You can show astronomy on a computer monitor. Or a larger flat screen with a projector. But it's not "immersive". Most astronomy teachers probably got inspired as a child, going to amazing full-dome planetarium shows at the Adler in Chicago, the Hadyn in New York, or the Morrison in San Francisco.

For that awe-inspiring experience, your class could GO to a planetarium. MAYBE there's one near you, if you're really lucky. Once in a school year. It sure would be expensive, and a lot to organize...


You could buy one on those INFLATABLE planetariums. Hmmm...

They're expensive. Several thousand dollars, plus specialized & expensive single-use projection gear.

Even the big ones are small. Your students will be jammed right up next to each other. You might think that everybody will get a "night sky experience", but really, most of the audience inside only can comfortably see what's right on front of them, about a quarter of the dome ceiling, anyway. If a student needs to leave, or come in late, it creates a real problem. It takes quite a while to get an entire class in or back out.

Many rooms aren't big enough to allow the dome to be used. You might be borrowing the library, or the gym, or some other logistical problem-in-wait.

They require maintenance. The fabric gets worn out at the airlock. They get holes.

They're heavy. My friend Andy is in charge of one. He uses his old VW van as its storage locker, and it takes him 4 trips with a fully laden handcart to get it inside. Then it takes some serious effort to get it out of a very large duffel bag & unfold it to the point where the fan can start inflating.

They take some serious time to unload and set up, and more to pack up. And they're big enough to where it's unlikely you can leave it in place, so you'll be doing a lot of packing and unpacking. You'll need a team of people to do a show.

The fan that inflates the dome will be running constantly, providing unwanted background noise.

And, eeew, who anymore wants to be in a very tight poorly ventilated space? No.


Our SkyDome, on the other hand...

• Inexpensive! Provides immersive, awe-inspiring experience at a fraction of the cost of a dome

• Lightweight! Can be moved by one person, on their back, with room for coffee

• Sets up or tears down in 15 minutes

• Low floor footprint, allowing multi-day/week/ semi-permanent install

• uses relatively inexpensive and low-tech projector

• doesn't trap students in a closed space. In fact, the entire classroom can continue to be used as audience seating, just as if you were showing a movie on a regular projector screen.

• Facilitates presentations as part of a normal classroom: tables and chairs don't need to pushed to one side, students don't need to travel down to library or gym, students can leave or come in late, and low level lighting can remain on for class monitoring and safety.

Why is our SkyDome a great solution?





much less of everything = low cost

basic projection gear = low cost

lightweight & easy to store & move

Quick to set up or take apart

No background noise

Can be installed in regular classroom & used frequently

Easy to pivot to using within a normal class period

Normal seating can be used, students don't have to be crowded, students can come and go, some low-level classroom light ok.


Inflatable Planetarium Dome

4 times the cost

specialized projection gear

Heavy & bulky: you need a team

Got an hour before and after ?

Noisy fan

Can't be used frequently

More like a special event: complicated

Superspreader event!

Students as "Audience"


immersive : the illusion of 3D