School Programs

Outreach and Online to You

Kid Solar Viewing

We are now offering all of our topics through online programming.

To schedule an online astronomy program for your group: Online Program Request Page

If you can't visit the Observatory we can come to you. Our Outreach Program has delivered thousands of programs to area schools, scout meetings, libraries, and nursing homes. An astronomer can visit your class, lead fun and in-depth professional development for your teachers, or deliver hands-on, inquiry-based programs that meet academic content standards. We can also bring telescopes for safe viewing of sunspots and solar flares or even lead an evening star party at your place. We will work actively to design a program that is right for your class. Program descriptions of our most popular programs are listed below. However, we can customize any program to your astronomical needs.

All school and community center programs are free thanks to a grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.  This includes outreach to you, admission on field trips, and buses. 

Programs Available

  • The Planets and their Orbits (Recommended for grades K-8)  - The solar system is constantly changing and we can keep you up to date. Utilizing the latest images from NASA we will share the canyons on Mars, the giant hurricane on Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn while demonstrating their pathways around the Sun.

  • Stars and Constellations (Recommended for grades K-6th)  -  There are more stars in the sky than you can ever count. But you'll see that finding your way around the sky has never been this fun. Combining astronomy with memorable ancient myths, this program will encourage your students to research and write about the constellations. Have you heard the story of Orion?
  • Rockets (Recommended for grades 3-12)  -  Getting to out into space takes rocket science as well as math, engineering, physics, and a lot of creativity. This program lets you design a water bottle rocket and launch it from our specially designed launch pad. 

  • Comets and meteors (Recommended for any grade level)  -  Stuff hitting the Earth always fascinates students. We can make a comet right in your classroom and bring actual meteorites for close inspection. Students will learn about their structure, parts, and orbits while being able to touch a rock from space.
  • Moon phases and eclipses (Recommended for grades 6-9) - Moon phases are perhaps the most difficult astronomical phenomenon for students to understand. With the assistance of a half-painted soccer ball, 30 moons on a stick, a 150-watt light bulb, and some great simulation software, your students' will sure to become luna-tics.

  • Tour of the Universe (Recommended for any grade level) -  Rocket through space among billions of stars and galaxies. This program tackles the life cycles, and types of stars and galaxies as well as the distances to these interstellar objects. Students will discover how much we have learned from telescopes and where their place is in the universe.
  • Reasons for the Seasons (Recommended for grades 4-8)  -   A 23.5 degree tilt makes all the difference between winter and summer. The Earth has a slanted view of the universe and you will discover how the angle of the Sun's rays cause Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

  • Life and Death of Stars (Recommended for grades 8-12) - Stars comes in all masses and colors. But where do they come from? What happens when they die? This stellar evolution program takes you through the lives of various stars and their dramatic demises.

All school and community center programs are free thanks to a grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.  This includes outreach to you, admission on field trips, and buses. Schedule Today

Evening Star Parties - These in-person programs are temporarily canceled due to COVID-19. But we hope to make them available in 2021.  Want to see into space for yourself? We can bring portable telescopes to your location for nighttime viewing programs. You can take a close-up look at the Moon, planets, stars and more!

       $150 small group (less than 40 people and one staff member)

       $250 large group (over 40 people using multiple telescope/staff)

If you have further questions or would like to schedule an outreach visit, please try our Online Program Request Page, email us at education@cincinnatiobservatory.org or call us at 513-321-5186.