The Marie Drake Planetarium

Where the stars always shine in Juneau, AK

Frequently Asked Questions

The Marie Drake Planetarium is a Unique Community Resource

  • The planetarium allows us to model the sky even when the weather is miserable! 
  • The planetarium is run by volunteers with knowledge of and enthusiasm about astronomy. This is reflected in the planetarium's diverse offerings. 
  • The purpose of the planetarium is to provide astronomy education in Juneau to people of all ages and levels of astronomy knowledge.
  • We do not have regularly scheduled hours. Instead we are open for events and presentations. 
  • We sometimes have events outside the planetarium (e.g. at a public library) and partner with other Juneau organizations.

Location

The planetarium is in the Marie Drake Building (between Harborview and JDHS. We are next to a fenced playing field.  You will see the Planetarium logo on a sign above the double doors. If you are at the stop light at 10th Avenue and Egan Drive, coming into downtown Juneau, take a left at the light and go two blocks to Glacier Avenue. Take a left. Go two blocks to the 4 way stop sign at 12th and Glacier. Continue on Glacier Avenue. You will see the schools on the left side of the streets starting Harborview. Next to it is the Marie Drake Building. If you see the swimming pool or the high school you have gone too far.

How do I contact the planetarium?

The best way is to contact us via email. 

[email protected]                   


If you need to talk with someone, call Steve at (907) 500-2941 

Do you charge for planetarium shows and events?

  • Our events and programming are free. 
  • We occasionally charge e.g. if we have a fundraising event or have a program that involves paying a stipend to a presenter. 
  • There is a donation jar at each event and we appreciate your support. 
  • Programming at the planetarium is free because we are run by volunteers. We get funding from grants, donations from businesses and individuals and the Juneau School District provides in-kind support.

Purpose of Planetarium

The mission of the planetarium is to provide engaging and informative astronomy education for people of all ages and levels astronomy knowledge in Juneau. We serve the public, school classes and community groups at no charge.

Who owns the planetarium?

  • The  planetarium room is owned by the Juneau School District. It is located in the Marie Drake Building which also houses other schools and offices.
  • The new planetarium digital projector (and other equipment and supplies) are owned by the Friends of the Marie Drake Planetarium.
  • The original Spitz projector is owned by  JSD.

Are you a non-profit?

  • Yes the planetarium is a 501(3)(c) - The Friends of the Marie Drake Planetarium which was created in 2011.
  • Donations are tax-deductible.
  • We are currently not a membership non profit, but this may change.

Who manages the planetarium?

  • The planetarium has been run since by volunteers since 1990. 
  • Since 2011, we have been a non profit with a board of directors. The board makes decisions about policies and programming. 
  • The board promotes using and upgrading the planetarium.
 

What is the relationship between the planetarium and the Juneau School District

  • JSD maintains the planetarium space paying for things such as  insurance, utilities, internet, cleaning etc.
  • The school district also uses the space for school activities such as RALLY.
  • The school district does not provide funding for staffing or programming at the planetarium. 
  • Our digital planetarium system will be a great tool for Juneau teachers. Interested JSD teachers will be trained to use the system for their classes.

When are shows.
  • It varies. During the week, shows are generally in the evening. At the weekend there are sometimes day time shows for children. There is no set schedule for shows. .

How do I arrange a planetarium show for my classroom or a non-profit community group?

  • Contact us to discuss what you are looking for. We will try to find a time when planetarium and volunteers are available. 
  • However, since we are run by volunteers, we cannot accommodate every request. 
  • We need to know:  topic, grade or age of attendees, number of attendees. Adults must accompany children.

Can I rent the planetarium?

Yes,the space may be rented via Community Schools for a small fee; however the planetarium system cannot be used. If you want the planetarium digital system for your event, you need a planetarium volunteer to run it. If you are a school or non profit, there is no charge. 

 What organizations does the planetarium partner with?

Juneau School District

Juneau Jazz and Classics

Boy and Girls Scouts
Alaska State Museum
Museum of Flight in Seattle
Digitalis in Bremerton, WA

Juneau Public Library

Alaska State Museum

Home school parents

Private schools

Day care centers