6th Grade Classes

2017-2018 Planetarium Scheduling

6th Grade

This year we would like to welcome all of the 6th grade classes to the Planetarium.  There are so many concepts that students can learn under the dome!  We made a few changes to make this possible.  With our new policies, the early bird catches the worm!  It is now on a first come first serve basis.  Teachers can choose and schedule the dates and times to bring their students, as long as those time slots are open.  So please, schedule your visit early in the year.  The window for 6th grade teachers to schedule their visit begins on September 18th. 


The way that scheduling works is the following:

  • Contact the Planetarium Secretary, Guadalupe Rico with the information needed to schedule (see below).
  • She will schedule the buses needed to transport you and your students to the Planetarium (the planetarium pays for this transportation).
  • Choose the mini-lessons you wish to cover at the Planetarium (see attached) and communicate this to the Planetarium Facilitator, Leslie Barnhill.
  • Follow the Planetariums rules and guidelines (mostly follow teacher-common-sense) while preparing for your visit and while at the Planetarium
  • Enjoy the show!


Information to consider when planning the trip:

  1. There are two shows scheduled per day
    1. Tentatively around 9:15am and around 12:30pm.  These times are only bound by transportation.  If you want/need to start at different times, we can make that happen (as long as it is within transportation’s guidelines). 
    2. If you wish to have three shows in one day, we would be happy to accommodate you as long as there are separate teachers scheduled to chaperone for each show and be present on each bus.
    3. Please discuss with students, proper behavior in dome and restrooms
      • No gum, food, candy
      • No sharp objects (had to redo many ‘stabs’ in seats)
      • If a student needs to use the restroom, please accompany that student.
  2. Transportation
    1. Each bus must have at least one teacher on it.
    2. The bus capacity is 47 Middle School students, 60 Elementary School students plus teachers.
  3. The length of the show is between approximately 80 minutes including drive time.  The can be changed to suit your needs and mini lesson choices.
  4. Please set up your own class coverage
    1. Please help out your fellow short- and long-term substitute teachers.  They may need assistance.
  5. Once scheduled, if you change ANYTHING (classes, class counts, etc.), please notify us immediately so we can update transportation
  6. While at the Planetarium
    1. Teachers, please manage your classes behavior.
      • Ooh/ahs and excitement is welcomed by all!  However, if a class cannot calm down in the appropriate amount of time, please assist with classroom management.



Information needed to schedule a show/visit:

  • Date(s) of show
  • How many students (for best viewing 60 per show, but the dome seats 72 (rule of thumb: 2 classes per show)
  • Any students with special needs (for transportation)
  • Show start times
  • Length of show (include drive time)
  • Concepts to be covered (can be given to Leslie Barnhill up to one week prior to visit)


*Please contact Guadalupe Rico at x7756 or for with the above information for scheduling


6th Grade Concepts

All shows at the Planetarium are flexible and can be custom made to suit individual teacher’s needs.  We have a lecture hall that can be utilized if multiple classes want to visit and team teach with lessons taught by teachers in the lecture hall while I am teaching in the dome. 

Each bulleted item is based on the TEKS and can last from 5-15 minutes each.   Please try to choose 3-4 mini lessons and notify me, Leslie Barnhill, with your choices as soon as possible.  If you have no preference, I will gladly choose for you.

 6th grade mini lesson options: 

  • Layers of the Earth
  • Plate Tectonics (identification, movements of, and events caused by movements)
  • All Solar System components (properties, locations, and movements)
  • Galilean moons
  • Meteors, asteroids, and comets
  • Space Exploration: Past, Present and
  • Fulldome movie presentation (each about 20 minutes long):
    • The Astronaut
    • Two Small Pieces of Glass


  • Exit Ticket of some sort
  • Constellation and objects in current night sky
  • Q & A (something specific or general student questions of the day)
  • Astro Otter fulldome videoclips (dated/two-dimensional animation, but excellently tied to the concepts)       
    • From the Big Bang to the Solar System
    • Life Cycle of the Stars
    • Galaxies
    • Light Years
    • Organization of the Universe
    • Distances in Space
    • Phases of the Moon
    • Eclipses
    • Seasons
    • Tides
    • Motion of the Universe



*Contact Leslie Barnhill at x7752 or for concepts chosen