Summer Observing Workshop


About the Workshop

Astronomy Live!, an outreach group based in the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy, is hosting an observational astronomy workshop for high school students during summer 2017. The goal of the workshop is to offer students an introduction to scientific research through the lens of observational astronomy as a first step towards pursuing a career in science. The workshop will be led by UCLA graduate students earning their Ph.D.’s in astronomy.

The program will span 8 weeks (June 13-August 1) and meet once per week for 3 hours on Tuesday evenings. Meetings will generally take place from 7:30 - 10:30 PM on the UCLA campus (times may vary by ±1 hour depending on the weekly agenda). Transportation will not be provided. The workshop is targeted towards high school upperclassmen (rising juniors or seniors) but underclassmen are also encouraged to apply. Access to a computer will be provided for each participant. There is no cost to apply or attend--it is free!

Each meeting will consist of:
 - A "Skills Lab" where the participants learn a college-level skill valuable in general scientific research, introductory scientific computing, and/or observational astronomy (examples: keeping a research logbook, analyzing data, introductory scientific computing, navigating the night sky, strategies for communicating science, and the steps to becoming a professional scientist)
 - A lecture presentation about a current topic of astronomy research, such as exoplanets, galaxy evolution, next-generation telescopes, or black holes
 - Hands-on use of high-quality telescope equipment for night-sky observing and research; training in telescope operation and observational techniques. Observing targets may include: the Moon, planets, nebulae, globular clusters, binary stars, and galaxies
 -Time to work on individual research projects analyzing astronomical imaging data from telescopes

Throughout the workshop, participants will conduct a small research project focusing on one or more astrophysical objects that they observe and collect data on. The project will culminate in a 5-10 minute presentation of the project's procedures and findings, as well as submission of a research log and brief summary of results.

Strong applicants will exhibit a desire to pursue science in college and/or as a professional career. They will have a particular interest in astronomy and a good overall academic record (GPA of 3.0 or above). Priority will be given to students who can attend the full program (all 8 weeks).

Applying to the Program

Applications are due May 1, 2017 (submit via online form, e-mail, or by mail)

Online application form -- Click here for the online application

Workshop flyer and mail-in application

Dates: June 13 - August 1, Tuesday evenings (8 weeks)
Times: 7:30-10:30 PM (± 1 hour depending on week)
Location: UCLA, Physics and Astronomy Building, 430 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free
Transportation provided: No
Computer access provided: Yes
For questions, email us at

Priority will go to students:
 - that demonstrate a desire to pursue science in college and/or as a professional career
 - that show an interest in astronomy, specifically
 - entering 11th or 12th grade in fall 2017
 - with a strong academic record (GPA of 3.0 or above)
 - who can attend all 8 weeks of the program

The workshop organizers reserve the right to accept, reject, or wait-list applicants as they see fit.