Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is launching its newest original fulldome planetarium show, "Grossology and You," Nov. 22-23, 2014, with a weekend full of gross-themed fun.
The public can see "Grossology and You" for the first time on Saturday, Nov. 22 (show times at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.) and on Sunday, Nov. 23 (show times at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.).
Sunday, Nov. 23, is the official premiere celebration for the public. In addition to the planetarium shows, Morehead's education team will offer free hands-on activities for children and adults 1-3 p.m., with "gross" Science Stage presentations and a special appearance by "Grossology and You" star Boogie, who will sign autographs and pose for photos.
"Grossology and You" is based on the best-selling series of GROSSOLOGY® books written by Sylvia Branzei and illustrated by Jack Keely* and is funded in part by a NIH grant**.
As the first Morehead original planetarium show that doesn't feature an astronomy and space science theme, "Grossology and You" focuses on the human body and some of the systems that keep us healthy.
"Morehead is really creating a path for other planetariums to follow with our new 'Grossology and You' show," explained Todd Boyette, Morehead's director. "Fulldome digital video technology lets us design planetarium shows that are unlike anything you've ever seen in a planetarium before now.
"Instead of traveling into outer space, you're traveling into inner space — the human body — and you'll be amazed by what you find there," Boyette added. "But I have to warn you: It's really gross!"
The planetarium show takes the audience into an amazing animated game show that stars Scabby, a hip-hop artist who represents the immune system; Boogie, a disco diva who represents the respiratory system; and Flatus, a rock star who represents the digestive system. As the three animated characters compete to see which system is most important, the audience learns how "gross" body functions protect us against infections and illness.
After seeing "Grossology and You," planetarium visitors can also explore Morehead's newest exhibit, "Gross Labs." In this interactive exhibit, visitors play the role of scientists who are applying for jobs at Gross Labs, choosing from such jobs as "Poop Analyzer" and "Snot Surveyor." Despite the humorous and gross-themed job titles, the skills required for these jobs reflect the same skills required for real-world science careers. Visitors leave the exhibit with a better understanding of the high-tech opportunities available for scientists and researchers.
Planetarium show tickets are $7.68 for adults and $6.51 for seniors/students/children (prices include state sales tax), and admission to "Gross Labs" is free. There are no advance ticket sales. Throughout the premiere weekend, each ticket holder receives a special commemorative gift, while supplies last.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is the informal science education resource of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The center is located at 250 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. For more information, visit www.moreheadplanetarium.org or call 919-962-1236.
*This presentation and all related materials are based on the book "Grossology and You" published by Price Stern Sloan. GROSSOLOGY® is a registered trademark of Price Stern Sloan, a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
**“Addressing the Science of Really Gross Things: Engaging Young Learners in Biomedical Science Through a Fulldome Show and Supporting Curricula," is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), Grant Number #1R25OD010522-01, from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR or NIH.