The WVHS Planetarium

Indian Prairie School District 204

Other Groups

Although it is located at Waubonsie Valley High School, the planetarium has served as the science and technology center for Indian Prairie School District 204 since it opened in 1975. Groups other than IPSD 204 schools are welcome to participate in field trips during the school year depending on availability. Other groups include, but are not limited to, school groups, private school groups, pre-school groups, homeschooling groups, youth groups, church groups, and college groups. 
Field trip lessons are created and taught by a certified science teacher and aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These lessons encompass the three dimensional learning of the NGSS standards while creating memorable experiences that cannot be replicated in a classroom. 
To learn more about planetarium lessons for other groups, use the tabs above. 

Each school year 10,000 students visit the planetarium for lessons. Below is a list of lessons by grade level with a description and science standard.

updated 8/2016


Lesson Description

All Levels

Earth’s Place in the Universe *a.k.a. GENERAL

Our view from Earth is our window of the universe. Students will identify visible objects in the sky including sun, moon, planets, stars, and Milky Way while observing a 24 hour period. Students will be able to explain how and why we see things in the sky as a result of our location on Earth. Students will be able to describe light pollution and our human impact on the night sky and environment. ***Most requested lesson.

1-ESS1-1 Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

5-ESS1-1 Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.

Pre & KG

Friendly Stars

A friendly introduction to the sky for young audiences. Students observe one 24 hour period during which they meet the Sun and the stars in the night sky. The engaging lesson has students count, identify shapes, spell, sing, and listen to stories.

K-ESS2-1 Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

1-ESS1-1 Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

1 & 2

Journey through the Solar System

A lesson comparing of all the objects in the solar system. Students identify, define, and compare planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, meteors, moons, and more as they fly around the solar system.

4 - HS

Sky Maps

Sky Maps are road maps to the stars and constellations in the night sky. Students learn how to use a sky map and practice identifying objects in the planetarium’s night sky. Students will also be introduced to the life cycle of a star.

5-ESS1-1 Support an argument that the apparent brightness of the sun and stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.

5-ESS1-2 Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.


A Solar Calendar *NEW for 2016-17

A model of a solar calendar is created using the star projector. Students will make observations, predictions, and analyze data graphically to arrive at the conclusion that the seasons are a result of earth’s tilt. Changing the latitude on earth using the star projector, students will make observations of a night sky in the southern hemisphere and make connections between latitude and light intensity, temperature, and seasons.

MS-ESS1-1. Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.

To ensure that field trips run smoothly and that all students have a positive experience, it is expected that teachers review the visit guide prior to the field trip. This visit guide will be included in the email confirmation and can be viewed here

Important information for making reservations:

  • Cost $5 per student
  • Minimum of $75 per lesson
  • Seating capacity is 66 total visitors
  • All lessons are 1 hour in length
  • Lessons are scheduled on TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, & FRIDAYS
  • Only 2 lessons are scheduled per school day (10:30-11:30 and 11:30-12:30)
  • Groups with back to back lessons on the same date can change the start time to 10:45-11:45 and 11:45-12:45 OR 11:00-12:00 and 12:00-1:00

The planetarium will accept field trip requests for the 2018-19 school year starting on Tuesday September 4th, 2018. Any form submitted prior to that date will not be processed.
NOTE: Seating capacity is 66 total per lesson. This should include everyone (adults & students).


Contact Info

Director: Stephanie Rybka

2590 Ogden Avenue (map)
Aurora, IL 60504

Office: 630.375.3247

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