Planetarium Assistant Manager

Dynamic Earth

Direct Entry Job 2 years Edinburgh, UK

Uploaded 2 Apr 2021

Job Description

Dynamic Earth has embarked on a transformational project that will radically change the way we are able to engage the public with the science of our Earth and our place in the Universe – through our fixed planetarium at our science centre, and through an inflatable mobile planetarium that will travel across Scotland delivering quality science learning experiences to remote and disenfranchised communities. It is a critical time for people to engage with STEM subjects as we face the challenges threatening the future sustainability of the Earth; and we are increasingly aware of the imbalance of quality learning opportunities across sectors of society. 

August 2020 saw the upgrade and installation of our new planetarium projection system. We are now making use of Digistar planetarium software, a powerful tool which allows us to show full-dome films or, perhaps more excitingly, allows us to deliver live, presenter-led planetarium shows for the first time ever at Dynamic Earth. The installation and arrival of both the fixed and portable dome/system was delayed due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and current restrictions have put strict constraints on the amount of planetarium engagement we have been able to achieve thus far. As 2021 progresses these restrictions will gradually ease so we are now beginning to ramp up preparations for rolling out both our portable and fixeddome experiences to audiences across Edinburgh and beyond. 

The Planetarium Assistant Manager is a key role, working with the Planetarium Manager to develop and deliver our first ever mobile dome programme in addition to the live delivery of planetarium shows in our fixed dome. They will also coordinate with other members of the Learning Team as needed, including the Scientific Director and Learning Manager, to ensure that the mobile dome compliments our other ongoing learning activities. This role will shape this significant science engagement programme from its earliest stages as we embark on this exciting new journey. 

The Planetarium Assistant Manager will have overall responsibility for the delivery of the mobile planetarium programme, initially working with the Planetarium Manager to help to adapt, test and refine our fixed-dome content for use in the portable dome and coordinating the logistics of dome booking, set-up, delivery and evaluation of these experiences. This will likely involve visiting multiple science festivals, community events and school visits throughout a year. Once fully trained on the Digistar software, the Planetarium Assistant Manager will be also able to create and develop their own sequences to further enhance our planetarium programme as we begin to expand. 

In addition, a key role for the Planetarium Assistant Manager will be the delivery of our live, presenter-led planetarium shows. This will involve ongoing training and coordination with the Planetarium Manager to ensure a consistent high standard of live show delivery and developing a schedule throughout the year which helps to maintain the number of live delivery days in both the fixed and mobile domes. On fixed-dome delivery days where the Planetarium Manager is off-site, the Planetarium Assistant Manager will act as the first point-of-contact for any issues that may arise relating to the Digistar software. 

We are particularly keen that these programmes should be designed to ensure that people from remote disadvantaged areas are able to access and benefit from a range of tailored activities and STEM learning opportunities. 

The overall aim of the role reflects the core charitable mission of Dynamic Earth which, put simply, is to excite and engage people of all ages with an understanding of Earth, space and environmental science in a fun and imaginative way. The Planetarium Assistant Manager will be involved in the planning and development of the Planetarium programmes. 


  • Works with the Planetarium Manager to develop, test and refine the mobile planetarium experiences on a range of STEM related topics concerning space and planetary science, ensuring robust scientific research and evidence-based content.
  • Undertakes full training with the Digistar software, with a view to creating and developing their own content if desired.
  • Responsible for overall organisation and delivery of the Dynamic Earth mobile planetarium experiences (some travel will be required).
  • Responsible for delivering fixed-dome live planetarium shows as required, drawing on scientific expertise and enthusiastic delivery to engage a wide range of audiences.
  • Assists with overseeing the mobile equipment and Digistar software alongside the Planetarium Manager and Technical team.
  • Works with the wider Marketing, Corporate and Visitor Services teams to coordinate special events, such as evening ticketed events, public engagement events and corporate events that utilise the Planetarium facility.
  • Responsible for gathering feedback and statistics on mobile planetarium sessions, and regularly analysing the data and reporting against key performance indicators in conjunction with the Planetarium Manager.
  • Ensure science engagement is delivered to a consistently high standard with strong scientific integrity reflecting the core messages and themes of Dynamic Earth.
  • Any other duties as required. 

Person Specification

Desirable Person Specification and Qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degree or above in astronomy, Earth-sciences or other relevant discipline or equivalent lived experience.
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills.
  • Proven aptitude for and experience of engaging diverse public audiences with relevant science content.
  • Valid driving license would be advantageous.