Lead Planetarium Educator

Jun 06 2018
Bishop Museum |Honolulu|Full Time
Job Description


Present live planetarium programs and recorded programs to general public, school groups, and evening audiences. Operate planetarium equipment.  Provide basic technical support for planetarium. Operate telescope at museum observatory. Give live sky talks with spotlight. Present programs on Science on a Sphere. Assist with special programs and events. Coordinate planetarium staff schedules for daily shows and special events. Support Planetarium Outreach and offsites. Work with Education Department team members and occasionally collaborate on new programs in and beyond Planetarium content.




Duties and Responsibilities


  • Perform engaging planetarium programs on a wide variety of topics (Polynesian Navigation, current space missions, basic astronomy, NASA earth sciences, ‘astronomy for young children’).  Programs are at least 50 per cent “live” and interactive, so presenter is speaking to audience and working with audience in hands-on astronomy demonstrations.  Audiences include school groups, general public, and general mix for evening programs.  This presentation duty is done by this positon between two and five times a week.  On each day, the presenter gives between three and eleven programs. Assist with basic technical work for planetarium, including:


    • Star map creation

    • Backing up the planetarium system on a regular basis

    • Basic video editing (cross-trained along with at least two Science Education staff)

    • Planetarium website updates

    • Write training material

    • Create how-to guides


  • Pre-set, operate, and monitor planetarium equipment.  This includes audio-visual system (Digistar full dome video, ChronosII star machine, control panels) and the planetarium audio system.
  • Schedule planetarium presenters and show requests.
  • Interface with Museum’s reservation software, Altru.
  • Take lead on addressing Planetarium needs for maintenance, signage, program marketing, and other routine functions with supervisor and intradepartmental partners.
  • Work evening programs. These include both English-language programs and presenting evening Japanese programs in tandem with Japanese-speaking translator.
  • Create and present planetarium programs, including for special events. These include teacher workshops, conferences, special weekend events when additional planetarium programs are offered, and special public events such as eclipse-viewing programs.
  • Operate Digital portable planetarium onsite and offsite. Set up equipment, give presentations; duty may involve travel to venues onsite and on neighbor islands.
  • On a needs basis, operate museum observatory. Daytime duties include simple solar projection and interpretation of sun; evening duties include using telescope to explore planets and other bright objects and explaining those phenomena to visitors.
  • Operate NOAA ‘Science on a Sphere’ on a needs-basis. This includes providing brief presentations on the sphere, in center of the planetarium waiting area, to keep audience engaged when time and priorities permit. 
  • Train Education staff on planetarium equipment, content and function (as needed).
  • Assist in the marketing and distribution of Museum-owned shows to other planetariums and institutes of higher education looking to license Museum content.
  • Provide exceptional customer service as a Front-of-House team member with paper ticketing and electronic attendance record keeping.
  • Manage basic administrative functions to include staying abreast of museum events, communicating needs and ideas, coordinating schedules within a team, and collaborating as a team member of the Education Department.
  • Support youth and adult volunteers specializing in Planetarium support roles.








  • High School diploma required, BA preferred. Academic experience in astronomy preferred.

  • Experience in video production and editing

  • Experience in creating graphics such as star maps and other basic educational materials using Adobe Illustrator or comparable freeware.

  • Ability to edit website content.

  • Demonstrated up to date knowledge of astronomy and of space sciences.

  • Familiarity with and/or willingness to learn both Hawaiian and Pacific and Westernized astronomy belief systems.

  • Excellent public speaking skills. High comfort level with audiovisual technology.

  • Must be able to multi-task as a presenter, both delivering the narrative of programs and operating the star machine and full dome video at same time.  Must be able to work in a very dark environment.

  • Must exhibit a high level of customer service and pragmatic problem solving with regard to guest concerns.

  • Must have proven track record of reliability and attendance. Must be able to improvise and keep programs moving forward even when technical problems occur.

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint. Sufficient in Excel.


    Other Requirements



  • Must have flexibility in working hours, as some evening and weekend work is required. Ideal candidate will be available to work one routine weekend shift.

  • Must have valid driver’s license and car with proof of insurance.

  • Professional business-like appearance

  • Good Attendance

  • Detail oriented

  • Prevalent Second Language ability is a plus