Planning a Field Trip
If you want to schedule a field trip with the planetarium, you have come to the right place! This page offers basic information on the process. When you're ready, you can submit a request form by clicking the 'Ready to Schedule?' button at the bottom of this page. If you have questions, call (330) 941-3619.
The Ward Beecher Planetarium has been offering field trips to local area schools since it opened in 1966. All schools and educational groups are welcome and there is no charge.
Scheduling With the Planetarium
The suggested maximum number of students per show is 80. This allows each student to have an equally good view of the dome. Under special circumstances, we may accommodate more than 80 students, but please be aware that some students will not be able to see as well as others, particularly our still-growing students below about 4th grade. If your group is large, please let parents, teachers, and chaperones know that we may ask them to sit along the edges of the room where viewing may not be ideal.
If you have more than 80 students, we strongly suggest splitting your group in two and sending half to another institution like the Butler, McDonough, or OhWOW! while the other half is in the Planetarium and then switching.
The Mahoning Cultural Collaborative has prepared a Teacher's Guide that contains a wealth of information about field trips options in the Mahoning area.
Take a look at our Field Trip Calendar to see what days and times we may be available. Feel free to request any opening you see and a planetarium staff member will let you know if we are able to host your group at that time.
Once you've determined what date or dates may work for you, head over to our Educational Programs page to learn about the programs we offer. If you prefer to leave it up to us or would like suggestions for your specific group, just let us know when you request your field trip and we can find a show suited for your needs.
You can request a field trip by either calling us at 330-941-3619 or by filling out our online Field Trip Request Form. Please include contact information, size and age of group, show preference if any, and any special accommodations your group may need.
Expectations in the Planetarium
If you are bringing a large group (over 60), please let all teachers, parents, and chaperones know that we prioritize the best seats to the students. This means students may not be able to sit by class and parents may not be to sit with their children.
There is no food or drink allowed in the planetarium. If you are bringing sack lunches, they can be stored in the front of the room and retrieved after the show. See Lunch on Campus below for more information.
Cellphone use is not permitted during a show. It is expected that all cellphones be turned off or on silent and put away. If a phone call to a bus driver or some other exception must be made, guests are expected to exit the planetarium before they make or answer these phone calls.
For safety, we do not allow re-admittance into the planetarium during a show. This means if a guest leaves during a show, they are not allowed back into the planetarium until the show is over. We can make accommodations for those with special needs, but planetarium staff will need to know prior to your visit.
IMPORTANT: Because students will model their behavior on the adults around them, it is expected that the teachers, parents, or chaperones understand and adhere to the rules and expectations of the planetarium absolutely.
Navigating around the campus can take time, especially during the week days when classes are in session. Please leave yourself extra time to get to the planetarium and plan your route to campus beforehand.
Buses & Vans: There are loading/unloading zones on Lincoln Ave right in front of the planetarium and our neighboring buidling, Moser Hall. Buses may park on the Eastbound side of Service Rd behind the stadium near the scoreboard. View our Parking Map for more detail.
Personal Vehicles: Parking is first come/first served at the meters on Lincoln Ave and its side streets. Meter parking is free after 5:00 pm and on the weekends. Visitors may also park in the Wick Avenue Deck (M30) for $5.00 and use the pedestrian bridge on level 4 to cross over to campus. View our Parking Map for more detail.