Planetarium Activities

Welcome the the Planetarium Online Learning Center

Below you will find activities and resources you can explore on your own or browse our content by theme!

Tips for Caregivers Facilitating Hands-On Activities

Are you new to the role of educator in addition to caregiver? The Bishop Museum Education team offers these short guides developed by the National Informal Science Education Network. Many of the activities on our Online Learning Center are hands-on, like what you can experience at the museum. These quick tips can give you some new ideas and tools for engaging your learners at home.    

Imagine Life

Imagine and draw an extreme environment beyond Earth, then invent a living thing that could thrive in it. Learners find out that NASA scientists study extremophiles on Earth to imagine the variety of life that might exist elsewhere, and make predictions about where to look for it. This activity was developed by the National Informal Science Education Network for the Explore Science: Earth and Space Kit project. Adapted for at-home use by Bishop Museum Education Staff. Recommended for ages 4+. 

Mars Rovers

Discover how scientists and engineers use robotic rovers and other vehicles to explore distant worlds, and experience some of the challenges and teamwork required to navigate a rover across the surface of a planet millions of miles away. Players acting as “Mission Control” and a “Rover” must work together to navigate a large obstacle course. Participants can also design their own rover to fit the particular challenges of exploring a distant planet. This activity was developed by the National Informal Science Education Network for the Explore Science: Earth and Space Kit project. Adapted for at-home use by Bishop Museum Education Staff. Recommended for ages 4+. 

Paper Mountains

Explore the way the shape of the land and the pull of gravity influence how water moves over Earth. By making unique mountain models from crumpled paper and watching how water moves across them, learners can act as Earth scientists, using their observations to make predictions about the future of our planet. This activity was developed by the National Informal Science Education Network for the Explore Science: Earth and Space Kit project. Adapted for at-home use by Bishop Museum Education Staff. Recommended for ages 4+. 

Pocket Solar System

Make a scale model of the distances between objects in our solar system. Learn that there is a lot of space between planets, and that our solar neighborhood contains many other interesting features and objects. Learners can even imagine where they might like to send a NASA mission spacecraft in the future! This activity was developed by the National Informal Science Education Network for the Explore Science: Earth and Space Kit project. Adapted for at-home use by Bishop Museum Education Staff. Recommended for ages 4+.

Constellation Creation

For thousands of years all over the world people have looked up at the night sky and told stories about the figures and patterns they saw. But just because someone 1000 years ago said a pattern looked like something doesn’t mean you can’t make up your own today! Work with your family or on your own to connect the stars on this map into new shapes and figures. Will you draw a hero and a villain? Your family pet? A bicycle? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination! Take it a step further by making up a story to go along with one or more of your new constellation figures.

Fish of Hawai‘i

Starline & Maui Fishhook

See how to find Maui’s Fishhook, Manaiakalani in the sky this month along with the starline Kaiwikuamo’o. 

Pōhaku: Rocks in Space

There are many different types of rocks in space, from asteroids to moons to planets. Here are some resources to help you learn about them!

Asteroid Mining Activity

In this activity, learners will imagine the challenges and opportunities of asteroid mining. Learners will draw their own asteroid mining machines, and consider how these devices would extract, process, and return mined materials to Earth. They can also assume roles assigned by the activity’s “challenge cards,” and imagine what concerns or priorities they might have as a scientist, explorer, lawyer, or engineer. Download all four files to do the activity! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Meteor Showers Video

Have you ever seen a shooting star? Learn about what causes meteor showers in this short video and then go to https://www.bishopmuseum.org/astronomy-resources/ to find when the next meteor shower occurs and dates for other showers this year.  

The Rocky Inner Planets Video

Blast off from Earth and discover what makes the rocky inner planets of our solar system so amazing! 

Voyaging in the Pacific

Wayfinders: Waves, Winds, and Stars (Video One)

The first of our videos about Polynesian navigation. Learn some basics of how Polynesian Voyaging Society navigators use the stars to find their way across vast stretches of open ocean. A virtual adaptation of our signature show Wayfinders: Waves, Winds, and Stars.

Wayfinders: Waves, Winds, and Stars (Video Two)

The second of our videos about Polynesian navigation. This video builds off the first one and introduces the basics of the Hawaiian Star Compass. A virtual adaptation of our signature show Wayfinders: Waves, Winds, and Stars.

Be a Part of Our Story

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