Due to COVID-19 we are not taking any in-person school visit bookings until at least November 2020. This page will be updated once we are able to take bookings again.
Instead, we are offering 1-hour online sessions for classes (during regular school hours) until December 2020 (may be extended). The session will be focussed on astronomy and will generally include a talk of 30-40 minutes and allow for approximately 20 minutes of questions. If you would like something completely different to this, or if you have a preference for a particular topic or subject area, please let us know and we can try and accommodate.
All sessions can be booked through Book Canberra Excursions (login required).
Alternatively, we have also done a number of Facebook Live talks. You can see past videos in our 'Astronomy at Home' Facebook playlist or on our website.
Evening school visits
Mt Stromlo Observatory offers 1-2 hour (flexible) evening educational group visits. A typical evening visit starts with a welcome by professional astronomers, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the research buildings.
The tour includes viewing the labs where instruments for the Giant Magellan Telescope are being built, our Laser Space Debris Telescope, a 250kg meteorite, Professor Brian Schmidt's Nobel Prize and more. The visit then continues with the main part of the evening, a stargazing session using Mt Stromlo's outreach telescopes. To complete the visit there will be a Question & Answer session with our astronomers. Depending on the length of the visit, students may also participate in hands-on activities in the Visitor Centre.
Please note that the actual objects observed will depend on the scheduled date and that in the event of cloudy weather, stargazing will be substituted for other age-appropriate activities.
We also offer 1-1.5 hour (flexible) daytime educational group visits. A typical daytime visit takes students on a tour around the site showing them both the research buildings and telescope domes while explaining the science that has been done at Mt Stromlo over the past 100 years.
On the tour, we also talk about the current science projects being undertaken and our future plans. The tour may include viewing the labs where instruments for the Giant Magellan Telescope are being built, our Laser Space Debris Telescope, a 250kg meteorite, Professor Brian Schmidt's Nobel Prize and more. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions. Depending on the length of the visit, students may also participate in hands-on activities in the Visitor Centre.
Make a booking
Due to COVID-19 we are currently not taking school visit bookings. Please see here for more information regarding ANU policy for public events during this difficult time.
Our education programs are suitable for both primary and secondary school students, including Year 10, 11, and 12 physics students. We can cater for group sizes up to 50 students during the day and 60 students in the evening.
School visits can be booked on the Book Canberra Excursions website (login required). If you would like to make a booking in the early evening before sunset but that time does not show as an available option, please contact us as we may be able to accommodate you. Please note that this will most likely mean that stargazing is not possible during your visit as it will not be dark enough. If you are a Scouts/Guides or home school group and are unable to book via the website, please contact us directly.
Download our terms and conditions here (PDF, 14KB), which includes rates. For more information, please contact us by email. We accept bookings Monday-Thursday and require a minimum of two weeks' notice.