Bakersfield College

William M Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College

Field Trips

Shows using the new GOTO Chronos star projector and all-dome video system are available during the college's fall and spring semesters on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for school field trips at a special field trip price. Please see the Public Shows page for other uses of the Planetarium at other times. Each show includes a tour of the evening sky pointing out the major constellations, an all-dome video show, and question-answer time with our resident astronomer, Nick Strobel.


Reservation Process

Step 1

Read the school groups “Rules and Regulations” information.

This includes payment and refund policies. No food or drink (except bottled water) allowed inside the planetarium.

Rules & Regulations

We want to make your presentation an enjoyable event. Please keep in mind some of the rules and regulations that we need for you to follow and remember.

  • Cancellation and refund request requires a minimum 2-week notification. We have a long waiting list and we like to give everyone the opportunity to visit the Planetarium.
  • Payment must be received by the Bakersfield College Planetarium 10 business days prior to your school's fieldtrip or it will be subject to cancellation. Maximum number of people allowed per presentation is 72 (each person in their own individual seat). Each fieldtrip planetarium show is $140.00, regardless of the amount of people attending. Please make your check out to "Bakersfield College". We do NOT take purchase orders.
  • The postal address of the planetarium for payments is:
    Bakersfield College Planetarium
    1801 Panorama Drive
    Bakersfield, CA 93305
  • Please be on time. The planetarium entrance will be open 5 minutes before the start of the show. Groups arriving early are asked to wait QUIETLY outside. College classes are in session right next to the planetarium before and after the planetarium show. Groups arriving late will not get the entire show. We must end the presentation by a certain time because of other scheduled planetarium shows.
  • The planetarium door will be locked when the show begins. The door into the outer hallway will also be locked when the show begins. People leaving the room during a show will NOT be allowed back in! Allowing people back in during a show would ruin the audience's dark adaption and disrupt the show for others. Please be considerate of others!
  • Buses may drop off students at the end of the staff parking loop off of Mt. Vernon, just north of the stop light at the Christmas Tree entrance (across from Kern Schools Federal Credit Union).
  • Please Remember: No foods, drinks, gum, or candy is allowed in the planetarium. Classes bringing lunches will leave the food in the entry lobby just outside the planetarium.
  • No light up shoes, please! Shoes that light up when pressure is applied (as in walking or running) are bright enough in the Planetarium to ruin everyone's dark adaption and experience of the show. Students with light up shoes will be asked to remove them before seating.
  • Please remember to be courteous to others. During the planetarium show we would appreciate if there were no talking. If time is permitted we will have a question-answer session.

The information you will need to schedule your school's presentation through the online reservation form is:

  • Teacher name
  • Valid email address to get the planetarium show reservation confirmation
  • school name
  • grade level
  • desired show
  • two choices for the show date AND time (the first is the one you want and the second choice is a back-up option if the first one is filled by someone else whose email arrived before yours).

Remember: the dates and times you give in the reservation form are not guaranteed. The Bakersfield College Planetarium has to confirm your appointment via email.

Planetarium shows are on Tuesdays and Thursdays mornings at 10:00 and 11:30 AM. Shows are about one hour long. We do not have shows during final exams, winter recess or winter holidays. See what openings are available on Step 2. Please see the Public Shows page for other uses of the Planetarium at other times.

Finally, all groups are subject to the policies and procedures of the Business Services section in the KCCD Board Policy Manual (PDF document -- go to page 66 for Facilities usage).

As a convenience, please see an excerpt from the Board Policy manual that deals with facilities usage (excerpt from Business Services Board Policy Manual as of December 9, 2010). (PDF of p. 66 to 80).

Step 2

Check the Planetarium Fieldtrip Calendar for an available slot.

Planetarium shows for school field trips are given on Tuesday and Thursday mornings only at either 10:00 or 11:30 - please choose an available Tuesday or Thursday morning slot with the reservation form. There are no evening or afternoon presentations at the present time. Maximum of 72 people per show. Planetarium Show Reservation Form. Planetarium field trip calendar is now using the Google calendar tool.

The calendar on the Google server will appear below this sentence.

» View calendar in month form

Planetarium shows for school field trips are given on Tuesday and Thursday mornings only at either 10:00 or 11:30 - please choose an available Tuesday or Thursday morning slot with the reservation form. There are no evening or afternoon presentations at the present time. Maximum of 72 people per show.

Step 3

Choose your show

Visit the Show Overview page to view information about the available shows.

Step 4

Make your reservation using the online web form.

Make sure you select at least two options that are NOT already taken by another school. Check the calendar (Step 2)!

Step 5

Prepare your class using the following:

Step 6

Getting Here

The Planetarium entrance will be open for your group 5-10 minutes before your scheduled show. The Planetarium is on the second floor, northwest corner of the Math-Science Building. The standard Bakersfield College map does not show the planetarium, so use this map to the Planetarium. Buses usually park in the SW parking lot off of University, west of the stadium. See the Map Page for disabled access and where to get a one-day parking pass. Select the map image to download a PDF copy of it to your computer

Street map to the Planetarium and bus drop off

Kern Community College District