School Programs

Planetarium Home Page

School ProgramsPublic ShowsPrivate GroupsSpecial EventsDirections
SkywatchesFriends of C Z H PPlanetarium PicsEvents PicsGeneral Links

School District


Educational Programs
offer by the

Charles Z. Horwitz

Located in the Retzer Nature Center


Programs for school groups are available during the daytime by special arrangement.  All programs meet the educational criteria of the State of Wisconsin and National Earth Science Education Standards for grades K-12.  
Bus parking is available.


A three week lead-time is required to book all programs.
Because your program has been specifically booked for your group (date, program, time, etc),
fees must be paid 21 days before program date.
When booking a program 21 days before the program date,
payment is due at the time of the booking. 
(We do accept MasterCard and Visa over the phone - only).

If payment is not received 21 days or more before your program date,
the program will be cancelled.

If you cancel your program less than 21 days before program date,
we reserve the right to forfeit the whole program fee,
or issue credit on account instead of refunding money.
Credit on account must be redeemed with the same calendar year unless otherwise noted.

Reservations must be made in advance by calling
Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use:
Parks System Division
(262) 548-7801

The Retzer Nature Center

Twice the Value!
Horwitz Planetarium programs can be combined with those of Retzer Nature Center for a complete educational experience.  Just one bus trip is required.

Call Retzer Nature Center:
(262) 896-8007


School group planetarium programs:
$3.00 per person
One teacher is admitted free for each 25 students.

What is a Planetarium?

The planetarium is a multi-media sky-theater.  The main instrument is DigiStar 6 system star projectors.  It can project an image of the day or night sky on the underside of a dome-shaped ceiling.  The planetarium serves as a resource for students, teachers , and community.  For details see our home page.  

Program Descriptions and Ages



Program Title

Program Description

NGSS Connections


One World, One Sky:

Big Bird’s Adventure


The show follows Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with a Chinese puppet named Hu Zhu.  Together they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon, where they discover how different it is from the Earth.  The program is a brilliant spectacle of light and color that aims to nurture a child’s natural sense of wonder about the night sky while foraging cross-cultural connections.

1-ESS-1 Use observations of the Sun, Moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted



Our Place in Space


Scarlet Macaw searches all over the world to learn something new and exciting about the Earth and Space. Themes include the Sun as a star, what makes the Sun move, the planet Earth, gravity, and constellations. She uses this information to fill in a crossword puzzle.

2-ESS1-1 Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly


Rusty Rocket’s
Last Blast
This program introduces basic requirements for the flight of a rocket, scale and distances to the sun, moon and planets, and compares planetary environments.  Excellent new program.

3-PS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.

Crosscut concepts of scale, proportion and quantity.


Nine Planets and Counting


How many planets are in the Solar System? The program involves a tour to explore the variety of objects that populate our Solar System. Along the way each planet is examined individually, comparing the rocky worlds to gas giants.

3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world (and Solar System).




Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum


Discover why the sky is blue, Mars is red and why things appear the colors they do.  Then step into the invisible universe to investigate the electromagnetic energy all around us from the infrared light of a roaring fire to the X-rays emitted by a black hole.*

MS-PS2-3.  Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.


Dynamic Earth
Dynamic Earth is a high resolution full-dome production, narrated by actor Liam Neeson. The show explores the inner workings of Earth’s climate system. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes.

MS-ESS2-2.  Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.


NGSS5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and/or water interact.

8th Space Aliens:  Looking
for Life in the Universe
Join the alien “experts” – Hopeful and Skeptical – as they try to convince each other whether or not life exists beyond Earth.  Follow their astrobiology arguments from the ocean floor to a journey across the galaxy.  Water and “habitable zone” are fully explained in this exciting show.MS-LS1-5 construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.


Cosmic Recipe:

Setting the Periodic Table

(This program is now available as an additional choice for any middle school level class
The famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”  See how tiny atoms relate to the mammoth stars.  Connect the worlds of the small and large in this engaging and beautiful show.  NGSS5-ESS2-1. Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and/or water interact.