For Teachers: Plan Your Visit
We invite your school group to explore astronomical topics at the Manfred Olson Planetarium theater! This page provides planning information and resource materials to make the most of your visit. We appreciate your feedback!
For a quick rundown of the basics, please see the printable Plan Your Visit and Enjoy Your Stay PDF's.
The planetarium show costs $30 per school group for up to 68 people. The fee for optional hands-on activities ranges from $30 to $60 depending on the size and age of the group and the chosen activities.
To make a reservation, email Jean Creighton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 414-229-4961. Please state the students' grade, your preferred dates/day of the week (a.m. or p.m.), and if you would like to do any optional hands-on activities (Refer to “For Teachers” portion of the website for a list of suitable activities).
After we have agreed upon a date and time, we will email you an invoice form. Kindly arrange for the check and reservation invoice form to arrive before your scheduled program. Please send a completed copy of the invoice form and a check made to "The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee" to:
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
The planetarium show is 55-60 minutes long and consists of:
- Summary of the program and expectations (5 minutes)
- Tour of the solar system (Depending on grade; topic may vary) (15-20 minutes)
- Description of constellations and objects in the current night sky (20-25 minutes)
- Summary and a question and answer period (5-10 minutes))
The show can be shortened for young audiences or altered to meet special needs. Other topics are available upon request such as programs for middle school and high school.
Optional Hands-On Activities
We offer optional hands-on activities that last 15-20 minutes depending on the activity and age group.
Earth's Amazing Moon (K-G2)
Students use playdough to make an Earth and Moon system. Depending on their grade, students use different math and problem skills. This activity is suitable for up to 22 students per group.
Solar System to Scale (G2-G8)
Students are divided into groups to make a scale model of the solar system along the length of an indoor hallway. The students are given instructions on how many tiles they need between various planets. This activity is suitable for up to 22 students per group.
Star Charts (G3-12)
Students learn to use star charts to more easily identify 5-7 constellations in the sky. This activity is suitable for up to 68 students.
Teacher Feedback on Star Charts
"The students really enjoyed being able to identify the constellations—something I'm unsure they experience living in the city." –Rae Anne Frey, G4, Milwaukee Academy of Science
"Very informative. Something they can take back to school and utilize in the classroom with lessons." –Harrer, G3, Atlas Prep Academy
Students may eat their own lunches in the cafeteria on the ground level of the UWM Union building, a short walk east of the Planetarium. In warm weather, students are welcome to eat lunch outdoors.
Materials for classes have been separated into four grade ranges. These are found on the left side in the website menu. Each grade range includes:
- A teacher's toolkit with pre- and post-visit questionnaires with answers
- What to expect during your visit
- Learning activities
How do I get to UWM and where do I find parking?
See the Directions and Parking webpage for maps and instructions.