Williamsville Central School District

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High School

The All Powerful Sun
Length: 45+ Minutes

AllPowerfulSunThis multimedia presentation explains the structure and inner workings of our star, the Sun. We begin at the core of the Sun where nuclear fusion generates energy and study all the layers from there outward. The radiative zone, convection zone, photosphere, chromosphere, corona and magnetosphere of the Sun are all studied in detail. But it doesn’t stop there….the Sun’s zone of influence actually extends well past Pluto where the solar wind ends at the heliopause. Almost all sources of energy are derived from solar power in one way or another, and we wrap up by learning about North High School photovoltaic electrical generation system that turns sunlight directly into electricity saving kilowatt-hours and precious natural resources.

Black Holes
Length: 25 or 40 Minutes

Black Holes (clark)Black Holes takes you on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe: a black hole. Where do they come from? Where do they go? How do we find them? Is there one on Earth's horizon? Using the latest in full-dome, 3D animation visualization technology.

Cleopatra's Universe
Length: 28 Minutes

Cleopatra's UniverseExplore the truths and mysteries of Egypt’s legendary queen Cleopatra.  This show will allow you to experience the life and times of Cleopatra in dramatic fashion as you travel back in time to see stunning re-creations of the Alexandria Library, Cleopatra’s Palace, and the Pharos Lighthouse—one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Discover the powerful Greek and Roman influences on the world of Cleopatra.

Dynamic Earth
Length: 32 minutes

Dynamic EarthDynamic Earth explores the inner workings of Earth's climate system. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy  that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes.

From Earth to the Universe
Length: 32 minutes

From Earth to the UniverseThe night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.

Galileo: The Power of the Telescope
Length: 30 minutes

GalileoTPOTTTwo eyes and two pieces of glass revolutionized human understanding 400 years ago. The eyes belonged to Galileo Galilei, and the curved pieces of glass were the lenses of his telescope. In Galileo: The Power of the Telescope – a Daniel M. Soref Planetarium original production – you'll learn Galileo's personal and powerful story, and explore how his discoveries displaced long-held views about the universe.

Travel back in time to Pisa, Italy, to experience Galileo’s early experiments with gravity and the laws of motion, his advocacy of the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun (still an absurd notion to many in the 1600’s), and his work with early telescopes. Learn how his keen observations culminated in The Starry Messenger, an early masterpiece in which Galileo described all his dazzling discoveries in a straightforward, easy to understand way. Narrated by Dava Sobel, author of the award-winning biography Galileo's Daughter.

Heart of the Sun
Length: 23 Minutes

Heart of the SunView the Sun as never before through breathtaking high resolution pictures taken by telescopes from space. The Heart of the Sun shows the development of our relationship with the Sun throughout history. Come see this amazing show that reveals just how much the Sun continues to puzzle us to this very day.

Hotter Than Blue
 Length: 40 Minutes

Hotter than BlueX-Rays, Gamma Rays, high energy; Hot stars, heavy stars, high density! Come learn about the spectrum of light and the part of the universe that we can't see with the naked eye through this fun and interesting show!

Ice Worlds
Length: 30 Minutes

Ice WorldsYou don’t need a parka to explore the polar regions of Earth. Ice Worlds takes you on a journey from the frigid waters of Antarctica to the frozen landscapes of distant worlds across our solar system. Planetary scientists search for water beyond Earth and examine how ice shapes other planets and moons. Studying Earth’s neighbors in space increases human understanding of the natural cycles and human influence on ice, snow, and water on Earth.

Lab Activities appropriate for Earth Science

These activities combine live Q&A with full dome animations of astronomical concepts. Please note: students should bring writing instruments and something to write on.
  • Latitude and Longitude – The Planetarium dome is transformed into a globe to practice with Latitude/Longitude. Practice finding the North Star and using it to determine latitude!
  • Sky Coordinates – Altitude/Azimuth, Right Ascension/declination
  • Earth Motions – The effects of rotation and revolution upon objects in the sky
  • Seasons – Seasonal paths (and effects) of the Sun at home and other locations on the Earth
  • Moon Motions and Phases – Daily/monthly motion, phases, relative positions of the Sun and Moon, synodic/sidereal months
  • Eclipses and Tides – Causes and effects
  • Spectrum – Parts of the EM spectrum, types of spectra, emission lamps/prism glasses, filters
  • Star Types and Classification – Black body spectrum and temperature, star color, luminosity and the H-R diagram
  • These lab activities can be combined and/or customized to meet your needs!!

The Making of a Star and Her Entourage
Length: 30 Minutes

MakingofaStarThe Making of a Star and Her Entourage traces the evolution of humankind’s understanding of the universe. Discover the long journey beginning with the Earth-centered model of the universe in which the Sun was considered a planet to our current understanding that the Sun is a star centered in the Solar System and is one of billions that reside in the Milky Way.

Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe
Length: 20 Minutes

Mayan ArchaeoAstronomy- Observers of UniverseObservers of the Universe is unique among planetarium shows, intertwining science and mythology to take the viewer on a poetic journey through how the Mayans have viewed and understood the Universe throughout their history. The visuals are stunning, giving the viewer the impression of being inside a beautifully stylistic painting. This artistic interpretation of the Universe makes for a journey that will not be forgotten.

The Nature of Science
Length: 22 Minutes

Nature of ScienceThe Nature of Science is designed to communicate what Science is and how Scientists work. First we examine the meaning of the words Hypothesis and Theory. Several scientists then share how they do their work, and how science is accessible to everyone. The show features interviews with Weber State University College of Science Faculty as they discuss their work. Somebody has to hold the rope, as it were.

Regenerative Medicine Partnership Programs

Our Cells, Our Selves
Length: 15 Minutes

 OCOSOur Cells, Our Selves you are invited to a science bedtime story with 7-year old Sylvie, a recently diagnosed diabetic, who is discovering the wonders of the immune system. Sylvie’s mother tells a story that takes us back hundreds of millions of years to explore how the balance between access to food and immune protection evolved into the modern human immune system. Learn that under rare circumstances, things can go wrong, leading to auto-immune diseases like Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. The story closes with a look at the future of medicine and the potential for cures!

Produced by Regenerative Medicine Partnership in Education.

Dr. Allevable’s Unbelievable LaboratoryDrAllevable
Length: 23 Minutes

Dr. Allevable and Regenerobot invite you into their laboratory as they investigate the new and exciting field of regenerative medicine! The human body is vulnerable to injuries—bone breaks, skin burns, and heart attacks, and regenerative medicine can help us heal faster by enhancing the ways that the body heals itself.

Produced by Regenerative Medicine Partnership in Education.

Oasis in Space
Length: 25 Minutes

Oasis In SpaceWe invite you to journey through the solar system and gaze at beautiful images of the planets and their satellites. We start by exploring Earth, with its vast oceans that make life possible. One by one, we fly by the other planets and moons, accompanied by full descriptions of their characteristics, such as atmosphere, temperature, and composition. Spectacular pictures invite students to draw their own conclusions about the other orbiting bodies in our solar system: is there water out there? Is there life beyond Earth?

Season of Light
Length: 40 Minutes

Season of Light"Season of Light" is a Planetarium Starshow featuring the customs and traditions of winter festivals of long ago. The show is about the coldest and darkest of seasons--a season which holds some of the warmest and brightest celebrations of the year. The show also recounts the historical, religious, and cultural rituals practiced during the time of the winter solstice. Christian, Jewish, Celtic, pagan, Nordic, Roman, Hopi, and Mexican winter festivals are featured. It is also a look at our more light-hearted traditions: from gift giving and mistletoe to songs and decking the halls with greenery and candles. Naturally, astronomy is a focus in the show--a few constellations, the Sun's path across the sky, and the Earth's tilt and orbit around the Sun are used to explain the changing seasons.

Seeing, a Photon's Journey Across Space, Time and Mind
Length: 22 Minutes

SeeingRide a photon across the galaxy to your mind's eye and experience how we see. “SEEING!” follows a photon’s creation and journey across the galaxy to a young stargazer’s eye. The viewer followsthe photon into the girl’s eye, learning the structures of the eye and their functions, prior to taking a ride on the optic nerve.

SEEING is a full-immersion planetarium program, which will use hemispheric 2D and 3D animations and video to teach how human vision works. Imagery from all over the world including humanity, landscapes, skyscapes, wildlife and of space will be the backdrop for photo-realistic animations, which will be used to create a story of a photons’ journey through the eye and its conversion to an electro-chemical impulse that then travels the neuro pathways of the brain to the various centers that create the image the brain sees.

Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico
Length: 50 Minutes

Skywatchers_whiteFor three thousand years, stretching from 1500 B.C. to 1521 A.D., the people of Mexico and Central America built awesome cities, developed hieroglyphic writing, performed sophisticated mathematics using the concept of zero, and made painstaking astronomical observations. Monuments carved from stone, a handful of surviving books, and the alignments of buildings are enabling archaeologists and astronomers to shed new light on these remarkable people.

Solar Quest
Length: 12 Minutes
SolarQuestSolar Quest is a full dome planetarium short feature that demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and that we are "Living with a Star". High quality animations display solar phenomena such as fusion and light energy as well as solar surface features and events. Granules, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are highlighted. The show discusses the impacts of space weather and how the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protects all life on Earth. "Solar Quest" features the role of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and how scientists are using it as a way to help identify and predict sever space weather. Actual videos of the Sun from SDO are used where the audience can actually see the large amount of energy being released.

Length: 60 Minutes

SoundscapesThe Planetarium becomes an immersive experience of sound. This inquiry-based program teaches students to listen, not just hear. All sounds are real and natural recordings that demonstrate how organisms interact and communicate with their surroundings.

Stars of the Pharaohs
Length: 30 Minutes

Stars of the PharaohsFollow the Stars of the Pharaohs to discover how ancient Egyptians studied the skies to tell time, create workable calendars, and align gigantic monuments. Explore the connection they felt with the stars and other astronomical phenomena. Not only does the program include images of the Egyptian ruins as they appear today, but some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world have been digitally recreated to reveal their original splendor.

Length: 20 Minutes

SunstruckOur Sun produces the energy that makes life on Earth possible. How does it do this? What is the Sun comprised of and how does it affect the Earth in other ways? Solar storms are a threat to our very existence, and the eventual death of the Sun will mean the end of our planet. How is this similar to the lives and deaths of stars throughout our galaxy? Discover the wonders of our sun. Its incredible energy has supported life on earth for millennia, but is now threatening our technology and way of life. Travel to the distant future to discover our sun’s connection to the universe’s cosmic cycle of life and death.

Two Small Pieces of Glass
Length: 25 Minutes

Two Small Pieces of GlassIn 1608, a German-Dutch spectacle maker named Hans Lippershey aligned a pair of lenses—one in front of the other—and noticed objects viewed through the device looked larger than when viewed with the unaided eye. The following year, Galileo Galilei built an instrument that magnified ten times, and directed his telescope to the Moon. Two Small Pieces of Glass puts you in the middle of a modern star party, discovering the wonders that even a small amateur telescope can reveal and learning about the scientists that made such views possible.

The Universe of Doctor Einstein
Length: 50 Minutes

EinsteinThe stupendous scientific discoveries of Albert Einstein interspersed with vignettes from his colorful life: this is the Universe of Dr. Einstein.

The Voyager Encounters
Length: 45 Minutes

VoyagerEncountersOne of the greatest pioneering explorations of the solar system was conducted by the space probes, Voyagers 1 & 2. These probes went farther than has ever gone before and vastly expanded our knowledge of the solar system. The vast collection of images and data collected by the Voyagers are uncovered in this amazing show! Among other encounters, this show contains those of the Probes' visits to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Come on this exiting trip through the solar system!