Tauranga Primary pupils are experiencing the night sky under an inflatable dome in their school hall.

The portable Starlab is visiting the school this week with owner/operator Gloria Witheford teaching children about astronomy.

Near the centre of the dome, Ms Witheford controls a lamp which, depending on the cover used, lights up the walls of the dome with the constellations of the night sky as it currently looks.

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"Depending on their age, we might look at the solar system, I've got movies and slides showing the solar system.

"We look at what's in the sky at the moment so the kids can take their parents outside at home and show them what they've learned.

"I've had 10-year-olds that have never had a good look at the night sky because their parents think it's not safe to be outside.

"My attitude is show your parents what you've learned, the kids think it's marvellous knowing more than their parents."

The children get to hold meteorites - something real from space they can actually touch.

The dome is collapsible and fits into a large bag.

Ms Witheford takes it to schools in the North Island and covers the part of the school curriculum about astronomy.