Questions:

  1. 1.Do you do weddings, birthdays and other family events?

  2. 2.How about general public outreach events?

  3. 3.How much does it cost?

  4. 4.How many people fit into the dome?

  5. 5.Is The Inflativerse wheelchair accessible?

  6. 6.How many shows can you do on a normal school day?

  7. 7.What's the procedure in an emergency?

  8. 8.Does a teacher have to be present at all times?

  9. 9.How much room is there inside the dome? Can I stand up in it?

  10. 10.Will there be seating within The Inflativerse?

  11. 11.How large a room do I need?

  12. 12.For what ages are the shows appropriate?

  13. 13.How long does it take to put up and take down the planetarium?

  14. 14.Can we inflate the planetarium in the school playground?

  15. 15.Who will present the shows?

  16. 16.Once inflated, is it silent (i.e. does it need generator on to keep it inflated)?

  17. 17.We have no appropriate space in our school. Can my class travel to the University to have a planetarium show?

  18. 18.Can we borrow the dome and create our own shows?

Answers:

  1. 1.Do you do weddings, birthdays and other family events?
    No. 
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  1. 2.How about general public outreach events?
    We have visited several outreach events in the past (e.g. BBC stargazing, UoN Mayfest) and are always interested in visiting more events in the Nottingham area if our time permits it. Please contact us to discuss this. 
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  2. 3.How much does it cost?
    Nothing. Nothing at all. The service is for free for schools within the Nottingham area. All we need is space, power plugs and a teacher with a bunch of motivated students. 
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  3. 4.How many people fit into the dome?
    We can accommodate groups of up to 30 primary school students or 25 secondary school students accompanied by a teacher.
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  4. 5.Is The Inflativerse wheelchair accessible?
    Yes, that's not a problem. The wheelchair will take up more space inside, so the total number of people that can visit one individual show will be more limited. We need to know in advance about wheelchairs, so please tell us about it. 
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  5. 6.How many shows can you do on a normal school day?
    That's a tough question and not easy to answer. We currently only offer half-day visits with shows in 20 -30 minute slots, so depending on morning/afternoon and your exact school schedule, this will vary.
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  6. 7.What's the procedure in an emergency?
    In an emergency it is possible to exit The Inflativerse quickly by lifting up the side of the dome. The pressure of the air inside will cause the dome material to lift up and over the audience, allowing the teacher to lead the class out. If you want to look at our risk assessment form, it is provided here.
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  7. 8.Does a teacher have to be present at all times?
    Yes, a teacher has to be present at all times and will be responsible for keeping the class under control so the presenter can focus on the content of the show.
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  8. 9.How much room is there inside the dome? Can I stand up in it?
    The dome is around 5 meters across and 3.2 meters high. You will be able to stand upright in most places, however, it is recommended that people sit down so they don't block the projection. The entrance to the planetarium is through a tunnel, so it is normally necessary to crawl or stoop to get through this (though disabled access can be arranged, see above). 
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  9. 10.Will there be seating within The Inflativerse?
    We can put chairs inside the dome if needed, but we prefer to have people sit on the floor so they don't block the projection. In the case of chairs being used, they will have to be provided by the school.
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  10. 11.How large a room do I need?
    The dome can only be erected indoors, so a room of at least 6.5m by 7.5m is required with a minimum height of 3.5m (with no obstacles hanging from the ceiling). Access to nearby power sockets is required. A bigger room (e.g. a school hall) would be better of course, but this would do. The dome itself has no floor as it hovers on the ground, so the floor must be clean enough for the students to sit on and prevent damage to the dome, so please sweep it before our visit.
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  11. 12.For what ages are the shows appropriate?
    Our shows are primarily aimed at students in Year 4 and Year 9, though we may be able to tailor shows to fit with lessons for children aged 5-16 with prior consultation.
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  12. 13.How long does it take to put up and take down the planetarium?
    Setting up the Inflativerse should take about 45 minutes in total as we would want to have some buffer to prepare properly for the first show. Taking it down takes 20 minutes but we will need the full space for that time.
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  13. 14.Can we inflate the planetarium in the school playground?
    No, the dome is neither waterproof nor suited for direct sunlight. Also, the material is rather sensitive and as we want to use The Inflativerse for many years to come, we need to set it up inside a building.
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  14. 15.Who will present the shows?
    We will send three people to each school with the Inflativerse, including one team leader who will finalize the details of our visits with you in advance. The other team members will be students or astronomy staff from the University of Nottingham. Everyone will be well able to present the shows requested.
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  15. 16.Once inflated, is it silent (i.e. does it need generator on to keep it inflated)?
    Unfortunately, the fan has to be switched on at all times to prevent the Inflativerse deflating. You should possibly not plan any activities just next to it as we generally require silence from outside.
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  16. 17.We have no appropriate space in our school. Can my class travel to the University to have a planetarium show?
    We will try to accommodate such requests if there is University space available.
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  17. 18.Can we borrow the dome and create our own shows?
    We can not give out the dome without our support and supervision (e.g. for insurance reasons). We could come along to set up The Inflativerse and help with technical issues only in case you or your (older) students want to present the shows. If you want to do this, please contact us about possible shows and projection cylinders that you could use.
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FAQ