Mount Wilson Observatory, one of the most historically important observatories in the world, sits above Pasadena, a hub for Astronomy. Our programs are led by astronomers from the world-renowned institutes of Carnegie Observatories, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and the California Institute of Technology. Students learn, at any level, about the astrophysics that led Hubble to discover the expanding Universe.
Mount Wilson Observatory was founded in 1904 by George Ellery Hale. Often considered one of America’s greatest astronomers, Hale made lasting contributions to astrophysics as well as the overall growth of science and scientific institutions. During our STEM programs, students will benefit from the legacy of this science pioneer, using tools he developed for astrophysics. Students will get to know and recognize the basics of our vast universe using the very instruments that Hale, Hubble, and Shapley have used. The program also includes the contributions of historic female astronomers.
All programs can be tailored for time, duration, and content! Our programs are designed to complement and meet Next Generation Science (NGS) standards for 4th – 12th grades, maximizing the value of the program.
To learn more about Mount Wilson’s STEM Educational Program for your school, contact Jessica Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (571) 762-5850. Or use the form below to reserve a date!
Held in our 150-ft solar tower, students learn about the scale of planets in comparison to the Sun. If weather permits, student will observe the surface of the Sun and learn about sunspots amongst other solar activity.
Using our Helen Snow Solar Telescope, students learn first-hand how to analyze data the electromagnetic spectrum provides, using diffraction grating glasses. If weather permits, students will observe the solar spectrum.
Students learn about the discovery of our place in the galaxy and the discovery of the broader universe while inside our historic 60-inch telescope, where these discoveries were originally made.
Held in our 100-inch telescope dome, students learn about the expansion of the Universe, how we discovered the Universe, and concludes with a demonstration on relativity.
4th – 6th Grade: DAY PROGRAM
This range of grade levels is eligible for our Day Program. Students will be taught our four lessons, will visit all of our telescopes, and see the actual instruments used to make some of astronomy’s most important discoveries. Additionally, they have the opportunity to observe our Sun, learning about heat energy and radiation, and how solar energy reaches Earth mostly in the form of visible light.
7th – 12th Grade: DAY, EVENING, & OVERNIGHT PROGRAMS
This range of grade levels is eligible for our Day, Evening, or Overnight programs. In our Evening program, students receive the content of our Day program, but additionally have access to the 60-inch or 100-inch telescope in the evening for observing the night skies. Students learn about a star’s elements, location, life-cyle, color, and brightness. In an Overnight program, students receive all the lessons offered in our Day and Evening programs, with the added benefit of enjoying our overnight lodging after observing.
Our Day Program runs approximately 4.5 hours, with a break for lunch. Students will visit the Helen Snow Telescope, the 150-ft Solar Tower, the 60-inch and 100-inch telescopes.
Our Evening Program’s start time and duration are adjustable, depending on the time of year and needs of the students.Generally students arrive in the afternoon, with the visit starting with all the content of our Day Program and solar observations. The Evening Program portion of observing generally finishes around 11 p.m.
Our Overnight Program also has flexible start times, depending on the time of year and needs of the students. Including all that is offered for our Day and Evening Programs, our Overnight Program also includes dinner, snacks while observing, lodging for the night, and a light breakfast.