Geology & Astronomy
About the Planetarium
The Department of Geology and Astronomy operates the Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Planetarium at West Chester University. The planetarium is equipped with a state-of-the-art SciDome XD Touch digital projector. The dome is a 32-foot nanoseam dome manufactured by Spitz, Inc. The planetarium is used for WCU astronomy classes, K-12 school groups, and public programs Our programs are made possible by a variety of funding sources including the WCU College of Arts and Sciences, admissions fees, and generous public donations. For information about how you can help support the Mather Planetarium please visit the WCU Foundation website.
The planetarium is used for WCU astronomy class, school groups, and public programs. Approximately 50 schools and other groups attend the programs each year, and annual attendance approaches 2,000. For more information on planetarium shows for the general public please visit the following site.
About School/Private Group Shows
We welcome school groups of all ages to the planetarium, including Pre-K, as well as other private non-school groups (e.g. Mom's clubs, retirement centers, community groups, etc). However, teachers and parents should be aware that the planetarium gets extremely dark and some children may find this frightening.
Shows for the Fall 2014 semester are held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. The shows are approximately one hour in length, including time for questions. The price of admission is $2 per person, including teachers and chaperones. The planetarium seats 63 people. A minimum of 15 guests are required for all private shows. Groups larger than 63 will need to split into smaller sections. Please remember to include teachers and chaperones when determining the size of your group. We may be able to provide two shows back-to-back to accommodate large groups or we can schedule shows on two separate dates.
A typical show for private groups consists mainly of a tour of the night sky. This would include pointing out several of the prominent constellations visible at night and some of the mythological stories behind them, the phases of the Moon, the planets, and the motion of the Sun throughout the year. Other topics can be included at the teacher's request.
Scheduling a Group Show
The planetarium is currently closed for the summer and will reopen in August with the start of the fall semester. The available dates for the fall semester are listed in the form below. We are already scheduling for fall 2014.
To request a show for your group please fill out our reservation form below. There are NO evening or weekend group shows. This form is to be used to request a planetarium show for a school group or other private party. If you interested the public planetarium shows please visit this page. Scout groups are encouraged to attend the public evening shows.
Parking information will be provided to the group leader based on whether you will be arriving by bus or private vehicles.
For additional information about our shows please e-mail Dr. Karen Schwarz.