K-12 Visits to the Science Center and Planetarium

Since 2005, the Science Center at Glendale Community College has been offering surrounding K-12 schools the opportunity to make a science-oriented field trip to the college. We have a 48-seat state-of-the-art planetarium with full dome video projection, one of the best and most advanced college planetariums in the country.  Downstairs from the planetarium we have a well-equipped room where young students can explore hands-on a variety of science phenomena under the guidance of one of our staff members.  Should such a field trip interest you, you will find below all the information you need to arrange it.  All visits are free for public schools and private non-profit schools.



  • a planetarium presentation and 
  • a hands-on science activity.

Both of which last about 60 to 75 minutes and are meant to assist your science teaching. We have several planetarium presentations and science activities currently available.  

To see what they are and choose the one you want for your students, check the list, but please be aware that among the science activities that we offer are some that were designed to be aligned with the old California Science Standards.  We will keep them on the list for another few years, i.e. until the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are fully implemented.  In the meantime we are developing new activities based on these new standards.

To see the list click here, and please review this list a week or two before your visit, since it may contain recent additions, and let us know if you change your choice of activity.

The times reserved for visits are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings between 9:30 and 12. 



1.  Group sizes: We ask our visitors to try to come in groups of either 30 to 48 or 60 to 96 including adults.  If the group is in the second category we will divide it in two and put one half in the planetarium and the other in the science activity room, and then alternate.  In each category the upper number is due to the size of the facility and the lower to a need for efficiency: it is not a good use of our personnel and our resources to make presentations to groups much smaller than that.  The same holds true for the science activities. 

If you have a group that is too small for one of these limits we encourage you to try to pair up with another class in your school or in your district.  If you can't, let us know and we will try to pair you up ourselves.  If your group is over 96 please consider scheduling two visits on two different days.

2.  Chaperon requirements: All visiting groups are required to bring along teachers and chaperons to supervise the young visitors, help them get the most of their visit and take care of emergencies if necessary. Groups arriving without the requisite number of chaperons may be refused future visits to the Science Center. The number of chaperons must be as follows:

  • For groups of 30 to 48, we ask that they include a lead teacher and at least two adults.
  • For groups of 60 to 96, we ask that they include two lead teachers and at least four adults

Be aware that control of the young visitors is the responsibility of the teacher and that unruly or disruptive students may require the staff to either end a presentation or an activity prematurely or to request that the specific students leave the facility.

3.  Making a reservation: You will have to enter 3 selections when you make your reservation:

  • which planetarium presentation do you request,
  • which science activity do you request, and
  • when do you want to come.

Here is how to proceed:

  • Step 1. Go to the list of presentations and activities that are available for your grade level and decide which presentation and which activity you want for your group.

  • Step 2. To select the date of your visit, go to the GCC Science Center Outreach Calendar.  Once on the calendar, find an open date that is good for you and proceed to step 3 below to make your reservation.

Important:  Please note that the sign SCV available on the blue banner at the top of a given date means that a group of 30 to 48 has already made a reservation for that date and so there is only room left for another group of the same size.  So, if you are bringing a single group of less than 48, please look for dates on the calendar that show this SCV sign and use one of them if at all feasible, so that we can keep as many dates as possible open for large groups.

  • Step 3. To schedule a reservation, you need to fill in the reservation form and submit it electronically.  It is only upon reception of that form that your reservation will first be scheduled and then confirmed by e-mail.  To find this form click here.  Note that the planetarium presentations are quite flexible and can accommodate special requests which can be indicated on the form (please try to be specific). 

If you need to cancel a visit, please call 818-240-1000 ext. 3942 at least two weeks or more in advance so that another group can take advantage of that time slot.  As you know, organizing a field trip takes a long time, so last minute cancellations are disastrous: it is too late to find a replacement and a valuable date that would have been used by another school is lost.

4.  Preparing your students: You can help your students make the most of their visit by explaining its purpose and its different parts, by reviewing the appropriate science material if prerequisites are indicated, and by communicating to them the following rules: 

  • No food or drinks are allowed in the planetarium or the activity room, not even bottled water.
  • All cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off during your visit. Cameras are not allowed in the planetarium but may be used in the activity room by adults only.

5.  Arriving and parking: Buses and cars should drop arriving groups at the front entrance to the college on Verdugo Road at the foot of the large stairway that goes to the administration building (see map at http://www.glendale.edu/maps). Your guides will meet you at the top of stairs and direct your groups to the appropriate location in the CS building. Buses may park at Verdugo Park across the street from the college. Cars may park in the parking structure but will require temporary parking permits.  Let us know if you need such permits and we will e-mail you a copy that you may duplicate for each car.

Please note that, because of classes and other demands on our personnel and our facilities, we operate with very tight scheduling. Therefore we cannot overstate the importance of your prompt arrival, preferably10 minutes before your assigned time, so that we can give you a quick orientation and take your students to the appropriate rooms. If you feel you are going to be late for some reason, please let us know by calling us at 1-818-240-1000 ext. 3942.  Unfortunately, lost time cannot be made up, so if you are late programs will be shortened.

6.  Lunch: If you intend to stay for lunch after your visit, plan to bring your group to Verdugo Park on Verdugo Road across the footbridge from the college; have the bus park there and leave the lunches in it.  In the event of poor weather, your guides will make other accommodations for your lunch on campus.  If you must bring the lunches with you, they will be stored in a corner of the activity room while your group is here.

7.  After the visit:  We will give you a short questionnaire with a return envelope to obtain your evaluation of the presentation and activity as well as your comments and suggestions. We ask that you mail it back to us within a week of your visit. This feedback is greatly appreciated and helps us improve our educational work with our young visitors. Please address all correspondence to The Science Center Outreach, Glendale College, 1500 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale, Ca. 91208


We all look forward to your visit.

Joy Hinckley, Judy Hartman and Sandra Mims, tour planners
Dr. Jennifer Krestow, Planetarium Director 
Dr. Jean Lecuyer, Science Center Director ( 818-240-1000  ext. 5358)



Last updated: 9/17/2015 2:54:55 PM