Videoconference Programs

Videoconference programs are science learning experiences that take you and your students on a virtual field trip to the Davis Mountains of west Texas. There are multiple ways to experience these programs:

PARTICIPATE IN AN UPCOMING PROGRAM

Students and teachers are invited to visit McDonald Observatory remotely from home or school for incredible educational experiences. Each program is 40 minutes long and requires a Zoom account for each connection. Thanks to support from Friends of the McDonald Observatory and the Meyer-Levy Charitable Foundation, these programs are available at no cost to participants.


Celebrate Astronomy Day!
(for multiple schools)

 

From classrooms across Texas and the US, K-12 students observe our Sun in real-time with a telescope, make their own drawings, and make STEM connections in astronomy.

This program includes the following:

  • An introduction to the University of Texas McDonald Observatory and the giant research telescopes used to study the Universe
  • Live, real-time observations with our telescope-videoconference system of daytime astronomical objects like the Sun
  • Guided participant exploration of visible features like sunspots and documentation of their observations
  • STEM content designed for K-12 students

Download Teacher Activity Packet

Choose a program date below and register online at Connect2Texas.

Celebrate Astronomy Day! (for multiple schools)

January 26, 2021
10:00 am and 1:00 pm CST

January 27, 2021
10:00 am and 1:00 pm CST


 
ExciteSpace!
(for single groups and multiple schools)

 

ExciteSpace! Observe the Sun

 

K-12 students observe our Sun in real-time with a telescope, make their own drawings, and make STEM connections in astronomy.

Download Drawing Sheet and TEKS

Choose a program date and register online. Registrations accepted until 24 hours prior to any program.

January 8, 2021 (multiple schools)
10:00 am and 1:00 pm CST


 

ExciteSpace! Meet Mr. McDonald

 

Come visit McDonald Observatory without leaving your home or classroom!  Learn about Mr. McDonald, who loved nature and science.  Learn about what happens here and how the 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

Choose a program date and register online. Registrations accepted until 24 hours prior to any program.

January 20, 2021 (multiple schools)
10:00 am and 2:00 pm CST

January 21, 2021 (multiple schools)
1:00 pm CST


 
ExciteSpace! Super Big Telescope Tour

 

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

Download TEKS

Choose a program date and register online. Registrations accepted until 24 hours prior to any program.

January 21, 2021 (multiple schools)
2:00 pm and 3:00 pm CST

January 22, 2021 (multiple schools)
1:00 pm and 3:00 pm CST


Program Descriptions and Downloads

Downloadable Descriptions

Student Sheet

Student sheets are designed for your students to fill in during the videoconference. 

Required Activity Materials Ready In Your Classroom

A list of materials to have on-hand for students engagement during the program. 

Teacher Guide for Videoconference Content

Includes potential student answers, descriptions of content found in student sheets, and links that support group learning.

Pre-Conference Assessment

Actvities to help you gauge student understanding before the program.

Pre-Conference Activity

An optional activity that encourages students to discuss and organize the questions they might ask during the conference.

Post-Conference Activity

An optional activity to help students transfer their McDonald Observatory experience back to their science curriculum. 

Related TEKS, NSES

This is a document that lists related Texas and National Science Standards for each videoconference.

Videoconference Evaluation Form

We ask that you complete this evaluation form following the videoconference.