Cernan Earth and Space Center
Zip! Zoom! Whiz!
Grade Level: Preschool through 2nd gradeLength: 37 minutes
Zip! Zoom! Whiz! is a multimedia program that combines stars, panoramic scenes, photographs, video clips and a variety of planetarium special effects to take young viewers on an imaginary trip into space. The program is narrated by several fictional characters – Mrs. Parker (the host), Clunky (a robot), and Professor Gazer (an astronomer at Mt. Palomar Observatory).
Zip! Zoom! Whiz! begins with a brief presentation of the nighttime sky. Using the planetarium star projector, the show operator points out the prominent constellations of Orion and Leo for the audience members to see. The daily motion of the sky (which is actually caused by the Earth's rotation) also is briefly demonstrated.
The scene then shifts to Mt. Palomar Observatory in California, the site of one of the world's largest telescopes. The audience is introduced to Professor Gazer, who describes what it is like to be an astronomer and shows pictures of a variety of celestial objects that can be seen through a telescope, including the moon, planets, stars and galaxies.
The audience is next introduced to the subject of space travel as they begin an imaginary trip into space. Video clips of a space shuttle launch begin the adventure, and soon everyone is able to look down upon the Earth from orbit and learn what it's like to be an astronaut. Earlier Apollo missions to the moon also are described, with video pictures showing an Apollo launch and astronauts working on the surface of the moon. The imaginary trip into space next moves beyond Earth to explore other planets and objects in our solar system, including Mars, Saturn, Neptune, the asteroid belt and a comet. Finally, our space adventure leaves our solar system to explore the beauty of deep space. Beautiful space pictures are shown and described to the audience before our imaginary spacecraft returns to Earth. A brief question-and-answer period follows the presentation.
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