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Educational Overnight Trips

The Green Bank Observatory offers an overnight experience called “Radio Astronomer for a Day.”

All educational activities are free for these weekends, but there are some costs if you’d like to stay onsite or purchase meals while here.

If you have any questions not answered here, feel free to email our STEM Education Assistant, Luci Finucan, at lfinucan@nrao.edu.

Anyone fifth grade and older who comes with an educational group can stay overnight with our Radio Astronomer for a Day Program. Educational groups can include:

  • Sanctioned school groups with adult chaperones
  • Sanctioned university or college groups
  • Church youth groups with adult chaperones
  • Homeschool associations, clubs, or families with adult chaperones or parentsScout,
  • 4-H, Civil Air Patrol, and other after-school clubs or groups
  • Camp groups from other organizations or museums

Students work in research teams investigate cosmic objects with the 40-Foot radio telescope. They will learn how to use the telescope, and then take data with it overnight. In the morning, students go over their data with a Green Bank educator and figure out what it means and what conclusions we can draw from it.

More in-depth projects are available for groups that stay longer than one night.

Please make sure to select “Science Center & Educational Activities” in your GBORS request.

You can stay overnight at the Green Bank Observatory any time of the year! We do suggest staying at least twenty-four hours, so students can get the most out of the experience.

Overnight Accommodations

Overnight groups have three options for staying onsite: the bunkhouse, the campground, and the residence hall. If you’re interested in staying onsite, make sure to select “Overnight Accommodations” in your GBORS request.

The bunkhouse is our most popular option. It costs $10 per person per night, with a $200 per night minimum (if you’re bringing twenty-one people, that is $210 per night, and so on). A $100 deposit is required. The bunkhouse can hold sixty students, and has two rooms for chaperones. It includes showers and bathrooms.

The campground costs $5 per person per night, with a $150 per night minimum. A $100 deposit is required. Please review the Comet Campground Policy before camping onsite.

The hotel-style residence hall is best for smaller groups, as we only have a limited number of rooms. See prices below.

StudentsAdults
Single room$48.00/night$56.00/night
Double room$60.00/night$70.00/night
Apartment$85.00/night$85.00/night

Meals

The Green Bank Observatory has a cafeteria that can provide meals. If you are interested in this option, please select “Meal Services” in your GBORS request.

Breakfast is $6/person; lunch is $7/person; and dinner is $9/person.

Use the Green Bank Observatory Reservation System (GBORS) to request a reservation. Make sure to select “Science Center & Educational Activities” when creating your request.

We do suggest getting your reservation requests in as early as possible, especially if your group needs to visit on a weekend.