The Stardome

Stardome logos

The Stardome, as seen from outside

Let your students embark on a trip to outer space in our inflatable planetarium, the STARDOME!

Owned and managed by Higher Horizons+, the STARDOME can be brought into your school and can accommodate 25 pupils during each session.

Run in conjunction with the Keele University Astrophysics Group, with support from the the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Ogden Trust, the Stardome won the 2015 Times Higher Education Award for 'Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year' and has presented shows to more than 20,000 children in the last 4 years.


Times Higher Education Award winner banner, 2015

At Key Stage 2, we offer a range of age appropriate sessions delivered by our trained specialists. The Stardome has a maximum capacity of 25 Key Stage 2 learners, and each session can last between 45 minutes to 1 hour. This allows events to be tailored to fit your school timetable.

Please see below for details of the sessions we currently offer:

We Are Aliens! 

This film explores the reality of searching for life on other planets, from an astrobiology perspective.

Narrated by Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, the session focusses on NASA's search for life on Mars using the Curiosity Rover.

We Are Stars!

This film will seek to answer some of the biggest questions of all time: What are we made of? Where did it all come from?

Follow the narrator - Hollywood superstar Andy Serkis - on an adventure from a Victorian wonderland to the edge of the universe and back, via the heart of an exploding star.

In addition to the above, and with input from Keele's internationally known Astrophysics group, we can also offer tailored interactive sessions. These can cover topics such as constellations, space travel, phases of the Moon, the night sky, Exoplanets and Sun, Earth and Planets. Please mention in your enquiry if you would like to request a tailored session.

For full details of sessions for key stage 3/4/5, please visit the Higher Horizons+ website.

Floor space required 7.5m x 7.5m, with a height of 3.5m. A school hall or gym would be a suitable space.

The Stardome can be set up in about 40 minutes and takes 30 minutes to pack away.

The Stardome can accommodate up to a maximum of 25 pupils at a time.

The equipment can be brought to your school in a single vehicle, but is heavy, so we would appreciate being able to park close to where it is being set up.

The length of each show is negotiable, but we find that a minimum of 30 minutes should be allowed. Any longer than 50 minutes is probably not suitable for younger children.

Please note - due to the amount of time required to assemble the Stardome, we are unable to offer single sessions and can only accommodate events with a minimum of 4 sessions. Please be aware that our charge reflects a full day of equipment hire.

The children could not stop talking about travelling to the planets. They wanted to know much more when we came back to class’Burnwood Community Primary School

‘Excellent as always! Never fails to amaze!’ - Oldfields Hall Middle School

‘Fun, knowledgeable, good rapport with the kids and very professional’Thistley Hough Academy

‘Definitely gave the children a sense of awe and wonder for the world around us’St Paul’s CE Primary School

‘The session engaged pupils who have challenging learning issues. The staff facilitating the experience were amazing at ensuring their communication met our pupils’ needs.

Thank you for this amazing experience’Blackfriars School