Virtual Visits

Take your K-12 classroom on a virtual field trip to the McDonald Observatory! We invite students and teachers to join McDonald Observatory remotely from home or school for these exciting educational experiences.

PARTICIPATE IN AN UPCOMING PROGRAM

Find our programs and register at Connect2Texas. (Use the filter to find McDonald Observatory, University of Texas). Registration closes 3 days prior to any program.


ExciteSpace! Eclipses and our Moon

Join McDonald Observatory as we explore the Sun, Earth, Moon system. After discussing gravity and orbits, students will experience Moon phases before discussing Eclipses. Get your students ready for the Eclipse events Texas will experience in October 2023 and April 2024.

Register at Connect2Texas. (Use the filter to find McDonald Observatory, University of Texas). Registration closes 3 days prior to any program.

Eclipses and our Moon (grades PreK-4)
Tuesday, February 7 10:30 AM - 11:15 PM
Tuesday, February 7 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Eclipses and our Moon (grades 3-12)
Thursday, January 19 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Tuesday, January 31 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Tuesday, January 31 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM


 

ExciteSpace! Observe the Sun

McDonald Observatory is a great place to observe the stars, and during the school day, the star that we are able to observe is ‘our’ star, the Sun.   In this program, students will observe our Sun in real time (weather permitting) using a K-12 dedicated telescope.  They will have the opportunity to make drawings of the sun and make STEM connections in astronomy.

Download Drawing Sheet and TEKS

Register at Connect2Texas. (Use the filter to find McDonald Observatory, University of Texas). Registration closes 3 days prior to any program.

Observe the Sun (grades PreK-4)
Friday, January 13 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Friday, January 13 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Friday, January 13 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Friday, January 13 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Thursday, January 26 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Thursday, January 26 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Thursday, January 26 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
Thursday, January 26 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM  

Friday, February 3 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Friday, February 3 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Friday, February 3 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Wednesday, February 8 10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
Wednesday, February 8 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM


Observe the Sun (grades 3-12)
Tuesday, January 17 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Tuesday, January 17 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Wednesday, January 25 9:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Wednesday, January 25 10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
Wednesday, January 25 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Wednesday, January 25 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

 


ExciteSpace! Meet Mr. McDonald

Come visit McDonald Observatory without leaving your home or classroom! Learn about Mr. McDonald, who loved nature and science. Explore what happens here and how astronomers use telescopes to study all kinds of things in the universe. Students will be guided on a virtual tour of the 2.1-meter Otto Struve Telescope, and we will discuss together the things that make McDonald Observatory a great place to do astronomy.

Download TEKS

Register at Connect2Texas. (Use the filter to find McDonald Observatory, University of Texas). Registration closes 3 days prior to any program.

Meet Mr. McDonald (grades PreK-5)
Tuesday, February 21 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Tuesday, February 21 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Wednesday, February 22 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Wednesday, February 22 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Wednesday, February 22 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Meet Mr. McDonald (grades 5-12)
Tuesday, February 21 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Tuesday, February 21 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Tuesday, February 21 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Wednesday, February 22 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Wednesday, February 22 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM


ExciteSpace! Super Big Telescope Tour

Explore the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, a 10-meter telescope that uses 91 mirrors to observe the universe! Follow the light path from the sky into our instruments, made possible by creative engineering. Students will take a virtual tour of the HET, including images and videos, guided by a live educator.

Download TEKS

Register at Connect2Texas. (Use the filter to find McDonald Observatory, University of Texas). Registration closes 3 days prior to any program.

Check back later for scheduled live programs, or see below to request a recording.

INQUIRE ABOUT VIRTUAL VISITS

If you have any questions or wish to schedule a Custom Videoconference program, please send an inquiry to teachers@mcdonaldobservatory.org

K-12 Education Program Support

 
We are grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their support of K-12 Education programs
  • The Abell-Hanger Foundation
  • The Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation,
  • The Fash Foundation,
  • The Alfred S. Gage Foundation
  • The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation,
  • The Meyer Levy Charitable Foundation
  • The Permian Basin Area Foundation, 
  • The Semmes Foundation 
  • The Stillwater Foundation
  • The National Science Foundation.
In adddition, these endowments provide sustaining support for Education & Outreach at McDonald Observatory.
  • The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation Education Endowment,
  • The Carolyn Frost Keenan and Charlie Gaines Educational Endowment for McDonald Observatory,
  • The Hugh Gragg Educational Endowment 
  • The Lynn Lyles Brill Education & Outreach Endowment,
  • The Leopold Tedesco Educational Endowment,
  • The Pam and Rom Welborn McDonald Observatory Endowment for Education Excellence,
  • The MESA Engineering Education Endowment in honor of David L. Lambert,
  • The Bill and Alice Wright Endowment for Education & Outreach,
  • The Mary Ann Rankin Endowment for UTeach Workshops,
  • and The Mary Kay Hemenway Outreach & Education Endowment

You can help support our programs through a contribution to our Annual Fund, a Friends Membership, or planned gift.