Roller-coaster ride

People experience a roller-coaster ride during a previous screening inside the Mayborn Science Theater at Central Texas College in Killeen.

KILLEEN — The Mayborn Science Theater, located on the campus of Central Texas College in Killeen, announced it will once again be open for public shows starting Saturday.

The show lineup consists of six matinee shows starting at 11 a.m. A series of weekday matinee shows each Wednesday, Laser Friday and Warren’s Star Tour also are part of the monthly schedule. Seating is limited to 30 people for each show to maintain appropriate social distancing. Patrons will also have to follow all of the CTC safety protocols regarding COVID-19.

On Saturday, the matinee shows begin at 11 a.m. with “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure.” A brilliant spectacle of light and color, the show aims to nurture a child’s natural sense of wonder about the night sky. It follows “Sesame Street’s” Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky and take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon where they discover how different it is from Earth.

At 12 p.m. is “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket.” This is the story of two youngsters who turn an ordinary cardboard box into a magical rocket. Join them and experience a breathtaking, up-close look at each of our solar system’s planets. With the help of an astronomy book that talks, the two adventurers spend a night exploring and learning interesting facts about each planet.

“Zula Patrol: Down to Earth” is at 1:30 p.m. While on a routine fossil-hunting expedition, the Zula Patrol turns up evidence the villainous Deliria Delight has been traveling back in time to Earth’s prehistoric past to illegally dump her company’s toxic trash. The gang sets out to find and catch her, before her actions cause catastrophic consequences. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth and the life forms that call it home.

At 2:30 p.m. is “Dinosaurs at Dusk: The Origins of Flight.” This action-packed, animated show gives the audience a close-up view of early Earth and the fantastic animals that once roamed its surface and ancient skies. Follow the adventures of a father and his teenage daughter as they travel back in time through several geologic periods, hike through rain forests, scale ice cliffs, sail over prehistoric oceans and parachute into a vast sinkhole in their search for the first flying animals.

“First and Farthest” is at 4 p.m. The show celebrates humanity’s great accomplishments in the Space Race and the history of the space exploration, including Apollo 11. It will also bring back memories for those who experienced the Space Race and aims to inspire new generations to keep exploring our universe.

The final matinee show is “Ningaloo: Australia’s Other Great Reef.” Dive into a unique and breathtaking underwater world for a magical expedition along the vast coral highway stretching along the northwest coast of Western Australia. The Ningaloo Reef is a dazzling and psychedelic creator of life and attracts the smallest and largest sea life, including the whale shark. Show time is 5 p.m.

Tickets for the Saturday shows are $7 for adults and $6 for children younger than 12.

The weekday matinee series is every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. starting September 16. Tickets are $5 per person, per show. The first show is “Flying Monsters.” World-renowned naturalist and documentary filmmaker David Attenborough recounts the fascinating story of how we first discovered the dinosaurs that ruled the prehistoric skies. These flying reptiles had wingspans as long as a modern jet plane and were as spectacular in appearance as they were amazing in flight. The show takes viewers through the lush and alien environment in which these creatures lived to experience real flying monsters.

On September 23 at 3:30 p.m. is “In My Backyard.” Children’s entertainer Fred Penner leads a lighthearted exploration of things large and small from the colors of the rainbow to the counting of ladybugs on a rose. Then investigate the night sky, the names of the planets, the reasons for the seasons and shooting stars all from the safety and comfort of the backyard.

“Pandas: The Journey Home” is September 30 at 3:30 p.m. Presented by National Geographic, the show gives the audience unprecedented access to meet all of the pandas at the Wolong Panda Center in China as they get ready for their new lives in various parts of the world. The audience will see these cute, lovable creatures as never before and learn about their fascinating habits and personalities.

Laser Friday is September 25 with three laser-light shows highlighting the music of Pink Floyd. At 6 p.m. is “Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon.” At 7 p.m. is “Pink Floyd: The Wall” followed at 8 p.m. by “Pink Floyd: Through the Prism.” Tickets are $5 per person, per show.

The Mayborn Science Theater is located in Building No. 152 on Bell Tower Drive on the CTC campus, 6200 W. Central Texas Expressway in Killeen.

For more information visit www.starsatnight.org.