COTRAIC kids experience mobile planetarium
Children from Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center Head Start in Knoxville joined Elmo, Big Bird and Hu Hu Zhu – a Muppet from the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street – as they explored the night sky in One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure on Friday, Oct. 23.
As the children explored the night sky and through an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon they learned basic principles of math, geometry and physics and about each other’s culture.
Sesame Workshop created the planetarium show with major funding by the PNC Foundation and other partners. The exhibit travels to area schools in an inflatable dome that provides children with an age-appropriate introduction to astronomy while forging cross-cultural connections.
The Growing Up Great Together Under One Big Sky mobile planetarium tour features an inflatable dome that introduces children to the night sky while forging cross-cultural connections. Inside the dome, children ages 4 to 6 view a special planetarium show – One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure – created by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame StreetTM, and its partners, with major support from the PNC Foundation.
At the Growing Up Great Together Under One Big Sky mobile planetarium, each child received a day time/night time activity poster, which is trilingual (English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish) and has reusable, glow-in-the dark stars to display at home. Prior to the event, teachers at the schools and centers received astronomy-based curriculum to share with students before the dome arrived, as well as follow-up activities.
The dome is made of durable, lightweight fabric and can be set up in less than 30 minutes. There is room for 35 students to sit on the floor and a few chairs.
The dome is 16.5’ wide and approximately 10’ high, is used indoors and requires a minimum area of 20’ x 20’ with a ceiling height of at least 12’. The blower that inflates the dome provides a constant flow of fresh air that keeps the audience cool.
The 27-minute planetarium show is a high-definition video animation with full-dome stereo sound.
Three mobile planetarium tours and staff serve PNC markets. The exhibits travel from autumn through spring.