Explorer Dome – Science Shows
Explorer Dome provide inspiring, entertaining and educational hands-on science shows within the magical atmosphere of their portable planetarium. Explorer Dome is one of the UK’s leading science outreach organisations, touring schools, colleges and festivals since 1998 with space and astronomy shows with lively, interactive, presenter-led shows with plenty of participation and hands-on demonstrations to truly engage the audience. Space, chemistry, biology or environmental science shows all available!
A variety of shows complement and enhance the National Curriculum for primary and secondary schools, and can be easily adapted for festivals, parties, youth groups, family events or those with Special Educational Needs.
Dome Shows (up to 30 children):
The audience crawls through the tunnel of the planetarium and into the darkened dome. Here they can explore the wonder of Space, experience a dazzling display of Light & Dark, enter the Amazon, float inside a human cell or immerse in disgusting digestion from top to… bottom!
- EYFS & KS1: The awe and wonder of the sky. A story-telling introduction to the earth, moon, sun and stars. Find out why the sun moves across the sky, look for different phases of the moon and see if you can spot Orion in the stars.
- KS2 & KS3: The sun as a star, the planets (and dwarf planets) in the solar system, our place in the galaxy and the life cycle of stars, as well as seasonal star-spotting, how to find the north star, the movement(s) of the Earth, what you can see in the sky tonight and an introduction to the ancient greek myths and legends using constellations.
- KS3, KS4 & above: The origin and evolution of space and stars – cosmology, constellations and the possibility of life on other worlds.
- EYFS & KS1: Light and dark, light sources and reflections, shadows and rainbows and why not to be afraid of the dark.
- KS2: An investigation into light and colour. What light is, where it comes from, how it travels and how we see. Light sources, opaque/transparent/translucent materials, straight lines of light, reflections, rainbows and the spectrum, ultraviolet light, colour mixing and how to make/split up white light. A dazzling and enlightening display of effects and experiments – all the more thrilling inside the darkened Dome!
- KS3: Hands – on experiments delve deeper into the science of light with lenses, invisible light and how we see colour.
- KS2: Explore the world of vibration with sound waves and their journey through solids, liquids and gases. Thunder and lightning, frequency and hearing. Why to astronauts need radios and how to bats see in the dark? Make music with our fun, hands – on guide to the nature of noise.
- Reception & KS1: Making things move and slowing them down. This show includes pushes and pulls, friction, mysterious magnets and the fun of rocket power!
- KS2: Feel the friction, mess with magnets and get to grips with gravity. Who is the most attractive? Do heavy things really fall faster? Is there gravity on the moon? Pushes and pulls, action and reaction, air resistance and streamlining, attracting and repelling, magnetism and aurora, gravity and rocket-making inside the Dome will take you out of this world to discover that forces feel very different in space.
- Year 6 we can also include an optional extra section on nuclear/atomic forces.
- Reception & KS1: Imagine what it would be like to go to a hot tropical rainforest, a desert or even head up the North pole. Delight in the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of different environments, find out about the animals that live here and find out what we can do to help save the world!
- KS2: An immersive show about our amazing planet Earth. Build food webs, see how animals are adapted to their environments and discuss deforestation and the greenhouse effect? See how the choices we make affect our environment both locally and globally.
- KS2: Our dynamic Earth – where our planet comes from and how it changes through time. The importance of water, evaporation, condensation and the water cycle. Explore plate tectonics and continental drift through the sights, sounds and smells of volcanos, earthquakes and our active world.
- KS3/4+: The dynamic nature of planet Earth; past, present and future. From the formation of our atmosphere and the importance of carbon dioxide, through plate tectonics and the water cycle. This cross-curricular show reveals an evolving planet: its turbulent past and the role we play in its future.
- Our newest digital show supported by the RSC is called ‘the Life of Water’. Based partly on the water cycle, weather, and the chemistry of water, but also covering water in space, water for life, and life on other worlds… the show includes wonderful fully immersive fulldome animations inspiring for audiences of any age.
- Reception & KS1: Bones and teeth, eating and digestion. Find out how tiny bits of food get inside your blood!
- KS2 & KS3: A hands-on guide to diet and digestion. Follow the journey of your food, investigate food groups, teeth, saliva, acid, mucous, enzymes, blood and cells. Ingestion, digestion, absorption, excretion and egestion from top to bottom!
- KS3 & KS4: A journey inside the biological cell to explore what makes something alive. Their scale, diversity in form and function, from organisms to organelles, discuss the units of life and get to grips with the genetic code. Chromosomes and genes, cloning and genetic engineering – what will be possible in the future and where do we draw the line?!
- KS1 & KS2: The Winter Show is a cross-curricular fusion of Science and Culture – a true-spirited, interactive celebration of winter.Explore the science behind the seasons and discover more about the mid-winter festivals from around the world, including the origins of our own Christmas traditions. What was the enigmatic ‘Christmas Star’? You can even build a comet inside the Dome! This show is available for late November and December bookings only.
Chemistry Shows (up to 70 children):
No space for the Dome? Larger groups? We also have a range of chemistry shows which do not use the Dome and involve freezing fog, fire, flashes and BANGS!
- Our Chemistry shows are a bench-based demonstration which takes place in the hall for an audience of up to 70 children. Smaller audiences are preferable as more children can volunteer and get involved in the demonstrations.
- The Bubble Show delights in the unexpected & entertaining behaviour of bubbles, introduces young children to basic scientific concepts and encourages them to use scientific language. EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3 and above: What bubbles are and why they pop; how to put your hand through a bubble without it popping. Bubbles are strong enough to pull themselves into spheres (3D shapes); can we blow a square bubble? Colours, light, the rainbow and why bubble colours are slightly different… Gravity and why things rise & sink. How can we keep bubbles up in the air? Air and the mystery of gases; we use Helium and Carbon dioxide to make bubbles rise and sink, grow and shrink. Dry ice and freezing fog – can we balance a foggy bubble on someone’s head? Burning bubbles and our grand finale – the EXPLODING BUBBLE!
States of Matter
- KS2: An unusual and exciting collection of models and demonstration explore evaporating, condensing, melting and freezing. Solids, liquids and gases – what is the difference and what happens as we change state? This show investigates the particle theory of matter for KS2 with exciting experiments and daring demos to thrill your audience.
- KS3: This show investigates solids, liquids and gases. Unusual substances such as liquid nitrogen and solid carbon dioxide are used to bring alive this important part of the National Curriculum. Explore the particle theory of matter with extreme temperatures and combustion, and find out what is in the air we breath as liquid air is distilled and liquid oxygen prepared.
- KS2: Observing, predicting and testing. In this show children are encouraged to question the baffling array of strange and wonderful experiments as we use everyday physics and kitchen chemistry to explain some key concepts. This show has plenty of experiments and demos that you can try in the classroom or kitchen, as well as some that you definitely cannot!
- KS3: Find out what your students really think about the world around them with a fabulous collection of counter-intuitive experiments that pose the questions “What if…?” “Why?” and “What happens next?”, with plenty of ideas to try out in the classroom.
Pupils with special educational needs
We love the work we do with SEN schools as the Dome is a wonderfully immersive and relaxing environment and a perfect place to learn for children with special educational needs. Merging the very best bits from different shows, we aim to make the shows as multisensory as possible. We recommend themes of ’Space and Rockets’ (inside the Dome) or ‘Bubbles’ (outside the Dome), but can adapt most of our other themes for children at NC level 1 or above.
People who can’t crawl or are in wheelchairs can be accommodated, but this does reduce the capacity for our Dome shows so please notify us in advance. We recommend a maximum capacity of 25 inside the Dome including teaching staff and carers and for EBD students we would suggest smaller class sizes than this.
As a general guide, after crawling through the tunnel inside the magical atmosphere of the Dome (with plenty of lights to guide the way and music to set the mood), we always work with two experienced presenters on hand to make sure everyone is settled and happy, and pride ourselves at being able to pitch each show at the right level for the audience – from SEN, Nursery, primary/secondary up to A-level, family events and shows for staff/adults.
For our flagship Space show, we use high-resolution images of the sun, the moon, the planets in our solar system, galaxies and nebulae as well as hands-elements such as a meteorite, a 1.5m diameter scale model of the moon (complete with accurate craters!), a scale model of the Saturn V rocket, pop-rocket-making with dry ice (if appropriate).
For younger/SEN audiences we can include lots of story-telling and there are plenty of awe and wonder moments such as fading down the main lights and bringing up a full hemisphere of stars projected onto the inside surface of the Dome – accurate to that evening at the appropriate time of year! We can also project the greek myths and constellations onto the inside of the Dome, and tell some more stories or just enjoy floating around under the stars :)
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