- Bismarck Public Schools
- Discovery Dome
The Discovery Dome is a portable, spherical digital theater. Your students will enjoy the 360 degree viewing experience to immerse themselves into content learning. A variety of shows have been purchased covering topics from the human body, space science, ancient civilizations and more. See below for a complete list of the shows and links to preview them online.
Once inflated, the Discovery dome is 10 feet high and 17 feet in diameter.
There is a fee to rent the Discovery Dome and training is required before you are able to checkout the Discovery Dome. Contact us for more information.
Discovery Dome Shows
All Ages: 3,000 Years of Stargazing
The sky, and everything that happens in it, has always piqued our curiosity. Eclipses, the regular cycle of the seasons, and the motion of the stars have fascinated us since our earliest ancestors looked up to the sky. In the learned company of a cartoon Einstein, this show takes audiences on a tour of the major astronomical milestones of the last 3,000 years -- from the cosmological models of antiquity, through the Ptolemaic system of epicycles, to the contributions of Copernicus, Newton, Hubble and many others. We explore the discoveries made possible by the use of technology -- from the first telescope used by Galileo -- to modern ones in use on Earth and in space. All have revealed the beauty of the cosmos. Come along for an exploration of nebulae, pulsars, and black holes and 3,000 years of astronomy exploration! 34 mins DETAILS
All Ages: Back to the Moon
The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We see what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor including the discovery of the Moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface.
The Google Lunar XPRIZE is designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. We highlight the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge. Who will win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE? The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.
All Ages: Dark Matter Mystery
This planetarium show takes you on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics. You will see why we know that Dark Matter exists, and how this search is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer. Join the scientists on their hunt for Dark Matter with experiments in space and deep underground. Will they be able to solve the Dark Matter Mystery? 38 mins DETAILS
All Ages: Five Great Circles of Earth Mini
A mini show on earth science. 7 mins VIDEO
All Ages: Flight Adventures
Discover the science of flight through the eyes of a young girl and her grandfather as they explore how birds, kites, planes and models fly. Learn about the history and future plans of flight and how NASA is discovering new and safer ways to travel with the help of future engineers and aviators - like YOU! 25 mins DETAILS
All Ages: Habitat Earth
Plunge below the ocean’s surface to explore the dynamic relationships found in deep ocean ecosystems; dig beneath the forest floor to see how Earth’s tallest trees rely on tiny fungi to survive; and soar to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks. Narrated by Frances McDormand, our latest original planetarium show features stunning visualizations of both biological and human-built networks (and of how they intersect), taking show-goers on an incredible, immersive journey through the interconnectedness of life on Earth. 25 mins DETAILS
All Ages: The Hot and Energetic Universe
The planetarium documentary The Hot and Energetic Universe presents with the use of Immersive Visualisations and real images the achievements of the modern astronomy, the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories, the basic principles electromagnetic radiation and the natural phenomena related to the High Energy Astrophysics.
High Energy Astrophysics plays a key role in understanding the universe. These radiations reveal the processes in the hot and violent universe.
High Energy Astrophysics probes hot gas in clusters of galaxies, which are the most massive objects in the universe. It also probes hot gas accreting around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies.
Finally, high energy radiation provides important information about our own galaxy, neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our Sun which emit copious amounts of high energy radiation. Europe plays a leading role in high energy astrophysics research.
The XMM-Newton and the Integral missions, are leading the exploration of the X-ray and gamma-ray universe. ESA's mission ATHENA, to be launched in 2028, will carry the most sensitive X-ray telescope ever and it will be the flagship of all high X-ray missions. 30 mins DETAILS
All Ages: The Incredible Sun
Every second the Sun emits million times more energy than the world consumes every year. Where does such a huge amount of power come from? Discover our star through the breathtaking timelapses. Thanks to the real images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory and processed by advanced mathematical methods, you will experience the true nature of the Sun and find out that it is far from being as calm as it seems at first glance.
The Sun's activity, pronounced by terrific solar flares, sunspots and coronal mass ejections, influences our planet, by producing impressive auroras but also by damaging distribution networks and communication satellites. Is it a threat to us, then? DETAILS
All Ages: Journey to Mars
Prepare your students for exciting STEM-related career opportunities in the future.
Interest them in pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation.
NASA's fleet of Mars robotic explorers are paving the way for human exploration of the Solar System in the coming decades. Generate excitement for space agencies like NASA, ESA and the UK Space Agency - as humanity prepares for a monumental journey to Mars! DETAILS
All Ages: Losing the Dark
Losing the Dark is a "public service announcement" planetarium show, a collaboration of Loch Ness Productions and the International Dark-Sky Association. It introduces and illustrates some of the issues regarding light pollution, and suggests three simple actions people can take to help mitigate it. The show gives planetarium professionals a tool to help educate the public about the problems of light pollution. Planetarians are uniquely positioned to teach audiences ways we can all work together to implement responsible use of lighting. 7 mins DETAILS
All Ages: New Horizons For a Little Planet
After it encounters Pluto, New Horizons will continue on through the Kuiper Belt and the mission will likely be extended. A smaller, more primitive Kuiper Belt Object will then be targeted for a rendezvous in 2018 or 2019. These encounters promise us unprecedented close up views of these distant worlds and the information gathered by New Horizons will provide valuable insight into the formation of our solar system and its planets 6 mins DETAILS
All Ages: The Seasons Mini
A mini show about seasons and earth science. 9 mins VIDEO
All Ages: Seeing
A photon's journey across space, time, and the mind. Planetarium show based on a 1-hr PBS documentary "Sight--The Story of Vision" weaving a tale of the journey of humanity that discovered the science, technology and medicine that allows us to understand how sight works, cure diseases of the eye and correct vision 22 mins DETAILS
All Ages: Solar Eclipses Mini
A show mini regarding astronomy. 8 mins. VIDEO
All Ages: Sunstruck
Travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the Sun. Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away. DETAILS
All Ages: Tides Mini
A mini show about tides and earth science. 6 mins VIDEO
All Ages: Two Small Pieces of Glass
The film features interviews with leading astrophysicists and cosmologists from the world's renowned universities and observatories, who explain concepts ranging from Galileo's act of revealing the cosmos with a simple telescope, to the latest discoveries in space, including startling new ideas about life on other planets and dark energy - a mysterious vacuum energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. 23 mins DETAILS
Grades 0-2: One World One Sky
One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure Big Bird, Elmo and their friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, take viewers on a journey of discovery to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun, and the Moon. 25 mins DETAILS
Grades 2+: Earth's Wild Ride
Imagine Earth were a distant place you once called home but could never visit again. What would you remember most about the planet, and how would you describe it to your grandchildren?Set on the surface of the Moon in the year 2081, a grandfather and granddaughter watch a solar eclipse from scenic cliffs overlooking their moon colony. Conversation leads to contrasts between the moon, the only home the granddaughter knows, and the Earth, where the grandfather has spent most of his life.As they watch the Moon's shadow move across Earth, the grandfather tells stories of crashing asteroids, erupting volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs, electrifying lightning and booming thunder. Each experience begins with a telescope view of the dynamic Earth in stark contrast with the unchanging lunar landscape.Earth's Wild Ride is like many tales shared by grandparents over the centuries, except "the old country" is really another planet, always visible from the moon base, but totally unlike the granddaughter's world. While learning about eclipses, the ice age, Earth's water cycle and differences between the Earth and Moon, the audience is taken on a roller-coaster-like ride through canyons of raging rivers and hot flowing lava. Adventure and appreciation for home fill this 20-minute journey back to the Earth. 20 mins DETAILS
Grades 2+: Great Planet Adventures
With muscles and bones made on Earth, you'll be a super star on the solar system's low-gravity worlds. Imagine zip lining on the scorched Mercury or snowmobiling when it really snows on Pluto. Bungee jumping into outer space from an asteroid is like low-g diving from the tallest cliff or rappelling into deepest canyon in the solar system. Without gravity's strong pull, you can glide over the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan, jet-pack in a geyser's spray on Triton, or even drive a monster truck along a steep lunar crater wall. The Great Planet Adventures brings you each of these incredible off-world adventures. 24 mins DETAILS
Grades 2-4: We Choose Space
WE CHOOSE SPACE! is a planetarium show for audiences of all ages who dream of space and wonder about human spaceflight after Shuttle. It's a show filled with real adventures for the near frontier. Positive, possible, and exciting -- this is a promise we can make to our children, our future astronauts. It has been created by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Home Run Pictures, and Tietronix with scientific oversight by Rice University. Astronauts Scott Parazinsky, Tom Jones and Gene Cernan, and veteran space reporter Walter Cronkite are your tour guides on this adventure to the completed International Space Station and to the past and future moon. Include fulldome imagery using OUR fisheye lens on the ISS! 24 mins. DETAILS
Grades 2-8: Dinosaur Prophecy
Long before dinosaurs' massive extinction 65 million years ago, many individual species simply disappeared. Visit dinosaur graveyards, study their bones, and reconstruct how these creatures lived and died to solve four famous cold cases from the age of the dinosaurs in The Dinosaur Prophecy. "Today we are learning to cope with extreme weather, from Category Five hurricanes to devastating tsunamis," said Dr. Carolyn Sumners, director of the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Burke Baker Planetarium. "The Dinosaur Prophecy examines the deaths of these dominant and ferocious creatures, which tell of the Earth's enormous power and potential for dramatic and devastating change. Each disaster that affected the dinosaurs is a warning for human survival." Never before have so many types of dinosaurs come to life in full-dome immersive reality. Viewers discover the lives of multiple species of dinosaurs, from the Coelophysis of 205 million years ago to the Allosaurus and Diplodocus of the mid-Jurassic period. Viewers will also see the feathered Sinornithosaurus of China and the T. rex and Triceratops that survived and thrived until the final extinction of all dinosaurs 65 million years ago. 21 mins DETAILS
Grades 2-8: Force Five
Feel the Fury! Get ready to take cover when you see nature go "Force Five", from our partners, Houston Museum of Natural Science and Rice University. Extreme weather takes center stage in this full dome animated show revealing images not seen by naked eye due to their life-threatening nature. Using real movies and NASA based images, Force Five offers the audience a vantage that would never be safe in the real world, creating a sense of what it would look and feel like if you were standing in the middle of a deadly storm. "Experience a storm without getting wet!" The show begins by stepping back in time to 1900, when the great hurricane swept through Galveston, killing over 6,000 men, women, and children in one night of terror. Homes collapsed under the incredible force of torrential winds, powerful rain and rising water, and animates how the surge may have looked. It then shows how NASA spacecraft and special aircraft measure hurricanes and predict their paths. We fly with a storm chaser aircraft through the heart of a hurricane. The 22-minute show then turns to the next Force 5 killer, the tornado. These violent and unpredictable storms turn flying debris into lethal weapons. A fulldome animation then puts you into a realistic storm, with stormchasers using amateur radio to report the twister's position and save lives. The final journey of Force Five transports the audience to the surface of the sun, where the most powerful storms in the solar system occur. The violent force of these solar events equals the energy output of a million hydrogen bombs. A coronal mass ejection can create disturbances that can damage spacecraft, disrupt communications, and disable power grids here on Earth. Without the protection of Earth's magnetic field, these storms would destroy most life on the planet. NASA spacecraft monitor the Sun and the solar wind to help us understand and predict nature's next move. 22 minutes DETAILS
Grades 2-8: Ice Worlds
Ice Worlds is a tour of the icy landscapes of our solar system ' especially our home planet Earth. In Ice Worlds audiences explore the critical relationship between ice and life ' a tale of friend and foe, enabling, challenging, supporting and adapting ' that has developed over millions of years. The Earth is a dynamic planet with a global climate that is always changing. One of the most dramatic changes occurs each year as ice turns to water and returns to ice once again. The amount of ice trapped over land in the polar regions also determines sea level and the amount of solar energy absorbed by the planet as bright reflective ice transforms into dark absorbing oceans. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and Evans & Sutherland Corporation, has developed Ice Worlds to showcase worlds sculpted and transformed by ice throughout the solar system, including our ice planet Earth. The interplay of life and ice on Earth ' from microbes to humans ' raises questions about the ice worlds of our solar system. Will they have microscopic life? Will they be suitable for humans to explore? Can they help us understand Earth's changing polar habitats and protect their pristine beauty? For answers, Ice Worlds explores the two poles of Earth and the other ice worlds nearby. 28 mins DETAILS
Grades 2-8: Saturn the Ring World
Saturn is the true "Lord of the Rings". After nearly seven years in transit, the two-story Cassini-Huygens spacecraft began orbiting Saturn on July 1, 2004. Cassini continues to explore Saturn and its moons during its extended mission, while the Huygens probe had landed on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The Cassini Saturn encounter began with a flyby of Saturn's farthest moon, Phoebe. See Saturn up-close and all-around-you inside our dome theater. 22 mins DETAILS
Grades 3+: Body Code
Fly through the carotid artery; explore the eye, brain, ear, and heart. Then, shrink into a cell to see its nucleus and DNA within. Discover how DNA programs the body's cells to form the circulatory and nervous systems. Then watch from inside as we use lasers to fight disease at the cellular level. 21 mins DETAILS
Grades 3+: IBEX: Search For the Edge of the Solar System
Designed for visitors with an appreciation for the challenges of space science and a desire to learn more about science research, IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System follows the creation of NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Audiences will get an in-depth look at the mission and how IBEX is collecting high-speed atoms to create a map of our Solar System's boundary. 28 mins DETAILS
Grades 3+: Lucy's Cradle
Over a hundred planets and moons of all sizes orbit the sun, yet only Earth has intelligent life - or perhaps any life at all. What are the required conditions to foster life? Solar energy, a protective atmosphere, liquid water - but maybe much more. The record of Earth's past shows long-term stability, punctuated by moving continents, periods of rising and falling oceans and ice ages followed by global warming. What combination of environmental variation and stability is required for life to begin and to become intelligent?
Based on the genetic diversity in human DNA around the globe, all modern humans can be traced to an ancestral source population in East Africa. The East African Rift Valley is a unique environment for the discovery of ancient hominid remains. Here, moving faults have exposed sediments of ancient lakes and rivers, and the precious fossils they conceal.
Lucy lived here 3.2 million years ago at a time of changing climate with more seasonal variation and of savannahs replacing rainforests. The embodiment of early hominids, Lucy was about the height and weight of a modern ten-year-old girl and was fully bipedal. By standing upright, she could look over the grassland, cover longer distances, spot predators, and regulate her body temperature more efficiently.
Following Lucy came hominids with more human behaviors: stone tool making, scavenging, meat eating, hunting and mastering fire. The larger brains needed for these tasks resulted in an extended childhood, which required more complex social groups and the development of language.
LUCY'S CRADLE, the Birth of Wonder chronicles these developments along the East African Rift Valley and then follows the spread of humans around the globe. From the obelisks of Axum to mountaintop observatories, humans have searched for a relationship with the heavens. Modern astronomers are continuing a magnificent journey of human vision that began over 3 million years ago when a young female hominid peered over the grassland of East Africa and saw the distant horizon beyond her fingertips. 21 mins DETAILS
Grades 3+: Navajo Skies
NAVAJO SKIES is a full-dome animated star-show featuring authentic Navajo astronomy stories told in Navajo and English, with traditional Navajo songs and Native American flute music. The show was created and recorded on the Navajo Nation. 32 mins DETAILS
Grades 3+: Secrets of the Dead Sea
SECRETS OF THE DEAD SEA tells the story of this timeless place through its history, religion, astronomy and geology. Long ago plates in the Earth's crust pulled apart and formed a rift valley stretching from Syria to Mozambique. The Dead Sea is the lowest point of this valley. In more recent times, when Judea fell to the Romans, we can imagine scribes and scholars rushing to hide their precious scrolls in the cliffs overlooking the Dead Sea's northern shore. Carefully they closed up the caves, hiding any evidence of the scholarly treasure within. Now this delicate ecosystem is threatened by irrigation projects that shrink the sea and lower the water table below. 21 mins DETAILS
Grades 4+:Night of the Titanic
What caused the great ship to sink?
Experience what it was like to stand on the deck of the doomed ocean liner Titanic the night she sank. NIGHT OF THE TITANIC shows the unique conditions in Earth and space that - coupled with human errors - contributed to the sinking of the ship on April 15, 1912. Learn about: ocean currents, iceberg formation and drift, global warming, solar cycles. With one narrator from that time, and one narrator from today, learn about the ship and virtually tour its final resting place on the ocean floor. Learn how the radio room cut off iceberg warnings because they were too busy sending for-profit radiograms. DETAILS
Grades 6-12: Fate of Maya
Visit the Classic Mayan cities of Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Tikal, and Palenque to discover how the Maya aligned their temples to watch their sky gods and used interlocking calendars to record the past and predict the future. Explore pyramids towering above the rainforest, designed as observatories to follow the sun. Experience the apocalypse of the Maya and discover how they predicted a fate for the world in 2012. 26 mins DETAILS
Grades 6-12: Hubble Vision
HUBBLE Vision 2 is a breathtaking odyssey through the universe, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, featuring gorgeous imagery of the planets, stars, galaxies, and more! The educational focus of this show is to present the discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope, explaining the objects it has observed and the processes that shape the cosmos. This is done via a set of multidisciplinary themes woven throughout the program. These ideas help relate the information presented in the show to the lives of students and their families. The language level is appropriate for students at the middle-school level and above, as well as the general public. 30 mins DETAILS
Grades 9-12: From the Earth to the Universe
This stunning, 30-minute voyage through space and time conveys, through sparkling sights and sounds, the Universe revealed to us by science. Viewers can revel in the splendour of the worlds in the Solar System and our scorching Sun. From Earth to the Universe takes the audience out to the colourful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out beyond the Milky Way to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us to probe ever deeper into the Universe. 30 mins DETAILS
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium program you can use in the Discovery Dome. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. Unlike a show which plays automatically, you will guide the students through the night sky in real time. The program is already downloaded on the Discovery Dome computer, however you may want to become familiar with it before use. Below are some links and tips in working with this program.