School Groups

Educational Visits to the MCC Planetarium

All K-12 groups are welcome to enjoy astronomy at the MCC Planetarium!

We have several planetarium shows that portray a range of topics in astronomy. See our show listings for information about each show.

In addition to planetarium videos, our all-digital planetarium system is also capable of displaying the planets, moons, and stars of the night sky in many ways. For example, the Planetarium can display:

  • phases and motion of the Moon
  • daily rotation of the starry sky
  • annual motion of the Sun
  • motions of the planets
  • constellations and bright stars
  • Milky Way, clusters of stars, bright nebulas
  • other galaxies throughout the Universe

We can customize planetarium visits to a lesson plan and give students a visual astronomy feast! We also have outside space in the Astronomy Plaza in front of the Planetarium for hands-on activities and demonstrations.

Some of the hands-on activities we can provide are:

  • Kitchen-Table Comets - make a "toy comet" from common household chemicals.
  • Star Wheels - make a star wheel to find constellations in the night sky.
  • Moon Wheels - make a Moon wheel to see how the Moon's appearance changes.
  • Impact Cratering - make impact craters in flour and compare them to photos.
  • Scale Solar System - see the real separations between the planets with a paper strip.

The Planetarium is directly accessible from the driveway off Dobson Road. A parking circle is available for buses or vans carrying students for drop-off  at and pick-up from the Planetarium. Contact Dr. Kevin Healy to arrange a visit: kevin.healy@mesacc.edu or 480-461-7027.