell, prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic cells, numbers and types of human cells, apoptosis (cell &ldquot;suicide&rdquot;), the number and role of bacteria in humans, and other incredible and amazing facts about the cells of the human body.
In the spaces between—and beyond—the Solar System's largest bodies (the sun and planets) lie mysterious worlds, long hidden from our sight. Now, a new generation of robotic explorers is reaching out to Pluto, the largest asteroid Ceres, and the bizarre "rubber duck" comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko to reveal the secrets they hold to the Solar System's birth. Hitch a ride across the interplanetary void with the Dawn, Rosetta, and New Horizons missions on their daring quest to push back the Edge of Darkness.
The presentation concludes with a live update of some of the latest images and discoveries from New Horizons' Pluto encounter.
The universe is awash in radio waves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, microwaves, x-rays, and gamma rays, pouring forth from various celestial objects. So, what do all of these forms of electromagnetic energy have in common, and what makes them different? Learn about the electromagnetic spectrum and common, everyday occurrences and uses of these forms of energy in this fast-paced adventure.
Please specify "live sky tour" or "Solar Quest" (but not both) when scheduling this program.
Just over 400 years ago, using Dutch lens maker Hans Lippershey's invention, Galileo started a revolution. Turning his crude "spy glass" telescope skyward, he recorded the wonders he saw and changed the world forever. Four centuries later the telescope has evolved into modern wonders of technology like the Hubble Space Telescope. Join two young astronomy enthusiasts and their astronomer friend as they explore the universe and learn why telescopes are such important tools of science.
Please specify "live sky tour" or "Solar Quest" (but not both) when scheduling this program.
What makes Earth so conducive to life? What drives our planet's weather and climate engine? What connects seemingly independent systems on Earth to create and influence the planet’s climate? Follow the energy trail from the sun to Earth and into the interwoven systems of atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere to discover the broader nature of global climate. Explore the winds, oceans, and forces of nature that shape Earth, and discover what ruined our sister planet, Venus.
Please specify "live sky tour" or "Solar Quest" (but not both) when scheduling this program.
Our star, the sun, is more than just a blindingly bright orb in the sky. The sun’s interior and surface are maelstroms of high energy interactions of radiation, convection, and magnetic fields. This program examines the nature of our star and its effects on our planet—which orbits within the sun’s extended atmosphere—through the phenomena we call space weather. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), is the latest NASA spacecraft to continually study the sun in efforts to better understand our star and predict harmful space weather. Learn what it’s like to be living with a star.
This short program is only presented as an accompaniment to "Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum," "Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope," or "Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth's Climate Engine.
There's a place from which nothing—not even light—escapes, where time and space literally come to their end. It's here, inside this fantastic riddle, that black holes exert their sway over the cosmos…and our imaginations. Zip through other-worldly wormholes, experience the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and witness the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole. Mathematical equations, cutting-edge science, and Einstein's theories fill in holes along the way, providing the most complete picture yet of this mysterious phenomenon. Can you feel the pull?
It’s a holiday treat for the eyes and ears, featuring festive fulldome video images choreographed to classic Christmas music. Enjoy seasonal tunes by Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Burl Ives, Brenda Lee, and more, with a finale by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This family-friendly audio-visual experience is a great seasonal show to reward your students for reaching classroom performance goals, or just for a fun field trip.
Winter is cold, dark time, a time of rest. This modern-day folk tale follows a family of storytellers who come to a village to tell tales on the longest of nights. They tell tales of old, of mirth and of laughter; tales of the moon and stars; tales of beasts, and heroes brave. The young girl and her grandparents rely on the generosity of others, but alas, these villagers have little to share. Setting out on a simple quest, the young girl comes across a mysterious, but knowledgable, old woman. Why must winter be so cold and dark? “Only if the fire is rekindled will the springtime come again” the old woman tells her. The program explores the concept that winter is a time for Earth to rest, in preparation for the new growth of spring.
The age-old mystery of the Star of Bethlehem is explored in this Christmas planetarium program. Travel back in time to the Middle East and delve into the writings of the time, including scripture from the Bible, to search for clues to add to our modern scientific knowledge of the nature of the heavens above to see if there might be some natural explanation the star's appearance. Can the star be understood scientifically, or is its explanation only to be found in realm of the miraculous?
Note: This program has strong religious content.