Planning Your Visit with Pre- and Post-Visit Activities

We strongly recommend planning your visit at least six weeks in advance. This gives you time to plan and prepare students for a worthwhile learning experience at McDonald Observatory. You can request a reservation with our online form.

We encourage teachers to think of the Observatory as an informal extension of their classroom and science instruction.

Pre-Visit Package

The following Pre-Visit package indicates which activities are appropriate for various grades. Sample TEKS are indicated.

In addition to these printed materials, the package includes a map locating the Observatory and a DVD about the observatory.

Required Forms English Spanish
• Visitor Checklist- With suggested timeline  
• Behavior Expectations
• Photo Release Letter
• Signatures Form for behavior and photo release - Must be filled out by each student and/or their parent/guardian.
Pre-Visit Activities    
Activities to be done with the class before the visit to the Observatory.
• Pre-visit Engagement Activities
Since the Observatory has reflecting telescopes, it is recommended that students complete an activity investigating the Law of Reflection prior to their visit.    
• Reflection Activity  
• Alternative Reflection Activity  

Post-Visit Package

The post-visit package includes a printed copy of the StarDate/Universo Teacher Guide

Post-Visit Forms and Activities English Spanish
Post-Visit Letter --
Post-Visit Activities for grades K-5 --
Post-Visit Activities for grades 6-12 --
Post-Visit Activities for grades 9-12 --
Post-Visit Activity on Telescope Mechanics and Structure --

Concept Mapping
A unit for IPC, Physics, or Astronomy secondary school students.

Introduction to Concept Maps --
Concept Map --
Concept Map Key --
Extensions to the Concept Map exercise --
Expert Map --

NASA logoSupport for HST-ED90234-01 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555.