Astronomy in the classroom, school and observatory visits (KS2 to A Level):
The programme has run successfully for a number of years, exciting young minds about the challenges and rewards of a career in Astrophysics and space sciences at UCL, and reaching audiences of over 2000 pupils annually. Enquiries both for schools visits to the Observatory and for lectures delivered at schools can be made by contacting the Observatory.
- Visits to the Observatory are available only for selected dates, normally for 11:00-13:00 or 14:00-16:00 sessions (see the calendar, below). Visits to schools can be made at any mutually convenient time, by arrangement. Both elements of the programme are very popular, and bookings are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Group sizes for UCLO visits should normally be 15–30 students (we can't accommodate larger groups, and smaller groups don't make efficient use of our facilities).
- Content and nature of the tours (including negotiating some steep, open-tread stairs) mean they may not be suitable for all children younger than 7-8 years old.
- Unfortunately, the site is not wheelchair-friendly, with gravelled grounds and steep stairways; disabled visitors should contact us in advance to enquire about access.
- There is no on-site visitor parking (other than by advance arrangement for disabled visitors).
- Where schools have specific budgets for such activities, we will levy a modest charge to cover staffing costs. Otherwise, visits are free of charge.
Dr Francisco Diego is a Senior Research Fellow in the UCL Astrophysics Group with decades of experience in astronomy outreach and delivery of astronomy talks in schools (KS2 to A-levels) as well as teaching the Certificate class at the UCL Observatory. Dr. Diego who is very active in astrophotography and travels often to sites of particular astronomical events is still involved in the School visits at the Observatory occasionally and often visits schools throughout the entire London area to deliver astronomy talks.