Virtual Visits

Take your K-12 classroom on a virtual field trip to the McDonald Observatory! There are many ways to experience these programs:


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



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 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


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


If you have any questions or wish to schedule a Custom Videoconference program, please send an inquiry to

Support Science Education!

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McDonald Observatory K12 education programs are made possible thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, Education & Outreach Endowments, the AAbell-Hanger Foundation, Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation, Fash Foundation, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, the Semmes Foundation, the Stillwatr Foundtion, and Friends of the McDonald Observatory & Orion Society. 

Join or give a gift membership today. Email

Questions about Student Programs?

Contact the McDonald Observatory Education Team