Portable Planetarium for Enthusiastic Sky-gazers

A Partnership between Dudley Observatory and Capital Region BOCES

Starlab is a portable planetarium. When unpacked and inflated, Starlab transforms into a 16-foot dome that accommodates up to 30 students, and is handicapped accessible. A projectorCapital Region BOCES and subject cylinders introduce participants to astronomical topics through exciting graphics projected on the dome’s interior. All that is needed is floor space, an electrical outlet, and enthusiastic sky-gazers. Starlab is great for schools, libraries, and other public organizations.

Download the Starlab brochure for 2018-19 school year


Starlab Meets Standards

Starlab programs are designed to supplement district science programs in earth and space science. NYS P-12 science standards that match our programs are listed in the program brochure. Supplemental activities for the classroom can be downloaded here:


Experience-based Learning

Do you think in 3-D? Basic concepts in astronomy can be difficult to grasp because they require imagining the solar system in 3 dimensions, and from different perspectives. Capital Region BOCES is now partnering with Dudley Observatory to provide interactive planetarium programs where students explore the orbital motions that cause predictable patterns in the phases of the moon, seasons, and the changing positions of constellations in our night sky. For example, a first-grade student might predict where the sun and moon appear to rise and set, while a fifth-grade student observes and records the sun’s seasonal path through the sky.

How to Schedule Starlab

Starlab is available throughout the school year and for summer programs. The cost is $600 per school visit for up to 5 consecutive programs. Schools, libraries, camps, and other organizations may schedule through miSci: 518-382-7890  x237

If your school is a member of BOCES, you may be eligible for aid. Please contact the Capital Region BOCES at 518-464-3999 or for more information.

Room Requirements for Using the STARLAB

Basic details: Cleared floor space, 20 x 20 ft with a ceiling height of 11 ft and access to a power outlet. Our astronomy educators require 45 minutes for set-up before the first program.

Download our detailed specifications here: StarLab Setup Requirements (PDF)