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 student can explore hands-on a variety of science phenomena under the guidance of one of our staff members.

All visits are free and if you would like to bring your students here for such a field trip, please read carefully the instructions below: they will tell you what to expect from your visit and how to make a reservation, and they will give you all the information that you need to make it a success. You will also find a reservation form that you will need to complete and submit to us electronically so that we may confirm your reservation: please don’t forget it.

Note also that you now have direct access to the Science Center calendar so you can make sure, before you make your reservation, that the date that you want is open.  Please consult it.


1. What to expect from your visit: The Science Center outreach program has two ways to assist your science teaching during your visit:

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

We have several planetarium presentations and science activities currently available; all of them last about the same time, 60 to 75 minutes, and are aligned with the California Science Standards. To see if what we have to offer interests you and your group, click here.

 The times reserved for visits are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings between 9:30 and 12. We hope that your group can arrive at or just before 9:30 but we understand that this is not always possible.  You should not plan to arrive after 10, however, since this would not leave enough time.


2. Group sizes: We would like to make planetarium presentations before groups of about 30 to 48 people including adults.  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.   So we ask our visitors to try to come in groups of either 30 to 48 or 60 to 96.  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.

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.


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, go to the month and date that you are interested in and see if it is available. If not, try to find another date that would still suit you and that has not been taken. As soon as you find an open date that is good for you, 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 single class has already made a reservation for that date and so there is no more room for a large group of two or more classes.  However, there is still room for another single class visit.  So, if you are bringing a single group of less than 48, please look for dates on the calendar that show this 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 confirm your reservation, you need to fill up the reservation form and submit it electronically.  It is only upon reception of that form that your reservation will be confirmed.  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 as soon as possible so that another group can take advantage of that time slot.


 4. Chaperon requirements: All visiting groups are required to bring along adult 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 be two lead teachers and at least four adults

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


5. Before the visit: Please prepare your students by explaining the purpose and the different parts of the visit, reviewing the appropriate science material if prerequisites are indicated, and communicating to them the rules stated below in paragraph 7. Name or identification tags are quite helpful for the visit.


6. Arrival and parking: Bus(es) and cars should drop arriving groups at the front entrance to the college, at the foot of the large stairway that goes from Verdugo Road to the Administration building (AD on the map); this is on the north bound side of Verdugo (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 in the upper GCC parking lot or at Verdugo Park if you are eating lunch there. 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 can duplicate for all the cars that will be coming.

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, preferably 10 minutes before your assigned time so that we can give you a quick orientation and take your students to the appropriate rooms. Groups that are more than 5 minutes late to the planetarium may have part or all of their presentation cancelled. 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.


7. During the visit: In order that all of our visitors benefit from the exceptional educational experience that the Center has to offer, we ask that you respect the following rules and communicate them to your students so that they will respect them as well:

  • No food or drinks are allowed in the planetarium (not even bottled water) or the activity room. If you have brought in lunches, they will need to be stored in a corner of the activity room while your group is here. If you are having lunch in the park, please have the bus park there and leave the lunches in it.
  • All cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off during your visit. Cameras will not be allowed in the planetarium but may be used in the activity room.


8. After the visit:

  • 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. In the event of poor weather, your guides will make other accommodations for your lunch location.
  • Evaluation and feedback: 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: 3/11/2015 3:55:58 PM