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Statewide Travel 0

Arkansas SkyDome Planetarium


Arkansas has experienced some incredible celestial events and space phenomena that have sparked an interest in astronomy in kids and adults. Whether it’s a solar eclipse, the northern lights or a meteor shower that has piqued your curiosity, if you have ever gazed up at the night sky and wondered what’s out there, the Arkansas SkyDome Planetarium can be your launching pad to explore the cosmos!

As the mom of a curious grade schooler, I am always on the lookout for events that are not only fun but also educational. Kids genuinely love to learn, but something about telling them they’re learning takes the excitement out of it. We’re both happy when something feels fun; learning is merely a bonus.

This spring, Arkansas State University Searcy hosted SkyDome, a portable planetarium and space science museum based in Greenbrier, Arkansas. SkyDome provides this traveling planetarium experience throughout Arkansas and parts of our surrounding states.

We began our day by viewing a traveling museum containing meteorites, fossils, NASA memorabilia, model rockets and more. Students were encouraged to handle many of the items and ask many questions. George was fascinated by the discovery that the same object would weigh different amounts on other planets.

Excitement grew as the portable planetarium was filled with air. Arkansas State Representative Steven Meeks, who began raising funds in 2015 to purchase the portable planetarium, invited students and parents inside to view a program based on the solar eclipse. A special projector allowed us to view a dazzling night sky, journey through the solar system, and learn about stars and constellations. Rep. Meeks’ love for space is contagious and students were full of questions throughout the presentation. Afterward, students were invited outside to view the sun through a special telescope.

For George and me, the experience sparked curiosity and excitement about the coming eclipse and encouraged further exploration of space through books and our telescope. Helping kids understand these celestial events is what drives Rep. Meeks to provide these programs. During the 2023-2024 school year, he traveled to over 40 schools and presented his space program to over 15,000 students.

What I love most about Arkansas SkyDome is that it’s an experience not limited to school kids. Rep. Meeks has programs designed for all ages and will bring the planetarium to schools, churches, civic groups, libraries, summer camps, scouting groups and more. They will even do birthday parties, and the rates are incredibly affordable.

You can see the planetarium this summer at the Arkansas Homeschool Convention at the Conway Expo Center on June 27-29, or you can visit the Arkansas SkyDome Planetarium Facebook page or website to schedule an event.

Explore more about space in Arkansas.

Blast Off! Places to Explore Space in Arkansas
Arkansas BalloonSAT
From Arkansas to NASA: Astrophysicist Dr. Jennifer Wiseman
Stargazing in Arkansas
Arkansas Library Telescopes
Telescopes Across Northwest Arkansas
Combating Arkansas Light Pollution
UFO Sightings in Arkansas

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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and teaches art part-time at a local private school. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas where they raise chickens, farm hay and bake bread. Julie loves adventure and sharing it with her husband and son. They frequent the trails, campgrounds and parks of Arkansas, always on the hunt for new adventures and new stories to share. Learn more on her blog Seek Adventures Media.

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