Product Overview

The Planetarium Activities for Successful Shows™ curricula is an extremely valuable resource to make your live, interactive lessons easier and more effective. These lessons are developed and maintained by the Lawrence Hall of Science, the public science museum and research center for K-12 education at the University of California, Berkeley. Digitalis worked closely with the Hall to adapt these lessons for easy use on Digitarium systems.

For users with our powerful Universal Console™ user interface, Augmented Lessons are available through a new "Lessons" screen in the interface. The instructions and narration are available for reference as you go through the lesson live. Everything that can be automated is a simple tap or click away, such as scripts, video, images, and audio. For example, tap an image thumbnail in the lesson to show it on the dome. Tap again to hide the image. This has never been so easy!

For users without the Universal Console interface, print out the included lesson PDF for reference while teaching. As you progress through the lesson, you use your backlit, handheld remote control to manually perform the required actions.

Unlike fulldome video shows, with either interface you are always in control and can operate the system directly at any time to answer questions or explore tangential topics. This allows you to tailor your lesson to your audience and your schedule. Even better, you have the right to modify the lessons for your own use to adjust them to your needs.


The complete set of PASS curricula is licensed FREE with all Digitarium systems purchased after January 1, 2015.

For customers with Digitarium systems shipped prior to January 1, 2015 a license for the complete PASS curricula is $1,000. All PASS lessons are described below.


More information, including sample shows, can be found on the Planetarium Activities for Successful Shows website.


Colors From Space

What can we learn about the stars and planets from their colors? To answer this question requires a fundamental understanding of why we see color. Through a series of activities, students deepen their understanding. They "travel" to an imaginary planet circling a red sun, and experiment with color filters and diffraction gratings.

Constellations Tonight

In this participatory version of a classic planetarium program about the night sky, students receive star maps and use them to find constellations in the planetarium sky.

Flying High

Flying High was designed to inspire students to learn by letting them know what it would be like to travel into space. Show how distant objects look smaller than nearer objects that are actually the same size. See how the Sun changes positions in the sky as the day progresses. Learn to recognize the Big Dipper in the sky. Appreciate the wonder of human space travel and some aspects of Space Shuttle launch and flight.

How Big is the Universe?

Your students will hop on stepping stones to bigger and bigger places, starting with the planetarium and then to the moon, the Solar System, nearby stars, the Milky Way galaxy, and clusters of galaxies. The students will use various methods to determine distance: parallax, "radar," and comparing the brightnesses of objects.

Journey to the Moon

Inspire children to learn by letting them know what it would be like to travel to the moon. Observe a cycle of Moon phases and learn the names, and discuss How Do We Get There? Then Blast Off! in a pretend launch, “experience” weightlessness, and look at Earth from space. The pretend 3-day excursion to the Moon gives students a better appreciation for the difficulties and wonder of space travel.

Moons of the Solar System

This program begins with observations of the Earth's Moon and a modeling activity that shows why the Moon goes through phases and eclipses. Then the students look at Jupiter's four major moons on a series of nights and figure out how long each one takes to circle Jupiter. Finally the students journey through the solar system to see many moons through the "eyes" of modern spacecraft.

Native American Astronomy

There are hundreds of Native American cultures, each with distinctive views of the heavens. In this program, students visit five cultures: the Hupa people of Northern California, Medicine Wheel in Northern Wyoming, Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, the Mayan people and the Incan people. Students observe moon cycles and changes in the sunrise and sunset positions on the horizon to learn how these practices help Native Americans stay in tune with the harmonies of nature.

Northern Lights

In this live audience participation show, students identify what areas of Earth are best suited for aurora viewing. They model the different seasonal patterns of the Sun's apparent daily motion in various latitudes, including places where there is the phenomenon of "midnight Sun." They observe and sketch aurorae, learn about the causes of aurorae, and find out about NASA missions that are studying aurorae.

Our Very Own Star

Beautiful views of the Sun are featured in this program, from optical effects of sunlight in Earth’s atmosphere, to views of the Sun from space. Students make observations that show how the Sun can be used as a time keeper and how sun- spots can show us that the Sun is giant spinning ball of gas. They use models of the magnetic fields of Earth and of the Sun to see why sunspots come in clusters and how the Earth’s magnetism affects space around Earth.

Red Planet Mars

Students discover Mars three different ways during this planetarium program. They find the red planet by observing it over a period of several nights as it moves against the background stars. Then they view it through a "telescope" and try to map its surface. Finally they see Mars via space probes.


In this program, students investigate the possibility that the ancient ruins of Stonehenge could have been used by its builders as a gigantic astronomical observatory and calendar. By actively formulating and testing their own hypotheses in the planetarium, the students learn how astronomer Gerald Hawkins went about discovering Stonehenge's probable function. Along the way, they learn a lot about apparent stellar, solar, and lunar motion.

Strange Planets

Are we alone? Do you think there might be other life out there? Hundreds of planets outside our solar system have already been discovered. Learn some ways that astronomers have detected these planets, such as techniques used by the Kepler mission, and discuss what basic requirements would be needed to support life.

PASS, Planetarium Activities for Successful Shows, and the Lawrence Hall of Science logo are trademarks of the Regents of the University of California. Used with permission.

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