The University of Chicago

373 W. Geneva St, Williams Bay WI 53191 (Latitude 42 34.2, Longitude -88 33.4)

Outreach Events and Activities

Teacher Workshops *** High School Nights *** Family Programs *** Links

Teacher Workshops 2012-13 ...... Save the Dates

Astronomy Resources Connecting Schools (ARCS) and Yerkes Astrophysics Academy for Young Scientists (YAAYS) Teachers meet monthly at Yerkes or other amazing locations to further their understanding of astronomy and astrophysics through professional development sessions organized by ARCS teachers and collaborating scientists. YerkesTeachers-blinkcomparator
SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a 2.5 meter-diameter telescope dedicated to astronomical research. The telescope, associated equipment, and observing team are in the pressurized main cabin. AAA program participants will fly on overnight missions, at altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, in the main cabin. The 8 - 10 hour flight experience will be similar in environmental conditions (temperature, seating, turbulence) to a regular commercial airline flight, although interior noise level will be somewhat higher. Participants must be able to walk up a steep and narrow stairway unassisted, sit for an extended period of time in a pressurized cabin and carry flight materials unassisted. AAA program applicants and members must be a US Citizen or legal resident teaching in a U.S. school.

Keep up with the news about SOFIA and the teachers who fly as SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA).

Sign up for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy newsletter.

Educators: Apply to fly on SOFIA! at
    Two-Person Team Eligibility and Composition:
  • One member must be a full-time science teacher (formal educator), grades 6 - 12
  • The second member may be a grade 6 - 12 formal science, math, or technology educator, elementary educator, or informal (museum, science center, planetarium, etc.) educator
  • Complete application (including essays and support letters) received in electronic form by the deadline (November 15, 2011)
See website above for application and more details.

NASA IPAC Teacher Archive Research Project (NITARP)NITARP logo

What is NITARP?

NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. Small groups of educators are partnered with a mentor professional astronomer for an original research project. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers. The program runs January through January. Applications are available annually in May and due in September. See

This program is completely unique in the following two important ways: (1) each team does original research using real astronomical data, not canned labs or reproductions of previously done research; (2) each team writes up the results of their research and presents it at an American Astronomical Society meeting (the AAS is the professional organization for astronomers in the US). Each team also presents the educational results of their experience in the program.

Yerkes Program for High School Students

At Yerkes Observatory educators, scientists, and engineers are organizing monthly activities for area high school students. Our main goal is to reach students interested in astronomy, physics, computer programming, imaging, and engineering.

At the observatory, students will also meet others involved with NASA research programs; especially the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Airborne Observatory(SOFIA) . They will also be a part of a community of young scientists considering futures in science, technology, engineering, and math.

To participate call 262-215-5555 or email vhoette at
This program is funded by the Environmental Education Foundation and NASA's SOFIA.

Join us for Family Nights on Feb. 24, March 16, March 24, and April 12th.    See the registration page.

Young Astronomer Looking through Galileoscope
making a telescope with two lenses Galileoscope: Construct your telescope and learn how to use it.

Picture Gallery of Family Program Night events
Saturn Kids Build a Star Finder!  Plot the Planets! Be ready for a night under the stars!

Image Processing Software
Images taken with the Yerkes 24 inch Telescope and Others

Astronomer Talks for Educators


Previous Programs/Events

2nd Annual Teacher Lunacy Saturday Workshop, followed by an evening event for International Observe the Moon Night. Registration is required for both of these events. International Observe the Moon Night. September 18, 2010.

The Youth Slam of National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute in Baltimore July, 2009. YAAYS and SOFIA contributed Tracing Invisible Rays.

Hands-On Universe Annual Conference June 22-26, 2009 *Agenda, Power Points, and Handouts*

YAAYS Summer Academy Summer Academy Sign-Up Form

Hands-On Universe WISE Conference Agenda and Notes

YAAYS Class NSM5007 Electromagnetic Spectrum

ARCS February 2008 Follow Up Weekend; ARCS Leadership Lesson Template

YAAYS Summer Academy 2008

Yerkes Astrophysics Academy for Young Scientists (YAAYS)
National Science Foundation Award #0639690 (2007-2009) was an out of school time program for 3rd through 8th grade students.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) provides support for our education and outreach efforts at Yerkes.

Please contact us if you wish to schedule an event for a group of students. 262-245-5555