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Sky and Telescope Magazine

American Astronomical Society

Astronomy Teacher

At home Astronomy

Current Sky

CR's Space Puzzles

Star Child at NASA

Kid's Cosmos

A Universe of teaching opportunities may have eluded your school system for one simple reason.  The Sun shines.  In the past, viewing the night sky has meant a special after school event or the proverbial field trip to the nearest planetarium.  Night Skies is an alternative. Night Skies is a program featuring Mike Francis using Starlab, the inflatable planetarium dome and projector system.  A remarkably realistic night sky awaits groups of up to 30.  There is no need to worry about the weather, time of day or travel.


The experience of entering the giant bubble fascinates.  The excitement of being able to identify that bright red star from last night's sky or locating an elusive constellation sparks the imagination. Programs for K-8 actively involve students in observational astronomy.  Programs vary with the seasons to include the current night sky and astronomical phenomena.  Specific topics may be incorporated into programs for any of the grade levels with advanced requests.


Mike Francis, a physical science and physics teacher and formerly a lecturer for 10 years at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at Boston's Museum of Science, brings Night Skies to school systems throughout New England.  In only a few minutes he can set up the dome in a gymnasium, auditorium, library or even a large classroom.  Then the Universe awaits...