MSUM’s newest planetarium children’s exhibit, Sky Zoo, opened Wednesday. The planetarium worked with the Red River Zoo to create an exciting learning experience.
Sky Zoo creator and planetarium assistant Scarlet Gray Bernard took the sold out crowd on a journey to bestial constellations including Leo the lion and Hydra the snake. Audience members heard tales of celestial legends as well as Red River Zoo inhabitants. Lucky opening day audience members even got a visit from real life zoo animals.
“We’d like to do more shows with live animals,” Bernard said.
While not all shows will include live animal entertainment, all shows feature video tours and stories from zookeepers.
Sky Zoo is the first show written and crafted by planetarium staff. All other shows were purchased from outside sources.
“It allows us to make material more local and relevant to our audience,” said Dave Weinrich, planetarium director.
The show is aimed at students from 1st to 3rd grade. Weinrich assures that the show offers something for parents, too.
“There is advanced humor worked in. Many times parents will come up to me after and say that they learned something, too,” Weinrich said.
The planetarium staff hopes that shows like Sky Zoo will help get children excited about science. These exhibits provide families with a different type of learning atmosphere. The show runs every Saturday at 11 a.m. through May 20.
“A lot of families are looking for enrichment activities. These are ways to accomplish that in a fun and educational way,” Weinrich said.
BY SARAH TYRE