Take your K-12 classroom on a virtual field trip to the McDonald Observatory! There are many ways to experience these programs:
PARTICIPATE IN AN UPCOMING PROGRAM
Virtual Visits will continue in the fall of the 2021-2022 school year. We invite students and teachers to join McDonald Observatory remotely from home or school for these exciting educational experiences.
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
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 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.
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.
WATCH A RECORDED SESSION ANYTIME
Programs average 50 minutes in length and include activities and handouts that students can use to follow along at home.
Books and Telescopes and the Sun...Oh My! (Grades PreK-2)
Explore the Sun and sunspots with special telescopes at McDonald Observatory, enjoy a reading of “
The Big Dipper” – a Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1 book, and take a virtual tour of McDonald Observatory. Viewers may choose to make their own drawing of the Sun and it’s features. Required materials are a sheet of paper and a pencil!
Our Solar System and Beyond! (Grades 3-12)
Explore McDonald Observatory and see giant research telescopes used by astronomers, observe planet Venus with telescopes equipped with special video cameras, complete a size and scale ranking task activity individually or in small groups (
grade 3-5 handout & grade 6-12 handout, and learn how Galileo discovered that planets orbit the Sun.
INQUIRE ABOUT VIRTUAL VISITS
If you have any questions or wish to schedule a Custom Videoconference program, please send an inquiry to