Passumpsic Bank Portable Planetarium
Sail around the night sky, learn about the mythology of constellations, and fly with your group to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, or the Sun and back all from the comfort of your own institution. Our portable dome has a diameter of 16 feet and can seat up to 25 adults or 30 young children.
Fairbanks Museum educators will give a live, engaging look at the sky, with multiple offerings that last 45-60 minutes. For younger ages (Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade) we also offer shorter 30 minute shows. Find our portable planetarium classes below.
Register for a visit by our Passumpsic Bank Mobile Planetarium starting for this September here.
If you have questions about booking the Passumpsic Bank Mobile Planetarium, please contact Drew Bush.
We will accept up to 10 reservations each season summer, fall, and winter/spring, so register today!
Site Requirements for a Visit
- Quiet, indoor room.
- Clean, swept floor.
- Minimum floor space: 18 feet by 18 feet.
- Minimum ceiling height: 13 feet with no obstructions (light fixtures, etc.).
- 2 grounded 120-volt standard electrical outlets.
- Air conditioning (required May-September).
- Adjustable lighting (when available).
- For multi-day visits, the mobile planetarium must remain in the locked facility.
For all schools, libraries, and other organizations the flat rate for the portable planetarium will be $200. We discount when there are mutiple shows in one day at the same location. For two shows, we charge $350 and, for three shows, $450.
For organizations located more than 25 miles from the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, we will also require the United States government mileage rate of $0.58 per mile to help pay for transportation costs to your site.
FREE Classes and Shows In Vermont's Northeast Kingdom
Is your school, library, summer camp or organization located in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom? Thanks to generous funding from The Vermont Community Foundation, we are proud to offer a portable planetarium visit to you FREE! Starting with those who book after Saturday, November 16, we will accept up to 20 reservations in the Northeast Kingdom in 2019-2020. Contact Drew Bush to make a reservation in the Northeast Kingdom.
- What’s Up, Tonight's Skies: A look at the skies as they appear tonight, featuring constellations, planets and the Moon.
- Myths and Legends: The stars and constellations have been imagined by many people across the globe, often referring to their culture, as well as how the sky appears to move and change through the year. This show features classic Greco-Roman myths, with a few other cultures as well.
- Native American Star Stories: This planetarium show focuses on a combination of star stories from the Indian nations, offering an introduction to culture in contrast to other versions of star stories. Beginning with our local Abenaki tribe and including, among others, the Cherokee, Onanadaga, Tewa Pueblo, and Klingit, students experience the breadth and scope of the traditions that inform present day and past native culture.
- Greek Mythology of the Night Sky: For students who have been studying Greek myths and legends, the museum educator begins with student knowledge, asking them to retell the stories. The characters in those stories and the storylines are illustrated through star patterns. Students learn that there are three types of Greek myths related to the night skies: explanation myths, myths inspired by the constellations, and myths that use constellations to retell an established story.
- Living in Space: Is it possible that humans might walk on Mars within a decade? NASA and companies like SpaceX are working on plans to put humans on Mars soon, and we already have the International Space Station too! What would it take to live in space, on another planet, or just floating out amongst the stars? In this lesson, we will study the kinds of technologies that will be necessary to support human life, and also the biology and physics necessary to understand why it's so difficult to leave the Earth!
- Bang! Zoom! To the Moon!: How does the moon move, and why does it change appearance? The moon is the most easily recognized object in the night sky, as well as the most misunderstood. It changes shape, location and timing, creates eclipses, and is the only other planetary object humans have landed on and explored. Following the planetarium experience, students use clay to makes a scale model of the relative size of sun to moon, and explore how the moon moves, independent of the earth, and vice versa. The session closes with a viewing of actual moon landings.
2019-2020 Current Mobile Planetarium Sites and Dates
We will accept up to 10 each season summer, fall, and winter/spring
- 9/14/2019 at 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM at Jamaica Memorial Library in Jamaica, VT
- 10/4/2019 at 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM at Autumn Moon Festival in Windsor, VT
- 11/25/2019 at 8:30 AM at Waterford Elementary School in Waterford, VT
- 11/26/2019 at 9:00 AM, 10:15 AM and 12:30 PM at Peacham School in Danville, VT
- 12/8/2019 at 10:15 AM at the First Universalist Church of Derby Line, VT
- 2/20/2020 Four Family Shows from 5:00-9:00 PM and It Came From Above at 10:00 PM for Adults at Burke Mountain Resort in East Burke, VT
- 2/21/2020 Four Family Shows from 5:00-9:00 PM and Zodiac Nights at 10:00 PM for Adults at Burke Mountain Resort in East Burke, VT
- 2/22/2020 Four Family Shows from 5:00-9:00 PM and Rekindling the Sun at 10:00 PM for Adults at Burke Mountain Resort in East Burke, VT
- 3/13/2020 at 6:00 PM at Sutton Village School in Sutton, VT
- 3/31/2020 at 1:00 PM at Ripton Elementary School in Ripton, VT
- 3/19/2020 at 9:30 AM and 10:15 AM at Danville School in Danville, VT
- 3/26/2020 at 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM at the Hardwick Elementary School STEM Festival (In Partnership with ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain) in Hardwick, VT
- 4/6/2020 at 8:30 AM at Danville School in Danville, VT
- 4/8/2020 Five Shows from 9 AM-2:30 PM at Allen Brook School in Williston, VT
- 4/13 Bluff Elementary School in Claremont, NH
- 7/24/2020 & 7/25/2020 Multiple Shows at Heritage Festival and Homecoming Days in Barre, VT
This portable planetarium comes to you with support from the Passumpsic Bank Peter F. Crosby Fund, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Kingdom Trails Association Mini Grant Program, and the US Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.