Lessons Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Do you want to incorporate astronomy into your science curriculum? Astronomy offers an inviting way into the world and culture of science. Use our new dynamic lesson plans to build engaging classroom lessons and activities using the many audio and video resources from StarDate Online. More »

Classroom Activities

Hands-on activities encourage children to explore astronomy concepts in a way that is fun, yet meaningful, and to broaden their awareness of astronomy as they develop and apply new skills in other subject areas.

Teachers, parents, scout leaders, and others may copy and distribute these materials for classroom instruction or related educational purposes. The material may not be sold or published in any other form without written permission from The University of Texas McDonald Observatory. More »

Workshops at the Observatory

McDonald Observatory offers a unique setting for teacher workshops: the Observatory and Visitors Center in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. Tours of the telescopes, discussions with the research astrophysicists in residence, and nighttime observations are an integral part of every workshop experience. Not only will you do inquiry-based activities aligned with science and mathematics TEKS and TAKS, you will practice your new astronomy skills under the Observatory’s dark skies, weather permitting, and partner with trained and nationally recognized astronomy educators. More »


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