Group Scheduling

Plan a visit for 10 or more guests to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Schedule Planetarium shows, guided programs, and more using the form below.

 

Select whether you are a student group or an adult/senior group below to get started.

Everything you need to know to build your ideal Museum field trip!

A field trip to the Grand Rapids Public Museum is a great way to learn about history, science, and culture! Learners can explore 3 floors of engaging exhibits at their own pace with a self-guided format. Discounted pricing and engaging add-on experiences, such as curriculum-aligned Guided Education Programs and planetarium presentations, are available only through Group Reservations. Group Reservations are available for a minimum group size of 10 students.

Table of Contents

Pricing

  • Kent County Schools Student General Admission
    FREE with reservation
  • Student General Admission
    $5 per person
  • Kent County Adult Chaperone General Admission
    $8 per person
  • Adult Chaperone General Admission
    $10 per person
  • Planetarium-only visit
    $6 per person

Add-on Experiences

  • Onsite Guided Education Programs
    $125 per program
  • Planetarium Presentation
    $5 per person
  • Private Room Rental
    Quote available upon request
  • Facilitated Virtual Programs
    $125 per program
  • Museum Staff Development of Custom Program
    $75 per hour

Payment and Refund Details

  • Payment for group sales is due 1 week prior to visit. Groups will be billed based on final group numbers at that time. All group members, including chaperones, must be on the group reservation and invoice. If the group numbers decrease within that 1 week period or on the day of the visit, the GRPM is not able to issue a refund.
  • Refunds:
    • Please note that a full refund will be given if the visit is cancelled 48 hours prior to the visit.
    • No refund will be given for cancellations within 48 hours of the visit.
    • Exceptions include emergency school closure or snow day.

For additional questions, contact Group Scheduling at groups@grpm.org or 616.929.1734.

Frequently Asked Questions for Field Trips

Before Your Visit
  • Group Reservations are available for a minimum group size of 10 individuals. To schedule a visit, the first step is to complete the Group Reservation Request Form.  
  • After you complete the Reservation Form, the Group Scheduling Office will be in touch to complete your reservation after reviewing the availability of your requested visit details.
  • Any questions about reservations or field trips may be directed to the Group Scheduling Office at (616) 929-1734 or email, groups@grpm.org
  • GRPM does not require a set number of chaperones. We understand each group has unique supervision needs and trust the group leader’s judgment. 
  • To support successful student visits, the GRPM pricing policy allows for 1 complimentary adult for every 5 students in the group.
  • Lunchrooms, guided programs, and the planetarium have capacity limitations that must be followed. 
  • Please indicate an estimated total number of adults on your reservation request. We use this information to ensure adequate space is reserved for your group. 

Student general admission is $5, Kent County students are free. 

  • For every 5 students, the GRPM provides 1 complimentary adult admission, including teachers, paraprofessionals, parent chaperones.
  • Each additional adult admission is $10, or $8 for Kent County residents. 
  • ALL members of a group, including extra chaperones, must be included on the invoice and finalized 1 week ahead of the visit date. 
  • Groups may request lunch space for a 20-minute block of time, free of charge.
  • Lunchroom capacity is limited to 35-40 people and is based on availability.

Unfortunately, the Spillman Carousel is temporarily unavailable as we undergo Phase 1 of the Museum expansion project. We are expecting this popular exhibit to reopen in Spring 2025.

Planning for a Successful Group Visit

  • Groups can explore 3 floors of engaging exhibits at their own pace with a self-guided format. Exhibits display local and global stories connected to science, history and culture. Click here to learn about current and future exhibits. Many engaging add-on experiences, such as Guided Education Programs and planetarium presentations, are available to enhance your visit.
  • A group lunch room is also available for groups, at no additional cost. Lunch space must be pre-scheduled through group scheduling and is based on availability.
  • We expect students and chaperones to be curious, to have fun, and to be respectful of the Museum and the experiences of other visiting guests. 
  • The Group Visit Code of Conduct has a few additional guidelines to ensure the safety of all guests and Museum property.
  • Chaperones and teachers are responsible for supervising children at all times while at the GRPM and ensuring they adhere to this Visitor Code of Conduct.
  •  
  • The GRPM respects, values, and honors the unique attributes, characteristics, and perspectives that make each person who they are. We strive to prioritize both physical and cognitive accessibility in all programming, designing experiences that are inclusive to the broadest range of people in the communities we serve. The GRPM is committed to making our Collections, buildings, programs, and events accessible to all audiences.
  • Read about specific accommodations you can expect onsite at grpm.org/accessibility.

Payment Information

Payment is due 7 calendar days before your visit. Payments can be made through the embedded “pay here now” link on the electronic invoice, or by calling the Museum at (616) 929-1734.

  • Final group numbers are due 7 calendar days before your visit. Please call or email the Group Scheduling Office at (616) 929-1734 or email groups@grpm.org to adjust your group numbers. 
  • A new invoice and itinerary will be issued to reflect any changes to your reservation.

Membership benefits cannot be applied to group reservations. Group reservations are special events with exclusive programs and amenities created just for the group. Tickets for these activities are available only through the group leader and at the group rate.

Cancelling Your Visit

  • Please call the Group Scheduling Office at (616) 929-1734 or email groups@grpm.org  to cancel your reservation. 
  • Groups may cancel up to 48 hours in advance for a full refund. 
  • No refund will be given for cancellations within 48 hours of the visit. Exceptions may include emergencies, school closures, and inclement weather.

SNOW DAYS: Please call the Group Scheduling Office at (616) 929-1734 or email groups@grpm.org if your school is canceled. 

On the Day of Your Visit

What to Bring

You do not need to print tickets. Our staff has electronic access to your reservation. 

  • We recommend distributing copies of your group’s itinerary to all chaperones, in addition to distributing the Code of Conduct to them ahead of the visit. 
  • Having copies of the GRPM Building-Wide Scavenger Hunt is a great strategy for keeping learners engaged throughout the field trip. 

Yes, backpacks and diaper bags are allowed. 

  • Found items are turned in to the security office. If you have misplaced an item, please go to the customer service desk for assistance. 
  • Please note the Grand Rapids Public Museum is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Parking

  • Visitor parking is available in the Museum ramp, located across Front Street. The GRPM cannot guarantee parking for visitors, and it is based on availability. Additional metered parking is available street side (no validation).
  • Museum members and chaperones may bring their parking ramp tickets to the front desk for validation. 
  • Accessible parking is located under the Museum overhang and near the main doors. 
  • The GRPM does not have designated bus parking available. The City of Grand Rapids recommends parking on Mount Vernon next to the Gerald R. Ford Museum or in the Scribner lot located next to the highway overpass.

When You Arrive

  • When you arrive, please send the group leader to the front desk to check in. 
  • Students should remain on the bus and wait for a greeter to briefly speak and then they will be guided into the Museum. Students arriving by carpool will be directed to a staging area to wait for their group. 
  • Groups bringing lunches will find a designated cart for their coolers and boxes. Please leave all lunch items on the cart and Museum greeters will deliver them to your assigned room. Having lunch materials labeled with your group name is highly recommended. 
  • Once the students are in the museum you are free to break into your groups and explore.

Parents arriving ahead of the group will be directed to a staging area in order to keep the lobby and entrance clear for safety and traffic flow. Students will be brought to the staging area when they arrive, at which time you are free to explore the Museum.

  • The GRPM does not provide a tour guide or docent to lead groups throughout their visit. Please refer to your itinerary for any scheduled planetarium shows, programs, and lunch rooms. 
  • Building maps are available at the customer service desk or in various kiosks.

Changes to a Reservation

We do not issue refunds for unused tickets. Exceptions to this policy may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • The group leader may purchase additional tickets at the door at the general admission, non-discounted rate. 
  • Please note that some activities have capacity limitations. Guests added on the day of the visit will be accommodated as feasible and within allowable capacity.

Please call the Museum at (616) 929-1734 if your arrival time differs from your itinerary.

If You Are Eating Lunch

  • Groups bringing lunches will find a designated cart for their coolers and boxes. Please leave only lunch items on the cart and Museum staff will deliver them to your assigned room. Having lunch materials labeled with your group name is highly recommended. 
  • Coats may be left on the bus or hung in the coatroom. 
  • Purses, bags, and backpacks may be carried into the Museum.
  • Lunch is scheduled in 20-minute blocks. Large groups may be assigned multiple blocks to accommodate their guests. 
  • Lunchroom capacity is limited to approximately 32-40 people at once, depending on the room.
  • Please note that multiple groups use the rooms throughout the day for various purposes. The lunch space will only be available to your group during the time frame scheduled on your itinerary.

No, the lunchroom space is only available to your group during the time frame scheduled on your itinerary. Multiple external groups and Museum staff members may use the rooms throughout the day for various purposes.

Groups are responsible for clearing out any of their reusable lunch bags or coolers from the lunch room. These can be returned to the lobby to await your group’s departure from the Museum.

If You Are Seeing a Planetarium Show

  • Make sure you arrive on time or early for your show. It will start at the scheduled time and may not be able to accommodate delays. 
  • The following items are not permitted in the planetarium: food, drink, cell phones, cameras, or other light-up devices.
  • The planetarium doors are locked once the show starts. If a visitor needs to use the restroom and requires re-entry to their planetarium show, they must ask a staff member for assistance.

Admission and planetarium tickets for a group must be reserved for all group members in advance. However, the GRPM may make case-by-case exceptions and add additional tickets for last-minute additions to the group, as planetarium capacity allows. 

If You Have Reserved a Guided Education Program

  • Guided Education Programs are scheduled in classrooms and exhibit spaces. Please refer to your itinerary for the location of your program and meet your educator there!
  • Make sure you arrive on time or early; we may not be able to accommodate delays.

Guided Education Programs are limited to a maximum of 32 students as well as a maximum of 8 adult chaperones. This policy is in place to accommodate safety, building capacity, and ensure a successful learning environment. Additional adults will be invited to explore the museum or wait in the cafe until the program ends.

Teacher Resource Folder

We’ve compiled resources for you and your students before, during, and after your trip to the Museum. From Discovery Kits that bring artifacts right into your classroom to scavenger hunts and reflection activities, these resources will help you make the most out of your experience. 

Guided Education Programs

The education department has reimagined what it means to learn in a museum setting. Students are led through engaging programs and activities that allow them to actively construct their own understandings. GRPM educational programs are centered on a constructivist, student-centered learning philosophy that aims to highlight unique historical artifacts and scientific specimens to provide concrete connections to classroom topics at local, national and global levels. This approach utilizes inquiry-based instructional strategies, allowing students to grapple with the content and generate understandings individually and as a class–a process that is accessible and inclusive of the varying perspectives and cultural differences learners bring into the Museum.

Museum Programming Strands:

  • Explore – These guided explorations will help students hone their skills to become museum learners for life.
  • Investigate – Hands-on primary source investigations will help students unveil the stories held in the Museum’s artifact and specimen collections.
  • STEAM – Students will learn about a variety of science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math concepts, utilizing innovative Museum technology and inquiry-based experiments.
  • Discover – This series of diverse, place-based programs emphasize where local examples of history, culture, and science can be found in the Museum and in the city of Grand Rapids.
  • Connect – Storytelling, empathizing, perspective-taking and augmented reality will push students to engage at a deep level with GRPM exhibits.

Explore: Exhibits will help learners understand how to use the core exhibits as tools for exploration, investigation and discovery. Students will practice two thinking moves which will allow them to get the most out of experiencing museum exhibits. First, they will make observations of displayed objects and images and explicitly record the emotions, memories, and questions that these objects bring up. Next, they will dig deep into an exhibit section to ask themselves, “What is the Big Idea of this exhibit?” and “What story is this exhibit telling me?” Learners will leave Explore programs with the tools and experience to enjoy learning throughout the GRPM and beyond.

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades K-12

Objectives:

  • Students will recognize and record various features of the exhibits that evoke emotions, connections, and questions.
  • Students will make detailed observations and will be able to verbalize their understanding of the exhibit’s core message, or big idea.
  • Students will reflect on what a museum does and why museums are important spaces.

Curriculum Connections:

  • ELA Common Core Standards for Reading
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking questions, Analyzing and Interpreting data, Constructing Explanations, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating information.

This peek behind the curtain gives a glimpse at how the Museum manages, stores, catalogs and preserves the Collections at the Community Archives and Research Center. This facility houses approximately 240,000 artifacts and specimens and is not open to the general public. There are objects and documents from diverse time periods and subject areas; hidden gems in every aisle are sure to inspire curiosity in learners of all ages. 

*The Museum’s Collections are stored in a separate location at the Community Archives and Research, 223 Washington Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Walking, bussing or carpooling is best since the parking accommodations are limited. 

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of staff and space. 

Capacity: To prioritize the safety of the Collections, there is a 20-student maximum per tour. The GRPM is able to facilitate up to 2 tours concurrently. 

Recommended age level: Grades 2+

Objectives:

  • Students will demonstrate understanding of the GRPM’s COLLECTIONS and their role in our community.
  • Students will identify PRIMARY SOURCES and use them to better understand our world.
  • Students will learn about PRESERVATION and how the GRPM protects collection artifacts and specimens.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H2 Living and Working Together in Communities; P1 Reading and Communication; P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

During the Investigate programs, students will learn how to handle and study primary sources and will be pushed to consider how individual objects or groups of objects can tell meaningful stories about our place. Beautiful artifacts illustrate Anishinabe artwork, clothing, foodways and other technologies. Students will be able to describe what these cultural objects can tell us about the lifestyle and values of the individuals who used them.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 3-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level.

Click Here for Teacher Resource Guide

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to analyze primary sources (artifacts, specimens, and photographs) and make inferences about the story or significance of the sources.
  • Students will be able to describe what these cultural objects can tell us about the lifestyle and values of the Native Americans who used them. .

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations; Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • ELA Common Core Standards by Domain: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, G2 Places and Regions, G4 Human Systems, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

During the Investigate programs, students will learn how to handle and study primary sources and will be pushed to consider how individual objects or groups of objects can tell meaningful stories about our place. Students will analyze authentic artifacts from the Civil War, including letters, equipment used by soldiers, and political propaganda. These items give a first-hand account of what daily life was like for a soldier, and they emphasize key concepts of the war.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Recommended age level: Grades 7+; some background knowledge of the Civil War is recommended.

Click Here for Teacher Resource Guide

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to analyze primary sources (artifacts and photographs) and make inferences about the story or significance of the sources.
  • Students will be able to explain the broad causes and players in the Civil War, including Michigan’s role.
  • Students will be able to describe what life was like for a Civil War soldier.

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations; Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • ELA Common Core Standards by Domain: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, H4 The History of the United States, U5 Civil War and Reconstruction, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

During the Investigate programs, students will learn how to handle and study primary sources and will be pushed to consider how individual objects or groups of objects can tell meaningful stories about our place. Artifacts related to early industries, household chores and other aspects of daily life will transport participants to the early days in the city of Grand Rapids. Students will discover hidden stories about each item and gain an understanding of how integral the Grand River was to the city’s development.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 3-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level.

Click Here for Teacher Resource Guide

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to analyze primary sources (artifacts and photographs) and make inferences about the story or significance of the sources.
  • Students will be able to describe how the Grand River impacted the lives of people who lived in Grand Rapids between 1850 and 1910.

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations; Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • ELA Common Core Standards by Domain: Research to Build and Present Knowledge; Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H3 The HIstory of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, G5 Environment and Society, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

Students will examine a variety of specimens to learn about how plants and animals adapt to their environment in order to survive. Students will explore aspects of camouflage, how vision influences the predator/prey relationship, seed dispersal for plant reproduction, mimicry for symbiosis and connections between tooth structure and diet.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended Age Level: Grades 3-8

Objectives:

      • Students will be able to analyze primary sources (specimen) and make inferences about them based on detailed observations.
      • Students will be able to define an adaptation.
      • Students will be able to provide examples of adaptations specific animals and plants use to survive in their habitats

Curriculum Connections

      • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes; Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations; Engaging in Argument from Evidence
      • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

During this design program, students become real engineers and are challenged to create an invention using design thinking strategies. Using littleBits electronic building blocks and other fun materials to construct their inventions, students take ownership of their own creations while learning how to prototype, iterate, fail, and verbalize their ideas while working in teams. Students will be prompted to reflect on what it means to be an inventor and the importance of collaboration and revision when designing.

Note: This program uses materials that make loud sounds and have flashing lights. It may not be suitable for learners with sensory processing needs or other sensitivities to loud sounds and lights. 

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 3-12

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to work in teams to brainstorm, plan and prototype in response to a design challenge
  • Students will be able to identify and explain the value of each phase of the Design Thinking Cycle
  • Students will able to assess their own personal invention process and reflect on what it means to be an inventor

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ETS1-1 and ETS1-2: Engineering Design 

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Defining Problems, Developing and Using Models, Designing Solutions

Learners will explore how land use and land features impact watersheds by rotating through interactive stations, interfacing with a floodplain simulator, photographs and historical maps. Students will receive information on how complex decisions are made in communities and how important it is to collaborate with diverse groups, who often have different biological, social and economic priorities. Tying it all together, learners will be assigned to a stakeholder group and will hear about a real restoration project for the Grand River in Grand Rapids. The culminating activity asks them to give feedback on the restoration design plans from the perspective of their stakeholder group and present this in a simulated community forum. 

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 5-12

Objectives: 

  • Students will be able to describe examples of land use and the effect of land-use and land features on watersheds.
  • Students will be able to understand the complex and collaborative role of government, industry, organizations, and citizens in making watershed decisions.
  • Students will give feedback on the project proposal and suggest an addition or revision that would make the project better for their stakeholder group

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Performance Expectations: LS2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; ESS3. Earth and Human Activity; ETS1. Engineering Design
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
  • ELA Common Core Standards by Domain: Comprehension and Collaboration, Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region; G2 Places and Regions; G3 Physical Systems; G5 Environment and Society; C6 Citizenship in Action; E1 The Market Economy; P1 Reading and Communication; P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

Students will work through stations to complete chemical and physical tests on water samples from the Grand River. This laboratory-based program will allow students to collect and analyze data, resulting in a graphical display of their dataset to share with the class. Ultimately, they will use their water quality results to decide whether or not the Grand River watershed could support various aquatic species. 

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 4-8

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain how chemical and physical indicators provide information about water quality.
  • Students will be able to use water quality data to predict whether or not the river could support various aquatic organisms.
  • Students will be able to safely perform scientific laboratory procedures such as using a pipette, filling test tubes to a specific volume, following chemical testing procedures, and interpreting results. 

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Performance Expectations: PS1. Matter and its Interactions; LS2. Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and Carrying out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating information
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: G2 Places and Regions, G3 Physical Systems, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis

In this program, students will explore their senses, how they work, and why they are important to survival. Fun, student-centered activities will allow learners to explore the workings of our brains and sensory organs. They will discover how our brains connect us to our environment and help us respond. Students will build upon their learning and consider connections/comparisons between our human senses and those of other organisms

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 1-5

Objectives: 

  • Students will conduct investigations and gather data to explore how our senses receive signals from the world around us.
  • Students will be able to explain the structures and processes the brain uses to interpret the information it gathers from the senses.
  • Students will provide reasons and examples of how senses aid in the survival of humans and other animals. 

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Performance Expectations: LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems; Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data 

Long before Europeans came to Michigan, Anishinabe people lived all around the Great Lakes region, including areas that now make up greater Grand Rapids. Learners will be able to describe technologies and practices the Anishinabek developed to maintain relationships with the natural world and rely on it for survival. Educators will share examples of how Anishinabe children learned important life skills from their elders, stories and through play.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades K-3

Objectives:

  • Students will recognize the original peoples of this area — the Anishinabek, the native people of Michigan, who have lived in this area for hundreds of years. They will learn the names of the Three Fires tribes of the region –the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi. 
  • Students will be able to give examples of traditional lifeways of the Anishinabek – including clothing, shelter, food and cultural traditions.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, G2 Places and Regions, G4 Human Systems, G5 Environment and Society, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis
  • ELA Common Core Standards for Reading
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations

The lives of Native Americans in the Eastern Woodland region and across the country changed significantly with the introduction of European settlers. Through analysis of artifacts, maps and exhibit stories, learners will examine the impacts of European colonization on native peoples. They will understand how many of the impacts of colonization were harmful for the tribes due to disease, loss of land and attacks on culture. They will also learn some of the other impacts of contact, such as the exchange of material culture and innovative ideas between Europeans and native people.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space. 

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 4-8

Objectives:

  • Students will describe traditional lifeways of Native American communities in this area before the arrival of Europeans to the United States. 
  • Participants will examine and summarize the impacts that the arrival of European explorers and colonizers had on Native American communities. 

Curriculum Connections: 

    • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, G2 Places and Regions, G4 Human Systems, G5 Environment and Society, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis.
    • ELA Common Core Standards for Reading
    • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations
  •  

Grand Rapids Then & Now invites learners to step into the past in the realistic scale model of the Streets of Old Grand Rapids and stroll through the city as it appeared over 130 years ago. Students will explore the concept of community, both now and during the Victorian Era, and will examine how communities change by comparing and contrasting goods and services available in the 1890s and in the present.  Learners will enter the shop interiors, engaging in artifact discovery and exhibit interpretation activities.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades K-5

Objectives:

  • Students will observe differences between Grand Rapids today and Grand Rapids in 1890, specifically in the areas of communication, transportation and recreation.
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast the present day and the Victorian Era in terms of how people meet their needs of food, clothing and shelter.
  • Students will be able to describe the local economy during the 1890s after entering three shops in the exhibit and investigating the prices and availability of goods and services.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind; H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago; H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region; G2 Places and Regions; G4 Human Systems; E1 The Market Economy; P1 Reading and Communication; P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis
  • ELA Common Core Standards for Reading and Speaking & Listening

 

Learners will explore the West Michigan Habitats exhibit to uncover hidden connections in our state’s varied ecosystems. This exhibit program allows students to examine fascinating dioramas and scientific specimens to discover relationships among plants, animals and humans. Students will consider curriculum-based life science concepts including habitats, adaptations and food webs. 

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades K-5

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to describe the life science concept of habitat and identify West Michigan examples.
  • Students will be able to explain that organisms are adapted to survive in particular environments.
  • Students will make guided observations to identify and explore relationships in these habitats, including how energy is transferred through food webs and how humans can impact natural environments.

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes; Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics; Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity; Engineering Design
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations; Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: G4 Human Systems, G5 Environment and Society
  • ELA Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening

This interdisciplinary tour of downtown Grand Rapids will introduce students to the significance of the Grand River to Grand Rapids, including how the area was first identified by indigenous peoples, how it supported Grand Rapids’ growth into a major city, how it has been used for industry and health, how it has been changed by humans, and future redevelopment plans for the river.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of instructor and program space. Note: This is an outdoor tour; tours will be booked from August through October and April through June. No tours will be conducted in the rain. In the event of inclement weather, this program will take place inside of the Museum

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 2-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level.

Click Here for Teacher Resource Guide

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to describe the uses of the Grand River and its importance in settlement, development, and recreation in Grand Rapids.
  • Students will be able to provide examples of how the river was changed and impacted by humans throughout history. 
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast Grand Rapids from the past and present and hear about the plans for what it may look like in the future.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards:  H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, G1 The World in Spatial Terms: Geographical Habits of Mind, G2 Places and Regions, G3 Physical Systems, G4 Human Systems, G5 Environment and Society, C3 Structure and Functions of Government, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis
  • ELA Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening

Grand Rapids encountered a dramatic change in terms of landscape, population, and diversity beginning in the early to mid-1800s. West Michigan’s Newcomers focuses on the people who made West Michigan their home, highlighting their stories and contributions that shaped our community. Learners will engage in artifact discovery and exhibit interpretation. Programming will share the story of where immigrants traveled from and why they moved; from there, students will uncover the major contributions and traditions that newcomers brought with them which allowed Grand Rapids to develop into the city it is today.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 4-8

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain and define push and pull factors ( why families left their homes to move to West Michigan) as well as the obstacles they faced when they arrived.
  • Students will be able to provide examples of cultural elements newcomers contributed to Grand Rapids, making connections with cultural elements that are still present today.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, H5 The History of Peoples from Many Cultures from Around the World, G1 The World in Spatial Terms: Geographical Habits of Mind, G2 Places and Regions, G4 Human Systems, G5 Environment and Society, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis,
  • ELA Common Core Standards for Reading: Informational Text

 

Students will play an educational game in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids that utilizes augmented reality technology to bring the exhibit to life! Students will use tablets provided by the Museum and follow the story lines of three fictional characters looking to move to Grand Rapids in 1890s. Learners will gather clues from real historical figures and search among the artifacts on display in the shops to find items they need to help their characters establish themselves in Grand Rapids.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 3-12

Objectives:

  • Students will role-play as a fictional character looking to move to Grand Rapids in the 1890s. They are looking to establish a new life for themselves in their new home. 
  • Students will explore the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit to collect clues that will lead them to items to purchase to help each character. 

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H3 The History of Michigan; G1 The World in Spatial Terms; G2 Places and Regions; G4 Human Systems; E1 Market Economy; P1 Reading and Communication

The GRPM’s Newcomers exhibit shares the stories of West Michigan immigrants from all around the world. Through a series of perspective-taking exercises, students will be encouraged to empathize with these stories and question what it might feel like to be a newcomer to a new home. Group discussion prompts will encourage the class to consider how community members can help welcome and support newcomers.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 3-8

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to empathize with diverse viewpoints.
  • Students will be able to describe the experiences and challenges that newcomers/immigrants have when moving to a new home.
  • Students will discuss how a community can be welcoming to newcomers.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards:  H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, U6 The Development of an Industrial, Urban, and Global United States, G2 Places and Regions, E1 The Market Economy, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis
  • ELA Common Core Standards by Domain: Text Types and Purposes, Production and Distribution of Writing, Range of Writing.

In this innovative augmented reality experience, students will use tablets provided by the Museum to explore several exhibits and gain knowledge about local environmental and cultural topics. Learners will meet the mighty Lake Sturgeon, understand the indigenous history of this area and find out a few ways to care for the quality of our Grand River watershed. By answering questions and gathering food for their Lake Sturgeon avatar, students allow it to grow and travel down the Grand River on its journey to Lake Michigan. 

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 3-12

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to describe special adaptations of lake sturgeon
  • Students will gain awareness of the Anishinabek and important cultural elements
  • Students will learn the importance of freshwater resources in our rivers and lakes

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: G2 Places and Regions, G3 Physical Systems, G4 Human Systems; G5 Environment and Society; H3 The History of Michigan; P1 Reading and Communication; P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes; Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and Carrying out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating information

The fur trade industry was the most profitable business in Grand Rapids for over 150 years. Presented by an enthusiastic reenactor, the Fur Trader program introduces students to the meeting between European fur traders and Native Americans in Michigan, focusing on the beginnings of the bartering system between Europeans and Native Americans and how the contact impacted both parties. Demonstrations with artifacts and discussion prompts bring the time period to life for learners.

Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of exhibit and program space.

Capacity: 32 students

Recommended age level: Grades 2-5

Objectives:

  • Describe examples of the exchange of ideas and material goods that occurred between the French and Anishinabek during the Great Lakes fur trading period.
  • Understand the economics of bartering and the value of goods; they will be able to explain what qualified as a good trade between French fur traders and the Michigan Anishinabek.
  • Imagine what it was like to be a French voyageur transporting goods along Michigan rivers in the 17th and 18th century. 

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind, H2 Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, H3 The History of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region, H4 The History of the United States, H5 The History of Peoples from Many Cultures Around the World, U2 Colonization and Settlement, G1 The World in Spatial Terms: Geographical Habits of Mind, G2 Places and Regions, G4 Human Systems, G5 Environment and Society, E1 The Market Economy, P1 Reading and Communication, P2 Inquiry Research and Analysis
  • ELA Common Core Standards: Speaking and Listening

The GRPM is excited to continue offering some guided programs in an interactive virtual format. Museum Educators will facilitate programs via Zoom or Google Meet. Programs run approximately 45 minutes. These reservations include pre- and post-presentation activities to extend the learning.

Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

Visit the GRPM’s Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium for an out-of-this-world experience! The planetarium has a variety of shows to choose from to learn all about space, science, and art, or just enjoy an entertaining show!

Planetarium shows include both prerecorded movies and live shows presented by a planetarium expert. All movies include a live introduction which can be tailored to your class’s needs.

Shows are approximately 45 minutes long.

Planetarium Movies

Planetarium Movies are pre-made immersive shows that incorporate animation, video, and special effects. They can be on a variety of topics ranging from astronomy, Earth science, physics, and even entertainment!

Available in English and Spanish!
Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries explores three observatories located in Chile, at extreme and remote places. It gives examples of the multitude of STEM careers needed to keep the great observatories working. The show is narrated by Barbara Rojas-Ayala, a Chilean astronomer.  

Astronomía a Gran Escala: Personas, Lugares, Descubrimientos explora tres observatorios ubicados en Chile, en lugares extremos y remotos. Presenta ejemplos de las diversas carreras STEM que se necesitan para mantener a estos grandes observatorios en funcionamiento. El programa es narrado por Barbara Rojas-Ayala, una astrónoma chilena.

Show Length: 26 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 8+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems; Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: G1 The World in Spatial Terms; G2 Places and Regions

A Chaffee Planetarium original production set to the music of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Experience Pink Floyd’s iconic album as never before in this one-of-a-kind light show.

Note: This show contains some adult language and dizzying effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness, seizures, or light sensitivity. Due to the adult language, school groups wishing to see the show will be asked to sign a waiver for permission.

Show Length: 45 minutes

Recommended Age Level: Ages 14+

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan Merit Curriculum Arts Education: Music (High School only)

Was M.C. Escher an artist, an astronomer, a mathematician, a traveler? This show takes us to the artist’s studio where Escher’s most iconic works are displayed, revealing his unique ability to join science and art. Explore how Escher’s travels impacted his work and marvel at how shapes, three-dimensional reconstructions, dual worlds, and unreal buildings reveal Escher’s continuous search for knowledge.

Show Length: 26 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 10+

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Mathematics Standards for Geometry (4th and 8th grade)
  • Michigan Merit Curriculum Arts Education: Visual Arts

The night sky has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may be humanity’s oldest intellectual experience. Learn about the journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes.

Show Length: 32 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 12+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions; Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer; Engineering Design
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

In Habitat Earth, viewers will discover what it means to live in today’s connected world, where biological networks intersect with our own increasingly complex environment. Through stunning visualizations, audiences will dive beneath the ocean’s surface to witness the dynamic ecological relationships within kelp forests, burrow beneath the forest floor to see how some of Earth’s tallest trees depend on tiny fungi to survive, and journey to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks. Narrated by Frances McDormand.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 8+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes; Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter; Cause and Effect; Systems and Systems Models

 

The delicate balance between ice, water and the existence of life has been a topic of scientific inquiry for generations. In travels to the Arctic and Antarctic regions of our planet, we’ll examine the ecosystems that exist and thrive there and learn how their survival is connected with our own. Beyond Earth, we’ll see how the existence of ice shapes the landscape and the natural systems on other planets and moons in our Solar System. Winner of five Telly Awards. Narrated by Academy Award nominated actress, Emily Watson.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 8+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity; Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity; Matter and Its Interactions; Engineering Design
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Narrated by George Takei, Incoming! explores asteroids, comets, and meteors. California Academy of Sciences developed cutting-edge visualizations based on real-time data from current NASA missions to show audiences the dynamic story of our Solar System.   

 A live show was created by the GRPM to accompany the movie portion of Incoming! in partnership with NASA scientist Brent Bos, who is currently studying asteroids and grew up in West Michigan.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: Ages 7+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity; Matter and Its Interactions; Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Let it Snow! is a festive light show for the holidays, featuring a variety of classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning finale by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, immersive special effects, and fulldome scenery.

Show Length: 32 minutes

Recommended Age Level: All ages

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan Merit Curriculum Arts Education: Music

Whether earthly or alien, all life leaves a trace. Join narrator Daveed Diggs on a journey through space and time to discover how life makes Earth liveable, where it could be found elsewhere in the cosmos, and what new technologies we might use to find it. Along the way, you’ll learn how light and color can help us spot other living worlds even from vast distances—and develop a new appreciation for the one-of-a-kind planet right beneath our feet.

Show Length: 27 minutes

Recommended Age Level: Ages 8+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity; Matter and Its Interactions; Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions.

The Little Star That Could is a story of an average star searching for planets of his own to protect and warm. Along the way, he meets other stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars combine to form star clusters and galaxies. Our solar system is introduced with basic information about each planet.

Show Length: 35 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 8 and under

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Matter and its Interactions; Energy
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models
Anishinaabe Star Knowledge highlights Anishinaabe stories of constellations and moons in relation to contemporary insights about environmental changes. Teachings shared by Native Skywatchers Carl Gawboy, William Wilson, and Dr. Annette S. Lee are narrated by Aarin Dokum with Anishinaabemowin translations by Alphonse Pitawanakwat set to art by Elizabeth LaPensée.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: Ages 6+

Curriculum Connections: 

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H3 History of Michigan (Through statehood); G4 Human Systems; G5 Environment and Society

Young audience members will be thrilled when they find themselves on Sesame Street with their famous friends, Big Bird and Elmo. The fun begins when Elmo’s friend, Hu Hu Zhu, visits from China and the three of them take the audience on an exciting journey of discovery to learn about the Sun, stars, and Big Dipper. Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu blast off on an imaginary trip to the Moon and when they return home to Earth everyone discovers that, no matter where we live, we all share the same sky.

Note: This show includes its own special live introduction.

Show Length: 27 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 6 and under

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Energy; Earth’s Systems
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: G1 The World in Spatial Terms

This rendition breathes new life into the wildly popular classic rock light show format with an original production set to the music of Queen. Experience 10 of Queen’s greatest hits in this brand new show, including favorites like Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust, and You’re My Best Friend.

Note: This show contains some dizzying effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness, seizures, or light sensitivity.

Show Length: 37 minutes

Recommended Age Level: All ages

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan Merit Curriculum Arts Education: Music

Take a detailed look at the role the Sun plays in the life of our solar system and life on Earth. Trace the life cycle of the Sun for billions of years, from its beginnings to its eventual death. Experience the power of the nuclear forces churning deep within the Sun and the gigantic flares that eject solar material far out into space.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 12+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Matter and Its Interactions; Energy; Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Earth’s Place in the Universe

Experience the excitement and surprises of the most incredible amusement park in the solar system. Explore exotic locations while riding heart-pounding thrill rides such as roller coasters, spinners, ice-slides and more!

Note: This show contains dramatic 3D visual effects. It is not recommended for individuals prone to motion sickness.

Show Length: 35 minutes

Recommended Age Level: All ages

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • Michigan Merit Curriculum Arts Education: Visual Arts

From humanity’s beginning, curiosity has inspired brilliant minds to unravel the secrets of the universe. In the modern age, scientists have unraveled more and more of those secrets with technological marvels and global collaboration. In 2012, after a 48-year search and the construction of the world’s largest machine, over 10,000 physicists celebrated the discovery of the Higgs boson, an elusive subatomic particle crucial to physics and existence itself.

Note: This show includes its own special live introduction.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 10+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Matter and Its Interactions; Energy; Engineering Design
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Galileo’s telescopic observations began a revolution, completely transforming our view of the cosmos and our place within. Discover the wonders that even a small telescope can reveal and learn about the scientists that made such views possible.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 8+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Engineering Design
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

The beauty of a starlit sky conceals the violent forces at work within our universe. From the upheaval of a giant star that explodes to eject its material into space to a future encounter between the Earth and a large asteroid, we will witness the forces that hold the universe together and occasionally try to pull it apart. Discover what might happen if these incredible forces stray too close to Earth. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.

Show Length: 25 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 11+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions; Energy; Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Live Presentations

Any of the following special introductions can be paired with a full-length Planetarium Movie for a more customized learning experience.

Traverse the inner solar system as you discover the intricate relationships between the Earth, Sun and Moon. Learn how each object differs from the others, see how their sizes compare, and experience the vast distances between the three. Discover why the Moon goes through phases, why we see the same side of the Moon, what motion causes night and day, and more! This is an interactive show, and visitors will answer questions throughout using remote control clickers.

Show Length: 45 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 8-12

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems; Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions; Energy; Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems; Developing and Using Models; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Join a live presenter on an incredible journey through our beautiful and diverse solar system. Visit the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, and more in high definition. Engage with a knowledgeable astronomy expert who can answer your learners’ questions and tailor content to their age level. 

Show Length: 40 minutes

Recommended Age Level: All ages

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models

Hear roaring lions, howling wolves, and screeching birds as you search for fantastic and elusive creatures hiding within the nighttime sky. Explore the stars with a live presenter in this one-of-a-kind globetrotting adventure, only at the Chaffee Planetarium!

(This is a live show presented by Planetarium staff. Visitors are encouraged to interact and ask questions during the show. It is customized for each specific age range.)

Show Length: 40 minutes

Recommended Age Level: Ages 8 and below

Curriculum Connections:

  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H3 History of Michigan (Through statehood); G1 The World in Spatial Terms: Geographical Habits of Mind; G2 Places and Regions; G4 Human Systems; W3 WHG Era 3 – Classical Traditions, World Religions, And Major Empires
  • Michigan K-12 Standards for English Language Arts: Reading Standards for Literature
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe

Choose your own adventure as you explore the solar system alongside real spacecraft in this live and interactive show. Learn about the important role gravity plays in our solar system and the science of space travel. Visit planets, asteroids, and more as you decide what exciting worlds to explore. This is an interactive show, and visitors will answer questions throughout using remote-control clickers.

Show Length: 45 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 8+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe, Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions; Engineering Design
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models

Under Starlit Skies is a must-have introductory experience for any planetarium visitor that takes full advantage of the beauty and realism of the Chaffee Planetarium! Join a live presenter to explore the wonders of tonight’s sky. Come back each season to learn tips and tricks that will help you find planets and constellations from your own backyard.

Show Length: 40 minutes

Recommended Age Level: All ages

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models

Live Introductions For Planetarium Movies

Many Planetarium Movies include a live introduction about the night sky (unless specified in the movie’s description). Any of the following special introductions can be chosen instead, for a more custom planetarium experience.

It is nearly impossible for the human mind to comprehend the amount of time that it has taken for the Earth and the universe to develop to their present state. The Clock of Eras uses the analogy of a circular clock to represent the Earth’s journey in geologic time, beginning from the initial events that brought about Earth’s formation to the present. Each hour on the clock represents approximately 375 million years, and we explore the concept of deep time as it relates to our night sky and the events that occurred during our planet’s history.

Intro Length: 10 minutes

Recommended Age Level: 10+

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity; Earth’s Place in the Universe; Earth’s Systems
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and using models; Using mathematics and computations thinking
  • Michigan K-12 Social Studies Standards: H1 The World in Temporal Terms: Historical Habits of Mind

What can Venus teach us about climate change on Earth? The solar system is our laboratory as we fly to Mercury, Venus, and Mars to explore the relationship between a planet’s atmosphere and its climate. After learning about climate and atmosphere from a planetary science perspective, bring the science back to earth with NOAA’s Global Climate Model. What will the next 100 years look like? What role does human pollution play in climate change, and how can we take responsibility and create solutions?

Intro length: 15 minutes

Recommended age levels: 8+

Curriculum Connections: 

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Earth’s Systems; Earth and Human Activity
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter; Cause and Effect; Systems and Systems Models
  •  

This is a brief live update on “the breaking news from outer space” such as recent discoveries, visible planets, upcoming meteor showers, and more! Space News often focuses on astronomy news that goes “viral” in order to provide context and explore in-depth.

The GRPM is excited to continue offering some planetarium presentations in a virtual format. An astronomy expert will facilitate programs via Zoom and host a custom question and answer session. These reservations include pre- and post-presentation activities to extend the learning. The GRPM’s Group Scheduling Office can work with you to select a program topic at a time that fits your needs.

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