© Ryan Wick


Have you ever wondered if that shiny star in the sky is actually a planet? Join a lively conversation with an astronomy educator from the Morrison Planetarium and let your class discover what's so special about the planets we observe in the winter night sky.

Classrooms everywhere are invited to join this FREE webchat!

Dates: Tuesday, December 18, 2018
This program will be broadcasted twice.
Times: 9:10am PT (12:10pm ET) or 10:10am PT (1:10pm ET)
Duration: 45 minutes
Price: Free!
Target Audience: 3rd Grade - 8th Grade
Interactivity Options: Teacher using a Chat Box

What to expect during this Special Live Event
Constellations in the night sky

This 45-minute program will give 3rd- 8th graders a glimpse at what can be observed in the night sky. While navigating the night sky for December 18, 2018, an Academy astronomy educator will point out constellations, asterisms, and even planets visible that night. Additionally, your students will briefly explore each planet, the spacecraft that have been sent to them, and what we have learned in the past 200 years studying our solar system's planets.

This program is designed to be interactive in nature! Students will have the opportunity to ask an Academy astronomy educator their curiosities of the night sky, planets and much more.

Program Materials

During the program we will be kinesthetically demonstrating why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. To do this we ask that each student has the following materials:

  • a printout of Earth Rotation Map

  • a piece of tape (student will tape map onto their chest)

Pre-Program Activity

Throughout the program we will be referencing different type of objects found in our Solar System and beyond. To help your student(s) become familiar with these objects use Sorting the Solar System lesson.

Technology required

Students get to see and hear the Academy expert, and teachers will enter comments and questions into a text-based chat window.

To participate you must have the following technology available:

  • Desktop, laptop computer, or tablet.
  • Strong internet connection; a wired connection is preferable.
  • An updated version of the free application Zoom installed on your computer or tablet.
  • If you have a large class we also recommend having a projector and speakers.

Groups are limited to no more than 75 students and no more than 3 classes for a single connection.

Check out what teachers said about last year's program!

"Learning about the solar system is part of the science standards for 5th grade. This program helped me to address 5th grade content in an interesting and engaging way. The scientist-presenter had demeanor that was great for talking to this particular grade level. We have never participated in a Distance Learning program before, so we were not sure what to expect. We would definitely try it again!"

-5th Grade, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary, San Francisco CA

"After the program, my students shared how much they enjoyed the presentation. Many of them mentioned they would have liked more Q&A time with Bing. Some students mentioned that some of the information and explanations could have been put into more "kid" or "student language." They also really liked that they could see other students participating at the same time."

-5th Grade,  Larchmont Charter School, Los Angeles CA

Can't join us on December 18, 2018? Check out other Special Live Events or our one-on-one Impacts in the Solar System program .

Grades: 3rd Grade - 8th Grade
Program Duration: 45 minutes
Price: Free
Time Slots: 9:10 am, 10:10 am