Star Wheel


About Us




Joint Programmes

What is a joint programme?

A joint programme is a session offered by a planetarium or Starlab operator. It can be a specially designed session, or an add-on to an existing session. The key components are:

Step 1.

Before coming to the planetarium session, students complete Astronomy In Your Hands, Strand 1, Activities 1 to 4, which cover making and using a Star Wheel.

Step 2.

Students bring their Star Wheels to the planetarium session and practise using them to find stars and constellations. Usually students use red-filtered torches during this session.

Students get more out of their planetarium experience if they come with their own Star Wheel ready to use it under the dome.

How it works

If you decide to offer a joint programme, we give you a joint programme discount code (see below for registration form). When a school books one of your joint programme sessions, you give them the discount code.

The school uses the discount code to get a 15% discount on the purchase price of an Astronomy In Your Hands educational site license. This enables them to download and reproduce the teaching material for Step 1.

Most school groups will require between 1 and 4 weeks to complete Step 1, the making of a Star Wheel.

At Step 2 the students come to your planetarium session with their Star Wheels. We think it works best if you provide red-filtered torches, but you may choose to request that groups provide their own torches.

Once in the dark you will find students easy to engage as active learners. What might have been…

"That line of stars that you can see there is Orion's belt."

Can become…

"Everyone use your Star Wheel to find Orion … Good … Now that you have all found it, who would like point it out to us?"

Grappling with the challenge of finding stars and constellations makes students active participants. This means they are warmed up to receive more additional information about the stars.

A joint programme also engages teachers in teaching hands-on astronomy where otherwise they might be inclined to leave it all to the planetarium presenter. The carefully designed resources enable teachers to cope with this even through they might have not have a strong science background.

Any further questions about joint programmes shold be addressed to webmaster Chris Hilder.

Copyright and licensing

There is no cost involved in registering your joint programme with us, and receiving a discount code. You will also receive a complimentary educational site license number so that you can download and reproduce our resources. This site license allows you to use our resources in your programmes. It allows you to give participants copies of the resources, but it does not allow them to make their own copies. This is where the discount code comes in — by giving participants discount codes you encourage them to become subscribers, which empowers them to copy and use the resources themselves.

Please be sure that you understand our copyright and licensing arrangements. Income from subscription sales is essential for maintaining the high quality of resources available at Astronomy In Your Hands.

Joint Programme registration form

Name of organisation:

Organisation website address:

Name of contact person:

Contact email address:

We are planning to run a joint programme. Please provide us with a joint programme discount code.

I understand that you will also provide us with an educational site license. I have read and understand the copyright and license conditions that apply, and agree to those conditions.