Planetarium School Programme

The Planetarium runs a school programme in conjunction with the Education and Public Programmes department.

Grade R – Grade 3

Davy Dragon and the Planets (English)
Dawie Draak en die Planete (Afrikaans)
U Davy Dragon kunye nee Planets (Xhosa)

Davy Dragon tries too hard to fly and gets lost among the planets. The planets try their best to help him find his way home again.
Content: All the planets of our solar system and their basic characteristics.

Davy Dragon and the Planets won first prize in the International Planetarium Society Script-writing Competition for the “Most Creative Public Show 
Script for 1997/8”.

Grade 1 and older

Umlilo Esibhakabhakeni (Xhosa only)

U tatomkhulu ufundisa u Sipho no Thandi ngesibhakabhaka nokuqulathwe siso.
Isiqulatho: Iimpawu zemo yelanga, inyanga iinkwenkwezi kunye nezijikelezi-langa.

Grade R  – Grade 4

Guinea Minnie & the Piece of Sky (English)
Tobie Tarentaal & die Stukkie Lug (Afrikaans)

One day something fell right onto Guinea Minnie’s head. She and her feathered friends try and discover what it was.
Content: What is visible in the night sky. Basic characteristics of the sun, moon, stars and planets of our solar system.

Grade R – Grade 5

Michael Lion and the Star Pictures (English only)

Michael, a little toy lion, and his friend, Bertie Bug, leave their home in the toy room and go on a magical quest to the stars.
Content: Star constellations and their identification; sky legends and the origin of the legends. Constellations - Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Scorpius, Leo.

Michael Lion and the Star Pictures won first prize in the International Planetarium Society/Eugenides Script-writing Competition in 2008.

Grade R – Grade 5

Tick Tock - the mouse and the clock (English only)

Our little furry hero, Morris Mouse, goes to visit his cousin on the other side of the overgrown garden. Once there, time flies and he has a most amazing adventure.
Content: Earth and astronomical time

Grade 2 – Grade 4

Morris Mouse (English)

Morris Mouse needs a front door light! One night he has a strange dream where he asks a few stars to help him with his lighting problem. But was it all a dream?
Content: All about the nature of stars.

Grade 5 – Grade 7

Starbike (English)
Sterfiets (Afrikaans)

Before Sylvester Starlight and his parrot friend, Percy, can fly their fantastic Starbike, they have to make sure they know all about directions and direction finding.
Content: Cardinal points of the compass, direction finding, finding south using the Southern Cross, seasons, a few summer constellations, Milky Way, stories, etc.

Grade 6 – Grade 8

Journey to the Stars (English)
Reis na die Sterre (Afrikaans)

This programme examines the different kinds of stars within our galaxy, the Milky Way. We look at the Sun, Alpha Centauri which is a multiple star system, Sirius the double star and Betelgeuse, a red giant. The life cycle of a star is shown, as well as the constellations of the Southern Cross, False Cross and Orion. There is also some discussion on galaxies.

Grade 8 and older

15 Billion BC (English)
15 Miljard vC (Afrikaans)
15 Billion BC (Xhosa)

Look back in time over 15 billion years to the edge of the observable universe. Learn about the structure and components of the universe and learn to recognise the star patterns we see with the naked eye.

Grade 8 and older

A basic guide to Stargazing (English only)

Drawings by Tony Grogan
In this 45-minute presentation we give you a basic understanding of the night sky and how it changes throughout the year. We introduce some easily recognisable constellations, explain the nature of stars and the galaxy in which we live and give basic information in using binoculars and small telescopes.

Grade 8 and older

Table Mountain (English only)

This programme explores the remarkable geology of Table Mountain which started several hundred million years ago with the shifting and colliding of continents. Table Mountain is the only geographical feature on Earth to be represented by a constellation in the sky. We examine this constellation Mons Mensa, the Southern Cross, Herschel's Jewel Box, etc.

Live presentations:

Presentation 1
An interesting talk based on the curriculum for Senior Phase, dealing with basic astronomy topics such as:

  • The Sun and its relationship to the Earth.
  • The Moon and its relationship to the Earth.
  • The Solar System.
  • Beyond the Solar System.
  • Looking into space.
  • The life cycle of stars.
    (English / Afrikaans)

Presentation 2

A fascinating talk on the traditional Xhosa understanding of the night sky, adapted to suit different age groups/grades.
(Xhosa / English)