Sixth-graders see the stars and constellations with with ‘StarLab’ portable planetarium

Kids walking into StarLabMinisink Valley Middle School sixth-graders had a unique opportunity to witness the night sky in the school’s auditorium during science lessons with the StarLab portable planetarium.

“Students observed the Earth’s sky at night and located and identified different constellations,” said Jennifer Corcoran, a member of the sixth-grade science teaching team. “Students were able experience our solar system as if they were astronauts in space.”

Teacher talking inside StarlabThe digital StarLab is a compact, manually-operated, user-friendly planetarium projection system that provides high quality star field images in portable domes using the “StarryNight” software.

StarLab gave students an intergalactic experience that brought science lessons to life in a unique and engaging way. The portable planetarium experience is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the K–12 science content standards which are the expectations for what science students should know and be able to do.

Dome of the StarLabStudents’ lessons inside and outside of the dome focused on identifying how the patterns of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky can be observed, described, and predicted. In addition to all sixth-grade science classes being together for a class, each team teacher had the opportunity to have StarLab time for the individual classes.

To see more photos, visit’s the district’s Facebook page: Minisink Valley School District