The new Mikkelson Planetarium offers live educator-led planetarium shows at our amazing new Challenger Learning Center in northeast Colorado Springs. Seating up to 40 students in comfort, we provide custom-tailored shows to your requirements. As part of the full-day field trip experience, students are amazed to see the Universe come to them via a digital laser experience. Choose from any of our 45-minute Night Sky, Lunar, Galaxies! or Solar System Tour astronomy programs presented by Challenger staff. (Grade 5 to adult.) Custom programs available by advance arrangement.
Alternatively, we can bring our inflatable, portable planetarium to you. Donated by the Bruni Foundation, this portable time machine allows students to experience the night sky and the solar system no matter what the season, weather or time of day. Choose from any of our 30-minute movie programs below, including Elmo and Big Bird in the One World, One Sky (K-2) and/or supplement with grade-level appropriate Night Sky and Solar System Tour programs presented by Challenger staff. Students will be inspired to look at the night sky and be able to identify celestial objects. (Kindergarten and older, seating up to 36 elementary or 30 middle school students per show.)
Requires a 20 foot by 20 foot quiet area with 12-foot ceilings and two 110V power plugs.
The Night Sky
Explore our night sky, including close-up tours of our Solar System's planets and moons. Observe stars and the Milky Way from Earth and from space. Hear mythology and legends of constellations and learn tips for guiding you to seasonal constellation viewing. (All ages/ Individualized program according to your current studies)
One World, One Sky
Join Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street. This program examines sunlight and shadows, exciting star stories and constellations from around the world, and what it would be like on the Moon! (Grades K - 2)
The Solar System Tour
Students experience the planets and their moons up close in stunning visual detail. Find out what makes our Solar System so special, and what makes our Earth so unique within the Solar System. Join a live planetarium cruise director on a 30- or 45-minute tour around the plethora of planets and the multitude of moons that make up our Solar System, a tiny little outpost in the suburbs of the Milky Way Galaxy. (Grades 4 - 12)
The Moon has always kindled curiosity, imagination, and wild stories, inspiring humans to explore the mysteries of the Universe. In the new planetarium show Our Moon, enjoy beautiful laser digital imagery projected on the dome, as you learn about Moon phases and voyage from the early Apollo missions to NASA's future, the Artemis program. Humans have for centuries fantasized and written about the Moon, from Kepler's The Dream (1634), about an Icelandic voyager transported to the Moon, to From the Earth to the Moon (1865) by Jules Verne, in which a projectile is launched from Florida to the Moon before landing in the Pacific, to The First Men in the Moon (1901) by H. G. Wells, where a spaceship uses anti-gravity concepts to get to the Moon. You may find yourself moonstruck by our nearest celestial companion. (Grades 4 - Adult)