I think using Stellarium would be a lot of fun for any 8th grade science class when they get to Unit 3: Sun, moon, earth systems. It could be a hands on tool for the whole class to download at home and explore with, or it can be treated as an enrichment for those students who finish in class assignments ahead of schedule.
I think this is a great resource especially at the middle school level. Easy to naviagate and to the point, you can show your students fossils based on location, time, animal, etc. Great efficient and affordable way of demonstrating multiple types of fossils to your students.