How to schedule a PLANETS visit
Please submit your request form for a PLANETS visit by September of the current school year to receive full consideration. Schools from Tier 1 (low wealth) districts receive priority consideration. Forms submitted after September will be considered only if spaces remain.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center's PLANETS program serves North Carolina schools during the school year (September–May).
During the summer (June–August), PLANETS is available to other groups by reservation. Day camps, homeschool groups, YMCA programs, Scout or 4-H events — a PLANETS visit is fun and educational for everyone!
You can choose from ten different planetarium programs. Before requesting a PLANETS visit, please review the site requirements to be sure your facility is large enough to house the portable planetarium. You can watch a video overview of the planetarium set-up on Morehead's YouTube channel.
|School Year Reservations
To schedule a PLANETS visit to your school, complete the PLANETS Visit Request Form (this is a Word form that you can complete on your computer).
When you have completed your PLANETS Visit Request Form, save it with the filename "PLANETS_Visit_Request_Form_[your school's name, without these brackets].doc" and e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Morehead staff member will contact you with additional information about reserving a visit to your school.
Coverage area limits. Because the primary mission of the program is to extend the Morehead experience to schools that are not within a reasonable driving distance of Chapel Hill, we give scheduling preference to schools that are more than 90 miles from Chapel Hill. Economically-distressed Tier 1 districts are exempt from this policy.
After March 1, if openings remain in the PLANETS schedule for that school year, Morehead staff will begin scheduling trips to schools within the 90-mile radius.
|Summer Reservations (for day camps and other groups)|
During summer months, PLANETS is available to visit sites that are within a two-hour radius of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. (as determined by Google Maps).
To schedule a summer-month PLANETS visit, contact Morehead Guest Relations at 919-962-1236.
|Fees for a PLANETS Visit|
Per-school pricing for a PLANETS visit is designed to be simple and economical, allowing a school to provide this unique experience for multiple classes.
Visits Within Regular School "Classroom" Hours
The school or site is responsible for the following fees for each PLANETS visit:
- $425 visit fee per day -- Your visit fee includes up to four planetarium shows at your school per day.
- If the school or site is within a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill, there is no additional fee for travel.
- If the school or site is outside a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill, there is a $180 overnight travel fee in addition to the visit fee. This fee is subject to scheduling.
Visits Outside of Regular School "Classroom" Hours
(Evening and Weekend Programs)
The school or site is responsible for the following fees for a PLANETS visit that occurs outside of regular school hours (for example, a Family Science Fair) and that is within a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill:
- $350 event fee -- Your event fee includes up to two hours of programming with the PLANETS portable planetarium on your site.
- If your event requires more than two hours of programming on your site, there is an additional fee of $75 per each additional hour.
- If your site is not within a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill, special pricing will apply. Please contact the PLANETS educator at email@example.com or 919-843-7716 for more information if your site is not within a 90-mile radius.
If it is necessary for you to cancel your reservation for a scheduled PLANETS visit, please note the cancellation policy: In order to receive a credit, you must notify us no later than two weeks before your scheduled PLANETS visit. If you cancel during the week of your scheduled PLANETS visit, Morehead reserves the right to retain full payment for the visit. If cancellation is due to inclement weather (school closed due to snow, for example), this notification requirement may be waived by Morehead.
|Additional Program Details|
- A typical PLANETS visit provides up to four programs per day.
- Each group's planetarium experience will last approximately one hour.
- The dome can accommodate 30 children in grades K-3, 24 children in grades 4-7 or 20 children in grades 8-12 per program, in addition to one or two adults.
- The classroom teacher MUST accompany the children inside the dome for the duration of the program. Additional adults may attend as space is available.
- If requesting more than one day of shows, please plan for the planetarium to remain in your locked facility overnight.