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PLANETS Curricula and Programs

The PLANETS team is excited to offer ten programs, designed primarily for children in grades K–12. These programs are created to inspire curiosity for astronomy and other sciences in an informal learning environment. PLANETS curricula reflect End-of-Grade, No Child Left Behind and Annual Yearly Progress goals and align with North Carolina Essential Standards.

For select programs, teachers may download curriculum packets with grade-aligned, interdisciplinary activities for use in the classroom. These packets include activities that link each show to a specific grade's North Carolina Essential Standards. The lessons may be used before or after a visit to enhance the planetarium experience and introduce/reinforce concepts learned.

For more information about requesting a PLANETS program, please see the PLANETS Plan A Visit page.

Animated Shows

Magic Tree House Space Mission (Grades K-3)

From the best-selling Magic Tree House series of children's books, characters Jack and Annie are your guides in this original Morehead production. Join them on a fun-filled journey as they discover the secrets of our Sun and Moon, planets, space travel and more. Recommended for Grades K-2.

Earth, Moon and Sun (Grades 1-4)

This show examines the Earth-Moon-Sun system with the help of Coyote, a character adapted from Native American oral traditions. Topics include why the Sun rises and sets; how Earth's rotation and revolution relate to day and night; and the Moon's orbit, phases, eclipses and surface features. Recommended for Grade 4.
Download your free PLANETS curriculum packet with teacher's guide and classroom activities for "Earth, Moon and Sun."

Solar System Odyssey (Grades 3 and 6)

In this new Morehead-produced adventure set in the future, a tycoon sends our hero on a mission to discover a new home for humans. This show transports audiences on a wild ride through our cosmic neighborhood, including the icy rings of Saturn, Jupiter's volcano-ridden moon Io and the sub-zero methane lakes of Titan. Recommended for Grades 3 and 6.
Download your free PLANETS curriculum packet with teacher's guide and classroom activities for "Solar System Odyssey."

Astronaut (Grades 4-5)

What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? How does the human body respond to the environment of space? What does it take to become an astronaut? Actor Ewan McGregor narrates this exciting fulldome digital presentation. Recommended for Grade 5.

Wildest Weather in the Solar System (Grades 4-7)

This National Geographic-produced show brings you up close with the most beautiful, powerful and mysterious weather phenomena on our planetary neighbors. Fly through the dense atmosphere of Venus, methane storms on Titan and centuries-old anti-cyclones on Jupiter. What's out there? Recommended for Grades 5 and 7.

Galileo: The Power of the Telescope (Grade 6)

Four centuries ago, Galileo Galilei sparked a revolution with his observations of the night sky and his experiments in gravity and motion. How do scientist use advanced scientific methods and telescopes to explore great distances in space and time, continuing Galileo's work today?

Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown (Grades 7, 9-12)

Witness what would happen if you traveled too close to a black hole and watch as it warps the very fabric of time and space! No longer the stuff of science fiction, black holes are mysterious, invisible objects that confound our common-sense understanding of the universe. Narrated by Geoffrey Rush. Recommended for Grade 7 and for high school physical science classes.

Live Presentations

Moving All Around (Grades K-2)

This faciliated show sharpens observational skills while teaching children about Earth and how to find objects in the night sky. The live format encourages questions and allows the PLANETS educator to pace the show to the audience's needs.
Download your free PLANETS curriculum packet with teacher's guide and classroom activities for "Moving All Around."

Surveying the Solar System (Grades 3-5)

The PLANETS educator leads an exciting ride through our Solar System in this live show. Stops on this journey include Earth and several of its planetary neighbors, with questions from students addressed along the way.

Customized Live Presentation (middle school and high school)

PLANETS offers facilitated presentations that can include a "space tour" of planets, stars and deep-space objects. Please call 919-843-7716 to contact the PLANETS educator and discuss customized presentation options.