Attention teachers and home school group leaders looking for ideas for fun, educational field trips—at the Indian River State College (IRSC) Hallstrom Planetarium, the sky is literally the limit.
The Planetarium is now accepting reservations from school groups and home school student groups to visit the region’s only planetarium, now celebrating its 30th anniversary at the IRSC Massey Campus in Fort Pierce. These exciting programs are 45 minutes long, including a question and answer session, and cover a variety of current and timely topics in astronomy, including outer space survey programs, night sky talks, planets, black holes, and more.
A field trip to the Hallstrom Planetarium dovetails nicely into the classroom science curriculum. It inspires students to locate constellations, planets and stars in the night sky on their own, with or without the aid of a telescope.
Best of all, visits are free to K-12 students in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. Groups should include a minimum of 40 students and up to a maximum of 65 students. (The minimum size may be adjusted for special needs groups.) Student shows are offered at 10 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays from October through May on a first-come, first-served basis.
We ask that your group include one adult supervisor for every 10 students and that groups book their visits at least two weeks in advance and arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to get everyone organized and seated. No food, beverages, gum or use of mobile phones will be permitted. Bottled water is allowed. Planetarium staff will do their best to accommodate special needs students.
The Hallstrom Planetarium features a 360-degree immersive digital full-dome projection system and a state-of-the-art Spitz automated planetarium projector to recreate the sky, sun, moon and planets among the stars on a 40-foot domed ceiling.
Make sure to allow time for students and supervising adults to visit the new Planetarium gift shop, featuring interesting and collectible items such as T-shirts, caps, tumblers, astronomy trading cards, star finders and, of course, astronaut ice cream.
To schedule a visit, teachers or administrators should call reservation coordinator Lindi Perry at 772-462-7503 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional questions about the student programs, contact Planetarium Director Jon U. Bell at email@example.com or by calling 772-462-7515.
Children ages 4 to 12 are also encouraged to attend Kid Space programs on select Saturdays at 11 a.m. to take scientific voyages of discovery to learn about stars, constellations, the moon, planets, and the exploration of outer space. Adults must be accompanied by at least one child for these 60-minute programs. The cost is $5 per person. Kid Space programs take place on Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Dec. 3, Dec. 10, 2022, and Feb. 11, Feb. 25, March 11, April 22, May 13, and May 27, 2023.
About the Hallstrom Planetarium
For a complete schedule of public shows and events at the Hallstrom Planetarium and to purchase tickets, visit irsc.edu/community/planetarium. Most shows cost $5 per person. Shows are recommended for adults and children over the age of 10. The air temperature is maintained at 72 degrees; guests may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket.
The planetarium is located on the IRSC Massey Campus at 3209 Virginia Ave. in Fort Pierce. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You may call 800-220-9915 to reserve seats.
Tune in weekday mornings for Skywatch—a daily one-minute look skyward hosted by Planetarium Director Jon U. Bell—at 6:40 a.m., 8:40 a.m., 11:59 a.m. and 7:41 p.m. on WQCS 88.9 FM and at 7:59 a.m. and 12:59 p.m. on WQCP 91.9 FM.