UND GeoDome


The GeoDome is a portable planetarium system that travels to K-12 schools throughout North Dakota in it’s mission to engage students in astronomy topics.

The dome is an immersive learning experience for earth and space science covering topics from Earth’s “self shadow” to the far reaches of the known Universe.

Short films such as Tales of the Mayan Skies can be viewed in the dome.

The project is hosted by the University of North Dakota Physics and Astronomy Department under an ND EPSCoR grant, with Dr. Timothy Young as the Principal Investigator. Dr. Young is an expert astrophysicist, theorist, and an avid astronomer, and operates two observatories in the upper midwest.  Dr. Young education and outreach work is notable: http://undnews.areavoices.com/tag/tim-young/

Valley City State University is a partner on the ND EPSCoR grant, providing coordination and operation for the Geodome throughout the region as a part of its Science and STEM education efforts, John Boucha (M.S. Space Studies UND) and Dr. David DeMuth, Jr. providing operator support.


The Dome

The GeoDome is portable igloo-shaped dome that inflates to 12 feet high so requires the use of a gymnasium, or other large space, and can seat up to 20 middle school students. Set up time takes about hour.

Example Lesson Plan

  • Earth
    • Rotation
    • Light and Shadow
    • Water Resources
    • International Space Station
  • Moon
    • Lunar Phases
    • Light and Shadow
    • Eclipses
  • Planets
    • Jupiter
    • Saturn
    • Uranus
  • Dwarf Planets
    • Pluto
    • Ceres
  • Planetary Orbits
    • Speed/Gravity
  • Constellations
    • Greek
    • Native American
    • Perspective Change
  • Galaxies
    • Milky Way
    • Andromeda
    • Galaxy Clusters
    • Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

The learning for students is standards-based, for example, for the NGSS, MS-ESS1-1: Earth’s Place in the Universe

MS-ESS1-1. Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons

Our goal for the project is to visit schools throughout the State in parallel to scheduled and funded trips and to influence more students on the integrative STEM aspects of Astronomy and space explorations.

Please contact us if you would like us to visit your school!

GeoDome Space Requirements

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