The Royal Observatory has a range of activities to bring to your school. Most of the activities are directly linked to A Curriculum for Excellence learning outcomes; the others offer stimulating experiences and opportunities to test your skills.

Please note that schools outreach visits are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

Starlab mobile planetarium

For all levels

Let us tell you all about the night sky in your school hall. Our show for Early Level explores the night sky and then talks about the stories in the stars. For Levels 1 and 2 we look at why the stars are different colours, why the stars are not fixed in the sky, how stars are used as a navigational aid and we also include our Journey through the Solar System slide show.

Each show lasts 45 minutes, and the star lab requires a room at least 7 m in diameter and 3.2 m high (it cannot go outside)


For all levels

We can bring our collection of meteorites to your school for your class to handle. We will tell you all about the meteorites and then test your knowledge and observation skills by asking you to identify the meteorites hidden in our rock box!

Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes

Rocket workshop

Level 2

Work in pairs to design and build a simple rocket, see how far it will fly. What can you do to improve your design and get the rocket to travel further? The children will be given several test runs and chances to improve their rocket before a competition at the end of the day to see which rocket can go further than all the rest. This activity is great fun but also enhances the team work and communication skills of your class.

Each workshop lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Sundials and Shadows

Early Level

Why do we have night and day? What makes a shadow? Let us answer these questions using actions and rhymes. Then make a sundial to bring all of these ideas together.

Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Solar System Modelling

Upper Level 1 and Level 2

Can you imagine the size of the Solar System? Using a collection of balls and beads, your class can compare the sizes of the planets. Then we will make a solar system measuring tape to see how far apart the planets are.

Each session lasts approximately 1 hour

The Size and Scale of the Universe

Upper Level 2

Using pictures of planets, stars, galaxies can we build up a model of the structure and size of our universe? Challenge your class with this problem solving activity.

Each session lasts approximately 1 hour.

Prices :

For a half day £250 for a full day £350 for schools within two hours drive of Edinburgh. For schools further away please phone to discuss.

All activities are designed for one class of up to 35 children at one time.

To book please call 0131 668 8404 or e-mail vis@roe.ac.uk