interior view of Ward Beecher Planetarium


The Ward Beecher Planetarium is located in Ward Beecher Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio. Originally opened in 1967, the planetarium continues to be a community resource to bring science and astronomy to the Mahoning Valley.

The planetarium is first and foremost an immersive classroom for YSU's astronomy classes. Public programs are offered most weekends from September through May, and during special events. It is also a popular field trip destination for schools in the surrounding 7 counties in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

Public programs are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. They are appropriate for general audiences, although the subject matter and topics in some may be better suited for older students and/or adults. The planetarium is very dark and sound travels very well in the room, and may not be appropriate for everyone. Parents should use their own judgment based on the program descriptions and knowledge of their child. No reservations are required for any of the public programs. For more information, call the Planetarium’s InfoLine at 330 941-1370 or the Department of Physics & Astronomy at 330 941-3616, or complete the web forms on this site.

Field trip programs on a wide variety of topics in science and astronomy are available to school groups during the day throughout the week during the school year. Other groups also are welcome during this time. Evening programs during the week cannot be scheduled because of YSU classes. For more information or to schedule a field trip, call 330 941-3616 or check the Field Trip Calendar and Teacher's Guide.