Our mission

Wayne State University and the Department of Physics and Astronomy are passionate about science education. And because of our commitment to outreach, which is centered around our state-of-the-art digital planetarium, we can excite, amaze and inspire our audiences, whether young or adult, about the wonders of science.

We are accomplishing our mission through education, outreach programs, and service to the community.


We have a world-class university and a world-class department that is acclaimed for academic excellence and cutting-edge research: Wayne State University and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Our enthusiastic faculty and staff have a strong commitment to educational outreach and are especially committed to the K-12 schools in the Detroit metropolitan area. With the universe at our fingertips, we instruct and entertain our audiences with our amazing planetarium shows and educational outreach programs.

Outreach programs

Our outreach efforts begin in the intimate setting of the Wayne State University Planetarium, home to our digital projection system, and travel beyond the doors of our theatre. Our motto is, "The sky is NOT the limit!"

In addition to our educational planetarium shows we present Phantastic Physics Phenomena demonstrations, hands-on science activities, and "Science Days" that we organize and host in partnership with other science departments.

Our planetarium is the vehicle that enables us to reach the largest audiences possible and through our outreach programs, we are bringing a new level of physics and astronomy education to the community.

Service to the community

As an urban university, we are immersed in a city that has its share of challenges. We meet these challenges head-on through our service to the community.

For several years our planetarium hosted the NASA SEMAA (Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy) program for K-12 schools. Youth in the city of Detroit participated in these summer programs and are engaged in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

National trend emerging

Nationally, a dangerous trend is emerging: Fewer students are selecting degree programs in the sciences, and overall science and mathematics scores are declining. Technical jobs in private industry and government are unfilled due to shortages of scientifically literate workers.

We are raising awareness about the need for continued scientific literacy. Through our service to the community, we are addressing this issue and bringing positive change to the city of Detroit and the surrounding communities.

Camp Cosmos

This camp incorporates physics and astronomy curricula and gives students in grades 7-10 the opportunity to learn Starry Night planetarium software, enables them to create their own planetarium shows in partnership with other camp participants, attend physics and astronomy lectures and labs, and experience campus life at Wayne State University. To learn more about this exciting summer camp, please contact us at outreach@physics.wayne.edu or call 313-577-2107.