Cernan Earth and Space Center
School and Group Program Guide
This document is the text version of the Cernan Earth and Space Center's School and Group Program Guide. For more information, please call the Cernan Center at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail may only be used to obtain general information. Reservations can only be made by telephone.
CREATE YOUR OWN PERFECT FIELD TRIPTHAT'S AS EASY AS A . . . B . . . C!
As a teacher of group leader, you are entitled to see one of our feature shows (designated as "A" shows) and one of our mini shows (designated as "B" shows) for each of the Cernan Center's reserved time slots -- 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 12:10 p.m., 1:20 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 (or 4:30) p.m. Group leaders can either select a mini show that complements their primary show or introduces an entirely different subject matter. The choice, as always, is yours. And, as before, all of the Cernan Center's programs include a question-and-answer session (C) with one of our knowledgeable show operators.
ABOUT THE CERNAN CENTERThe Cernan Earth and Space Center of Triton College is a unique and exciting destination for groups of all kinds, including school, scout, senior citizen, church and business groups. Our modern facility houses a 100-seat dome theater, a lobby exhibit area with displays on space exploration and astronomy and the Star Store gift shop. The dome theater is equipped to present a variety of innovative multimedia planetarium programs, C-360 films and spectacular laser light shows.
The Cernan Earth and Space Center is named for astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, who flew aboard the Gemini 9, Apollo 10 and Apollo 17 space missions. In December of 1972, as the commander of Apollo 17, Captain Cernan became the last human to leave his footprints on the moon. Cernan was born and raised in suburban Bellwood, not far from where the Triton College campus and the Cernan Center now stand. For a more detailed biography of Captain Cernan, click here.
MAKING YOUR RESERVATIONGroup programs are usually presented on Mondays through Fridays at one of seven time slots — 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 12:10 p.m., 1:20 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 (or 4:30) p.m. Groups also can join our regularly scheduled public programs. Reservations are required for all group programs and should be made as soon as possible by contacting the Cernan Center at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372. After making your reservation, you will be sent a confirmation outlining the details of your visit, as well as a Teacher's Guide. (You also may download a Teacher's Guide by clicking on the link beside each show description below). When you receive your confirmation, please check it for accuracy and bring it along with you on the day of your program. If you must cancel your reservation, please notify the Cernan Center as soon as possible. Groups that fail to arrive for their scheduled time slot or group leaders who fail to cancel their group reservation two weeks prior to their scheduled visit are responsible for a cancellation fee, which is described below.
WHEN YOU ARRIVEGroups should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled program time. Buses should park at the curb in front of the Cernan Center. Visitors may park in the lot north of the Cernan Center. Refer to the map provided on your reservation confirmation, which you'll receive by mail shortly after you make your reservation.
SCHOOL AND GROUP FEESFor groups attending on Monday through Friday, 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.: • School Groups (Minimum Fees Apply) In-District Schools: $4 per Student Out-of-District Schools: $4.50 per Student One supervisory adult is admitted free for every 10 students. Additional supervisory adults are admitted at the appropriate student rate. • Other Groups (Minimum Fees Apply) Youth Groups: $4.50 per Child Adult Groups: $8 per person ($10 for Laser Shows) Senior Citizen Groups (Ages 55+): $4 for person ($5 for Laser Shows) For youth groups, one supervisor is admitted free for every 10 youths. Additional supervisors are admitted at the appropriate per person rate. For adult or senior groups, one group leader is admitted free per group.
Other days and times can be reserved, but at a considerably greater cost. Please call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372, on weekdays for more information.
Groups who reserve more than one weekday time slot will now receive a $1 per person discount for their second time slot that same day. For example, an out-of-district group who pays a rate of $4.50 per person for their first time slot would only pay an additional $3.50 per person for reserving a second time slot.
SHOW CANCELLATION FEEGroups that fail to arrive for their scheduled time slot or group leaders who fail to cancel their group reservation two weeks prior to their scheduled visit are responsible for the following cancellation fees: 1 to 29 attendees: $20 per canceled time slot 30 or more attendees: 75 cents per reserved seat per canceled time slot
Exceptions to this policy include instances of severe weather, transportation failures and similar unavoidable circumstances. For more information about this policy, call the Cernan Center on weekdays at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372.
OTHER FEE INFORMATIONThere is a $50 minimum fee to schedule a time slot. Small groups need not pay the minimum fee if another group joins them within the same time slot. Full payment is expected at the time of the program unless other arrangements are made in advance. The Cernan Center offers a 50-cent per head discount for any weekday group reservation scheduled for the months of September, October, January or February. Minimum fees still apply. Time slots are limited and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
PUBLIC PROGRAM FEESMultimedia and laser programs change every two months. Call the Cernan Center at (708) 583-3100 for current program descriptions, show times and admission fees. Reservations for public shows are recommended for groups of 10 or more.
For groups attending public programs on Friday evenings, Saturday evenings or Sunday afternoons:Adult Groups: $8 per Person ($10 for Laser Shows)Children (Ages 12 and Under): $4 per Child ($5 for Laser Shows)Senior Citizen Groups (ages 55+): $4 per Person ($5 for Laser Shows)For groups comprised of children or youths, one supervisor is admitted free for every 10 youths. Additional supervisors are admitted at the appropriate per person rate. For adult or senior groups, one group leader is admitted free per group.
DOME THEATER PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO GROUPS
The following is a list of programs that are available to groups at the Cernan Earth and Space Center. For a more detailed description of each program, please visit our Show Descriptions page or click on the show titles. Grade level recommendations are listed for each program. Teachers and youth group leaders may schedule any program for any grade but should refer to the suggested grade level to estimate the age appropriateness of the program. All feature shows (designated as A) are between 30 and 50 minutes in length. Mini shows (B) are between five and 20 minutes in length.
Programs that are presented on the Cernan Center's new 3-screen video system are tagged in one of two ways: 1) as 3-SCREEN SHOW if it was produced in that format or 2) as NEW 3-SCREEN VERSION if it was an older show converted to that format
For a more detailed description of each program, please navigate to our Show Descriptions page or click on the show titles.
To download a Teacher's Guide for one or more of our programs, please click on the "Download the Teacher's Guide" link beside each show description.
"A" LIST (FEATURE SHOWS)
ASTRONOMY AND SPACE
Magic Sky (Preschool and Kindergarten) 33 min. This show provides a basic introduction to the magic of the planetarium, the cycle of day and night, and the motion of objects in the daytime and nighttime sky. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Dinosaurs in Space (Preschool through 2nd grade) 35 min.Hosted by an entertaining dinosaur duo, this popular show features a unique and informative look at these fascinating creatures, plus a journey into space that is out of this world. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Dinosaurios en el Espacio (Preschool through 2nd grade) 35 min.The Spanish language version of Dinosaurs in Space.
The Little Star That Could (Preschool through 2nd grade) 34 min.This show follows the adventure of Little Star, who travels the galaxy, meets many different kinds of stars, and makes an amazing discovery about himself. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Once in a Blue Moon (1st through 3rd grade) 38 min.Why does the Moon seem to follow you? Why can you see it in the daytime? What causes the different shapes of the Moon? What is a Blue Moon? Find the answer to all these lunar questions in this show. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Our Place in Space (Preschool through 2nd grade) 33 min. NEW 3-SCREEN VERSIONHosted by several animal characters, this show explores the causes of day and night, the importance of our sun, the beauty of the constellations and the variety of objects in the universe. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Rusty Rocket's Last Blast (Preschool through 2nd grade) 36 min.Hosted by Rusty Rocket, this show explores the basics of rocket physics, the immense distances found in space travel, and a quick tour of the solar system with humor and original songs. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Zip! Zoom! Whiz! (Preschool through 2nd grade) 37 min. NEW 3-SCREEN VERSIONZip up your flight suit, zoom into space and whiz by stars and planets! Come discover how people explore space and see some of the most amazing sights in our universe. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Destination: The Planets (Grades 3 and up) 42 min. NEW 3-SCREEN VERSIONWritten in the fashion of an imaginary spaceship tour of the Sun and its family of planets, Destination: The Planets describes the latest information on the solar system and its major components, including the eight planets; their satellites; the asteroid belt; the Kuiper Belt; and more. Formerly known as Destination: Pluto. Download the Teacher's Guide.
More Than Meets the Eye (Grades 3 and up) 30 min. NEW 3-SCREEN VERSIONCelebrate the beauty of the starry skies in this exciting show that explores the celestial wonders that are within reach of binoculars or a small telescope. Download the Teacher's Guide.
On Orbit (Grades 3 and up) 38 min. NEW 3-SCREEN VERSIONTake a virtual tour of the International Space Station with this new video-based program that features NASA footage taken by the astronauts themselves. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Time Bandits (Grades 3 and up) 40 min.Travel backwards and forwards in time with Meg, Emily and Zontar (the time bandit) as they investigate the history of time keeping. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Bad Astronomy (Grades 5 and up) 40 min. 3-SCREEN SHOWWere the Apollo Moon landings a hoax? Have aliens visited the Earth? Can you discover the future by the stars? Investigate the science behind these and other popular astronomical myths and misconceptions. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Cosmic Colors (Grades 5 and up) 32 min. 3-SCREEN SHOWCosmic Colors takes viewers on a wondrous journey across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Discover the many reasons for color, such as why the sky is blue and why Mars is red. Take a tour within a plant leaf and inside the human eye. Investigate x-rays from a black hole and learn what color dinosaurs may have actually been. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Galaxies (Grades 5 and up) 40 min.This planetarium show will transport you deep into space to explore galaxies, including both our own Milky Way galaxy and the more distant and mysterious galaxies that comprise the universe. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Journey to the Stars (Grades 5 and up) 30 min.This show presents an array of astronomy-related subjects, including an introduction to the nighttime sky, milestones of space travel, the birth and death of stars, black holes and more. Download the Teacher's Guide.
The Moon: From Imagination to Exploration (Grades 5 and up) 47 min.This show explores the many aspects of the Earth's only natural satellite — its phases, its tidal effects, its surface markings, solar and lunar eclipses, the Apollo missions, and more. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Rumplestiltskin's Starry Secret (Grades 5 and up) 32 min.Within the framework of the Grimm's fairy tale about a dwarf who was able to spin straw into gold, this all-new 32-minute video discusses the subject of alchemy, chemistry, the periodic table, and how stars are responsible for creating all the heavy elements in the universe. Download the Teacher's Guide.
The StarGazer (Grades 7 and up) 37 min.This show begins with a child's curiosity of the sky, then discusses the science of gravity, light and the spectrum, and how we decipher the life cycle of the stars.Download the Teacher's Guide.
Stellar Extremes (Grades 7 and up) 45 min.From the smallest to the largest, the hottest to the coolest, from the fastest to the most bizarre, all stars have a place in our incredible universe. This program explores the dynamics of stellar interiors, encounters some of the most unusual stars, and finds out what it takes to solve stellar mysteries from light years away. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum (Grades 7 and up) 34 min. NEWThis NASA-produced program describes the different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum and how each wavelength – from gamma waves to radio waves – is used by astronomers to decipher the mysteries of the universe.
Dinosaur! (Grades 3 and up) 40 min.This show investigates the Age of Dinosaurs, the different kinds of dinosaurs, and the theories of why they became extinct. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Nature's Fury (Grades 3 and up) 42 min. NEW 3-SCREEN VERSIONWith exciting video footage and photographs, this program explores the many types of severe weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms and blizzards. Download the Teacher's Guide.
RETIRED BUT AVAILABLEAlthough each of these film titles is over 20 years old and no longer presented to the general public, our film prints remain available to groups who wish to present the lessons they contain to their students.
Discover the Planets (Grades 3 and up) 43 min.This show transports you throughout the solar system to see each planet up close and learn the exciting discoveries recently made by unmanned spacecraft.
The Space Shuttle: An American Adventure (All ages, but best for Grades 3 and up) 29 min.Using scenes filmed in orbit by shuttle astronauts, this C-360 film tells the exciting story of a typical space shuttle mission, from astronaut training to landing. Download the Teacher's Guide.
The Great Barrier Reef (All ages, but best for Grades 3 and up) 45 min.This C-360 film will take you on a journey to the bottom of the sea to experience one of the greatest natural wonders of the Earth — Australia's Great Barrier Reef! Download the Teacher's Guide.
Seasons (All ages, but best for Grades 3 and up) 31 min.This C-360 film celebrates the beauty of the seasons and shows how all living things, including people, orient their lifestyles to the cycles of the sun. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Arctic Light (Grades 3 and up) 30 min.This C-360 film transports you to Norway to witness the awesome beauty of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, and its impact on the local culture. Download the Teacher's Guide.
The Eruption of Mount Saint Helens (Grades 3 and up) 23 min.This C-360 film explores one of the most dramatic geological events in recent history — the explosive volcanic eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington state. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Genesis: The Story of Earth (Grades 5 and up) min.This C-360 film explores the science of plate tectonics and follows the geologic history of the Earth, from its creation to the volcanoes, earthquakes and moving continents of today. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Celebrations of Winter (All ages, but best for grades 3 and up) 42 min.This exciting wintertime program surrounds the audience with the sights and sounds of the holiday season and describes how people around the world celebrate winter. Download the Teacher's Guide.
Fright Light (All ages)This laser show features music and images related to the Halloween Season.
Winter Wonderlight (All ages)This laser show features music and images related to the Holiday Season.
LASER LIGHT SHOWS
Various Titles of Laser Light Shows (Grades 5 and up)Laser shows blends animated drawings and abstract patterns drawn by multicolored laser beams to a variety of musical selections. Most are between 40 and 50 minutes in length.
PLEASE NOTE: Groups who choose one of our extended length laser shows cannot select a "B" show for that same time slot, since extended length laser shows run the full 60 minutes. Currently, the Cernan Center offers three such shows 1) A Momentary Lapse of Summer (Pink Floyd) 2) Legends of Rock 3)Endless PhotonsALSO NOTE:Laser light shows are produced with the teen and young adult market in mind, not children. Since pop music often echoes adult themes, these same themes often carry over to the laser shows themselves. That said, some show titles are more appropriate for school-aged groups than others. For more information about these shows (including song lists), please click here or call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372.
"B" LIST (MINISHOWS)
The Friendly Stars (Preschool through 2nd grade) 10 min. NEW 3-SCREEN VERSIONHosted by an animated sun (named Sol), this multimedia program describes the very basics of astronomy, including stars, the sun, planets and the current season's "star pictures."
There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars (Preschool through 2nd grade) 8 min.This DVD-based mini show presents this beautifully illustrated children's book by Bob Crelin (author) and Amie Ziner (illustrator), which helps children discover the magic of the night sky, the growing problem of light pollution, and what can be done to save the vanishing stars.Note: Printed copies of this book are for sale in the Star Store gift shop.
AstroSmiles (Grades 3 and up) 18 min.This video, narrated by Space Shuttle astronauts, describes some of the lighter moments that occur on their spaceflights.Note: Because of the length of this show, it is possible that Q&A may need to be shortened or eliminated, depending on what "A" show this mini show is paired with.
Field Trip to the Moon (Grades 3 and up) 20 min.Produced by the American Museum of Natural History, this DVD-based mini show takes an imaginary computer-generated voyage beside NASA's future Ares V rocket, which will take astronauts back to the Moon. Following launch, our rocket orbits the Earth once and then travels to the Apollo 17 landing spot on the Moon. En route, the program discusses the main components of the Ares V rocket, the ring of man-made satellites around our planet, the Earth’s magnetosphere, and several lunar features that we fly over on our way to the Taurus-Littrow landing site.Note: Because of the length of this show, it is possible that Q&A may need to be shortened or eliminated, depending on what "A" show this mini show is paired with.
Sky Tellers Grades 3 and up) 12 - 15 min. (per segment)NOTE: link goes to Sky Tellers websiteThis all-new series of ten mini shows combines Native American storytelling under the stars with today's scientific interpretation of the same subject. Stories include: 1) Day and Night 2) Seasons 3) Moon Phases 4) Meteors 5) The Sun 6) Stars 7) Galaxies 8) Constellations 9) Polaris (i.e. the North Star) 10) the Solar System.Any four of these Sky Teller stories (or three stories plus one other mini show) can be combined to fill one time slot.FROM SKY TELLERS WEBSITE: SkyTellers has been designed to allow audiences to open their imaginations. No images accompany the Native American legends specifically for this purpose. We recommend that program facilitators use only a simple night sky backdrop or horizon panorama, and not populate the dome with line drawings or images or animations. Instead, allow the audience to immerse themselves in the magic of the story, to listen and develop their own mental images."
Skywatcher's Guide (Grades 3 and up) 15 min.This all-new monthly Cernan Center series combines the planetarium's star projector with projected images from the popular Abrams Sky Calendar to briefly describe the current night sky and celestial events to watch for in the real sky.
The Last Man on the Moon: In His Own Words (Grades 3 and up) 20 min.This multimedia program celebrates the spaceflight achievements of Chicago-born astronaut Eugene Cernan, who holds the distinction of being the last person to leave footprints on the moon. This minishow does not include the NASA video.
Orion (Laser Cartoon) (Grades 3 and up) 20 min. NEW!Produced by the same company that created Perseus and Andromeda, this laser animated program re-tells the Greek myths related to the winter constellation of Orion the Hunter.
Perseus and Andromeda (Laser Cartoon) (Grades 3 and up) 18 min.This laser-animated program re-tells the Greek myths related to Perseus and Andromeda with a humorous twist.
The Pluto Story(Grades 3 and up) 6 min. 3-SCREEN SHOWAs of 2006, Pluto is no longer considered a major planet. Find out why in The Pluto Story.
Powers of Ten (Grades 3 and up) 9 min.This video explores the relative size of things from the microscopic to the cosmic. The viewer travels from an aerial view of a man in a Chicago park to the outer limits of the universe directly above him and back down into the microscopic world contained in the man's hand.
Space in 3-D (Grades 3 and up) 10 min.Using 3-D glasses provided by the Cernan Center, audience members will see 3-D space images taken in Earth orbit, on the surface of the Moon and Mars, and in the outer solar system, complete with short explanations of where you are and what you’re seeing.
We Came in Peace (Grades 3 and up) 12 min.Narrated by Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, this mini show describes the first lunar landing mission in July, 1969.
Laser Light Mini Shows (All ages, but best for Grades 3 and up) Lengths range from 11 - 14 min.Current mini laser shows include three songs. Some titles also include Laser 101, which explains how a laser works.For song listings, please click here.
HST Gallery (Grades 5 and up) 16 min.This mini show presents over 20 spectacular deep space images taken in the past few years by the Hubble Space Telescope and a brief description from the astronomers who interpret these exciting new discoveries.
Ring World (Grades 5 and up) 17 min.Previously known as Saturn-Cassini, this program describes the Cassini spacecraft and the many discoveries it has made in orbit around Saturn.
Rumplestiltskin's Starry Secret (Mini Show) (Grades 5 and up) 10 min.Although this shortened version of Rumplestiltskin's Starry Secret lacks the full-length version’s detailed descriptions of the history of chemistry, the periodic table and star formation, it does describe the allure of gold, why gold can’t be created from other materials, and how stars played an important role in shaping our Earth and its inhabitants.
Saving the Night (Grades 5 and up) 11 min.Visually re-produced for the DVD format, Saving the Night briefly discusses the issue of light pollution and the adverse effect that our growing civilization has on the science of astronomy and the beauty of the nighttime sky. Written and narrated by the acclaimed astronomy author and comet discoverer David Levy, Saving the Night not only describes the problem of our steadily brightening night sky, but it also mentions a few of the steps that some communities have taken to reduce light pollution, improve nighttime safety, and halt the further deterioration of the night.
Beyond Einstein (Grades 7 and up) 14 min.This all-new NASA video production describes the impact of Einstein's work and our current understanding of black holes, The Big Bang, Dark Energy, time and space, and cosmology.
"C" (Q & A)
All shows conclude with a brief question-and-answer session, the length of which depends on the combined length of the group's chosen "A" and "B" components and the time remaining in the group's reserved time slot.
THREE QUICK STEPS TO MAKE A RESERVATION: 1. Choose the program(s) you wish to see. 2. Select the day and time you would like to visit. Include a second choice. 3. Call the Cernan Center at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372.That's all there is to it!
TELESCOPE LOAN PROGRAM
The Cernan Center continues to offer its telescope loan program, whereby teachers of grades 5 through 12 can borrow a telescope for two months of classroom usage, thereby providing students with safe views of the sun by day and the moon, planets and other celestial objects by night. For more information about how your school or group can participate, please click here.
To explore some outstanding astronomy education resources on the Internet, please go to Space Links and scroll down to the "Astronomy Education" listings.
New feature shows and minishows are added throughout the year. Please visit this page of the Cernan Center's Web site for the most up-to-date information.
Cernan Earth and Space CenterTriton College2000 North Fifth AvenueRiver Grove, IL 60171
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