Middle School Show Catalog

A list of shows aimed for students from 6th-8th grade. Shows selected cover applicable TEKS for the grade level.

Starry Tales

A Starry Tale

Discover a beautiful show that reveals how the constellations received their shape and names while tracking the movement of the moon and planets in the night sky. Mixing the constellations, astronomical knowledge and the religious faith, you will learn about the birth of the Greek myths, including the tale of Astraea, the goddess of justice, who is closely related to the constellation Libra. This starry tale will captivate using enchanting music and beautiful computer animations.

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Astronaut

Astronaut

What does it take to become an astronaut? Join us as we experience a rocket launch from inside the human body. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject our test astronaut, Chad, to everything space has to offer.

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Back to the Moon

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 introduced as the largest incentivized competition to date, 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.

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Beyond the Sun

Beyond the Sun

While Celeste is fighting off sleep in her room by reading a book about astronomy, she receives an unexpected visit from Moon. Together, they enjoy a journey through the universe to discover what exoplanets are and how they can be detected.

They observe rogue planets, oceanic worlds and super-earths. Moon tells her about exoplanet hunters who observe the sky in search of planets such as Earth. Many adventures are yet to come. But first, she needs some rest. Celeste drops off to sleep waiting for the next visit of Moon.

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Cell! Cell! Cell!

cell cell cell show at planetarium Theater

Cell! Cell! Cell!

You are made of 70 trillion living cells. They work. They talk. They think. They are what make you alive. This is the story of how they do it.

Join Sooki and Raj on an adventure to explore the human body as they use a series of fantastic instruments to peer inside complex living cells. Uncover the mystery of DNA and discover how we all began as a single, tiny cell.

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Dinosaurs at Dusk

Dinosaurs at Dusk

Dinosaurs at Dusk is the adventure of a father and his teenage daughter Lucy, who share a fascination for all things that fly. You’ll travel back in time to meet the pterosaurs and the ancestors of modern-day birds: the feathered dinosaurs.

Lucy and her father navigate from continent to continent, looking for clues about the origins of flight. When time runs out, they experience first-hand the cataclysmic last day of the dinosaurs.

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Dawn of the Space Age

dawn of the space age show at planetarium Theater

Dawn of the Space Age

Relive the excitement of the early days of space exploration, from the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik through the magnificent lunar landings and on to current manned and unmanned space voyages. Be immersed and overwhelmed with this accurate historic reconstruction of man’s first steps beyond the confines of Earth. This planetarium show recreates the adventures of modern explorers who took part in these death-defying endeavors. You will also witness their drive, passion and perseverance to explore. This spectacular show will make you feel as if you were there with them, reliving a piece of history.

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Dinosaur Passage To Pangaea

Dinosaur: Passage to Pangaea

When two children embark on a geology field trip, they are thrown into a fantastic voyage where they witness incredible geological wonders and learn the mysterious process that shaped our present-day continents.

From roaming the untamed prehistoric wilds to journeying to the center of the Earth, Dinosaur Passage To Pangaea is the perfect educational look at the tectonic forces that forged our world.

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Earth, Moon, and Sun

earth moon and sun show at planetarium theater

Earth, Moon & Sun

Coyote has many misconceptions about our home planet and its most familiar neighbors. His confusion about the universe entices viewers to think about how the Earth, moon, and sun work together as a system.

Learn why the sun rises and sets, and examine the moon’s orbit, craters, phases and eclipses. Earth, Moon & Sun explores past and future space travel to our moon and beyond.

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Exoplanets: Worlds of Wonder

exoplanets show at planetarium theater

Exoplanets: Worlds of Wonder

Using the latest data from multiple planet-hunting missions including Kepler, ExoPlanets: Worlds Of Wonder follows mankind’s first space probe as it journeys outside our solar system to the many new worlds astronomers are discovering beyond.

Explore gas giant planets caught in a deadly dance with their host stars and frozen rogue planets hurtling through space. Travel to molten, rocky worlds now known to science, and new planets orbiting within the Goldilocks Zone—the habitable region around a star where earth-like worlds may exist.

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Exploding Universe

Exploding Universe

As the universe has transformed into the structure we live in now, even the most elementary particles have endured. This show follows the path of one of these particles—a proton—as it participates in nature’s astounding events of rebirth and renewal.

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Ice Worlds

Ice Worlds

The delicate balance between ice, water and the existence of life has been a topic of exploration and discovery in science for generations. Traveling to the Arctic and Antarctic regions of our planet, we’ll examine the ecosystems that live and thrive there and see how their survival is connected with our own. Beyond Earth, we’ll see how the existence of ice shapes the landscape and the natural systems on other planets and moons in our solar system. Narrated by Emily Watson, star of The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep.

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Incoming!

Incoming!

In the California Academy of Sciences’ latest original planetarium show, Incoming!, audiences will discover how asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout history, changing the course of life on Earth and shaping the world we know today. From the comfort of a planetarium seat, viewers will embark on a dynamic journey on the trail of asteroids and comets, get an up close look at the advanced technologies that allow scientists to detect asteroids before they reach Earth, and visualize historic space events billions of years in the making—all within an immersive, all-digital dome that brings the captivating story our cosmic origins to life like never before.

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Journey to Space

Journey to Space

In the past half-century, humans have punched through the stratosphere, walked on the moon and lived continuously in orbit. In the coming decades, our unquenchable curiosity will take our species beyond the cradle of Earth to touch the face of another world. Strap in for the next giant leap. Next stop … Mars!

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Kaluoka'hina: The Enchanted Reef

Kaluoka’hina: The Enchanted Reef

Kaluoka’hina: The Enchanted Reef transports you to a tropical reef … a colorful, one-of-a-kind world full of adventure, danger, riddles and old legends. It’s a world inhabited by creatures that are humorous and courageous, lovable and bizarre, often charming and sometimes dangerous.

This planetarium show follows Jake and Shorty, two fish from the reef, on their quest to restore the magic of their home, Kaluoka’hina. Their only lead is an ancient legend that tells of touching the moon … but how is a fish supposed to touch the moon? This is just one of the intriguing puzzles that Jake and Shorty will have to solve on their most exciting adventure ever.

Spectacular underwater scenery, playful characters and the totally immersive environment of the planetarium make this show a must-see.

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The Life of Trees

the Life of Trees

Trees are essential for all life on Earth. They are among the largest and longest living organisms on Earth. To grow tall, the tree has become a miracle of engineering and a complex chemical factory. By means of photosynthesis the leaves combine the water and salts with carbon dioxide from the air to produce nutrients which feed the tree. Trees also remove carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, from the air.

The Life of the Trees is an entertaining and educational full-dome experience that tells the fascinating story of trees. The story is presented by two quirky, animated characters: a ladybug called Dolores and a firefly called Mike. The characters and the settings have been chosen with the idea of using the full dome format in a fascinating visual way that perfectly supports the educational aspect of the show.

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Magic Glob

Magic Globe

On vacation at her grandpa’s, a little girl named Mia accidentally discovers a mysterious piece of astronomical machinery. Edmund, Mia’s eccentric uncle, tricks the girl into using the tool’s secret powers to change the world’s seasons. She realizes the consequences of her actions, but Edmund doesn’t want to let the plan go.

Magic Globe is an engaging story designed to interest and challenge children from 5 to 12 years old. It has a clear educational structure with all science-related topics broken down into manageable chunks and naturally woven into the storyline. It allows children to recap knowledge they already have as well as learn multiple new concepts while following the story, which makes it perfect for mixed-ability audiences.

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The Making of a Star

THe Making of a Star and her entourage

Discover how human thought and understanding has changed dramatically over the centuries and explore how stars form and how x-rays from the forming star may impede the formation of planetary systems.

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Mystery of the Christmas Star

Mystery of the Christmas Star

One of our most popular shows of the year, Mystery of the Christmas Star explores the historical significance of the biblical story of the brilliant star that led the wise men on their journey to the baby Jesus. You will be immersed in spectacular images while this show offers a scientific view of what the star of Bethlehem may have been. The planetarium is a perfect place to study this because of its ability to exactly reproduce the skies as seen from Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.

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Natural Selection

natural selection show at planetarium theater

Natural Selection

In Victorian times, many physical phenomena were already discovered and described by natural laws, but life’s most eloquent mechanism was still unknown. How could new species arise to replace those lost in extinction? Charles Darwin pondered these questions on an adventurous voyage of exploration aboard the HMS Beagle.

In Natural Selection you will witness the thrill of scientific discovery by seeing the world through Darwin’s eyes. Make observations of the most beautiful, natural scenery, and let Darwin himself reveal his theory of natural selection. This simple and elegant theory explains the formation and diversity of life on Earth.

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Origins of Life

Origins of Life

Origins of Life deals with some of the most profound questions of life science; the origin of life and the human search for life beyond Earth. Starting with the big bang, the show explores pre-biotic chemistry in the universe, the formation of stars, formation of solar systems and the first life on Earth. Furthermore, Origins of Life covers the great extinctions as well as our search for primitive life beyond planet Earth. Origins of Life is a motivational journey through time and a celebration of life on Earth. It features many recent discoveries related to life science, demonstrating that if there was ever a time that science made its greatest advances, it would be right now!

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Perfect Little Planet

Perfect Little Planet

Discover our solar system through a new set of eyes a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, our best known dwarf planet. Dive down the ice cliffs of Miranda. Sail through the rings of Saturn. Feel the lightning storms at Jupiter. And walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose? This is the solar system journey for space travelers of all ages.

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Robot Explorer

Robot Explorer show at planetarium theater

Robot Explorers

Near the end of the twentieth century, we began launching unmanned probes into the far reaches of the solar system. What they discovered was amazing and in some cases unexpected.

Now after dozens of probes have been deployed, the exploration continues. New space missions are underway, and many of these robust spacecraft are still operational, beaming their knowledge back to Earth every day.

We will pay tribute to these robots who have explored in our place and experience what they have taught us about our solar system.

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Secrets of Gravity

Secrets of Gravity

12-year-old Luke is far more interested in the universe and its secrets than boring magic spells. He is fascinated by the stars, the universe and the laws of nature. One night, he sneaks into the Albert Einstein Museum where he meets ALBYX3, a small, clever, rather quirky robot who knows all about Albert Einstein and his theories. ALBY takes Luke on a magical journey through space and time during which they not only uncover the secrets of gravity but also learn about friendship and imagination.

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Stars: The Powerhouse of the Universe

Stars: The Powerhouse of the Universe

Every star has a story. Some are as old as time, faint and almost forgotten. Journey to the furthest reaches of our galaxy and experience both the awesome beauty and destructive power of stars. Suitable for audiences of all ages, this dramatic program features the voice talent of Mark Hamill and stunning 3D animation by NSC Creative. Educational content includes stellar evolution, space exploration, the electromagnetic spectrum and the history of astronomy.

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To Space and Back

To Space & Back

To Space & Back

Space exploration—our greatest adventure—is having a big impact on our lives. It’s helping us to discover a universe of unimaginable scale and beauty, and it’s reaching down into our world and influencing the way we live.

To Space & Back takes audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day. What’s happening above is coming back down to Earth!

Discover how we’ve been changed by space exploration, and what we owe to curiosity and the spirit of discovery.

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Two Small Pieces of Glass

Two Small Pieces of Glass

Two Small Pieces of Glass traces the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications of a spyglass—using two small pieces of glass—to the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy. This show explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout the last 400 years.

Join us as we view the magnificence of Saturn’s rings and explore the Galilean moons and other galaxies. We gain an understanding of how some of the largest observatories operate and see how telescopes are used in exploration of the cosmos.

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