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Field Trips

Learn Science & Engineering at the Green Bank Observatory

The Green Bank Science Center is open year-round for your educational field trips! Our 25,000 square foot facility contains the Catching the Wave Exhibit Hall, 150-seat auditorium, StarLab Classroom, gift shop, and even a café.

Programs for students and educational groups are FREE! Visit our Science Center Brochure page to see the current available programming.

Our Science Center is different from a typical science museum. We are on location as astronomers from around the world use the gigantic Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope to uncover new knowledge about the universe. Discoveries happen here! And we want your students to share in this experience of discovery.

We are hands-on minds-on at the Science Center!

  • School groups can experience several unique interactive activities that meet national and state science and engineering standards.
  • Boy and Girl Scouts can earn astronomy themed badges!
  • Our signature “Radio Astronomer for a Day” program engages youth real radio astronomy as they investigate cosmic objects with the 40 foot diameter radio telescope!

Before arranging your field trip take some time to:

College student group at the 40 Foot Telescope
College student group at the 40 Foot Telescope

Our Science Center staff are your contact for day visits. No matter how small or large your group, we’ll help you organize your activities and tours. If you are planning a day-trip, you may elect to eat at our Starlight Café. If your group is large or you have time constraints you should pre-order. Your best options are pizzas, or box lunches. Just contact us at the number or email above for more information!

Observatory Bunkhouse
Observatory Bunkhouse

Staying overnight? Ask for one of our Educational Outreach staff if you are planning an overnight visit. They’ll help you organize your activities and find a date that suits you.  Once you have a date, reserve our affordable bunkhouse!  Just for school and youth groups  the bunkhouse can accommodate up to 60 students (30 girls and 30 boys). There are attached but separate quarters for chaperones. Students bring their own linens or sleeping bags. The cost is $10.00/student/night (with a minimum of $200.00/night). Our on site cafeteria will provide meals. Meals can be arranged at the Observatory Cafeteria. Meals for student groups include: breakfast ($6.00), lunch ($8.00) and supper ($9.00). Please bring your tax exempt documentation if you are a school or non-profit group.

PLEASE NOTE: Cameras are welcome, but DIGITAL cameras (as well as other electronic devices) are not allowed in areas near the telescopes. Do our RFI activity to learn why! More info is here.

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