COVID-19 Procedures

UPDATE: We are so happy, as is everyone we know, that the pandemic seems to be winding down and COVID restrictions are loosening.  Therefore, we are revising our COVID Procedures, especially for the Mobile Planetariums. We are happy to visit your school, church, library, or other facility. Your safety is still our priority, but due to new state and federal recommendations, here are our new procedures:

Mobile Planetariums:

  • We are limiting the number of elementary students in the planetariums to 35 plus 2-3 teachers for the large domes, or 20 plus 1-2 teachers for the small dome. Middle/High school students and adults are limited to 22 in the large dome or 15 in the small dome. 

  • We are recommending (but not requiring) all students ages 5 and up and all teachers and other adults to wear masks covering their nose and mouth while inside the planetarium. The planetarium domes are small enclosed "tents" and therefore will spread germs and airborne viruses easily. 

  • We will thoroughly spray the interior of the planetarium with a disinfectant after each group.

  • We will provide hand sanitizer for everyone to use before they enter the planetarium, if they wish.

  • However, the mobile planetariums still must be set up inside.

  • Stars and Science employees and volunteers are all fully vaccinated for your and our protection.

  • Most planetarium shows can also be shown virtually via Zoom, Google Meet or whatever platform you prefer.

Science Activities:

Our hands-on science activities are a great alternative for those who would prefer not to have their students inside a closed-in planetarium dome, or who do not have room for either size dome. Advantages of activities during the pandemic:

  • Most activities can be performed at the students' desks, with all at correct social distance.

  • Many activities can be performed outside, with craft activity at picnic tables or similar. This means we do not have to enter your buildings.

  • We limit activities to about 20 students, plus 1-2 teachers.

  • Activities are less expensive than planetarium, at $100 per hour, plus materials fees.

  • Stars and Science employees will wear masks if your location requests. Stars and Science employees are all fully vaccinated for your and our protection.

  • Some activities can be presented virtually. Many of them only require commonly available materials; if special materials are required, we will bring them to you in advance.  

Star Parties and Solar Viewing:

Our telescopes can be used for stargazing in the evenings and for solar (and lunar) viewing in the daytime. We have purchased eyepiece cameras that allow the object in the eyepiece to be viewed on a laptop computer. This means the students can see what is in the eyepiece without touching the telescope. Also, this allows younger children to see "through" the telescope more easily. It also allows several people at one time to view through the telescope. We can also take photos of various objects through the telescopes  so the students can have a memory to take home.

Virtual Options:

Most of our planetarium shows and science activities will still be available virtually via Zoom, Google Meet or via your preferred virtual platform. The fee for this option is only $100 per hour because we will not need to come and set up the planetarium. Students will be allowed to ask questions through chat (3rd grade and up) or they can raise their hands at specific times when we will pause for questions. Please have a teacher in attendance throughout the virtual presentations and/or activities to control student behavior during the presentations, to call on those with hands raised during question-and-answer periods, and to operate the mute/unmute button as needed. We will provide you in advance with materials for science activities, if needed.