Robeson Planetarium and Science Center

Superintendent Dr. Freddie Williamson

Director Ken Brandt

Saturday, Feb 11th, the planetarium is offering free public programs all about Mars exploration, and the latest discoveries on Mars. Showtimes are 11 am, and 1 pm.

Reservations are required, and can be made by contacting Joy Ivey, at 910-671-6000, x3381.

Fine tuning visits to the planetarium: insider hints-

  1. Write down student questions on 3x5 cards, or something like that. This way, I can answer student questions anonymously for those who are shy.

Survey link is here: planetarium post-visit survey for students

Please fill out the survey. One lucky winner will receive a MOJO Jojo pop collectable toy

Science center exhibit

One of 5 interactive kiosks in the science center

These minerals are identified by their Fluorescence: In regular daylight the look drab and off-white.

Video link

The same minerals under SW UV light (~260 nm.) The bright green is a NC mineral, Hyalite Opal

Please ask to see this exhibit if you are interested.

Perseverance looking out from it's left front hazard cam, toward the delta and rim on Jezero crater. Image downloaded 2/19/21

Piano in a science center? Note the tuning forks nearby. Pitch and volume are 2 important components of wave form motion.

Students can match played pitch with the tuning forks provided (out of the image)

Key board. Match the pitch activity.

Mineral and soil samples  are  analogs of the real Martian minerals. We use spectroscopy to determine what minerals are present on Mars, even though humans have yet to go there.

Martian Minerals found on Earth. How do we know that they're also found on Mars?

Photo of Ken and Marvin.

Virtual Programs are available by emailing

The Robeson Planetarium is offering free, virtual planetarium programs to anyone affected by the recent violence in Uvalde, TX., or anywhere else. Just email with the request. Please include ages served, and number you expect will attend, as well as some dates/times. If you have a topic to be covered during the program (for example, Mars exploration) please let me know.

Virtual program requirements:

1. Each student must have their own device. Displaying on a smart board in front of the whole class is problematic at best, as the students in the rear of the room will have trouble seeing the images-especially the night sky.

2. Have each student prepare at least one question about space exploration, astronomy, or any science subject that is in some way related to what we're doing.

If both of these conditions are untenable, please reconsider your request. I will disconnect any connection to a smartboard display.

3. Recommended number/visit: 2 classes/virtual session. 30-40 students (can be more or less).

Check out our grade-level appropriate activities and resources on our links to the left.

Mars minerals found here on Earth. How do we know that they're also on Mars?

Please note that our schedule is subject to change, as current events in space science dictate.

For school groups: 28 students and 2 adults can be comfortably seated indoors.

For information email


  • Weather: here is a link for our own clear sky clock. See whether it'll be clear or cloudy here in SE NC.