Welcome to Astronomy@Payton.
We are glad that you are considering a field trip to Walter Payton College Prep High School's planetarium.


The Astronomy @ Payton program is an outreach program to share astronomy resources with 5th and 6th graders from Chicago Public Schools. We provide a field trip experience centered on the classroom planetarium located in our school building. In this intimate setting, students have the ability to experience the night sky regardless of the weather or time of day. In addition to visiting the planetarium, students will engage in a hands-on classroom activity of your choice that will extend the astronomy concepts explored in the planetarium.

Classroom Activities:
1. Through the Telescope: Students explore different types of telescopes and use light boxes to examine the behavior of light.

2. Colors from Space: The electromagnetic spectrum is explored through the use of filters in astronomy.

3. Moons of the Solar System: Students have the opportunity to track Jupiter's four biggest moons over nine nights simulating how Galileo discovered them.

4. Solar Observing: Weather permitting, students project an image of the sun with telescopes to discover what the Sun looks like.

Besides exploring astronomy, this field trip can expose your students to the selective enrollment high schools in CPS. Through a visit to Walter Payton, your students can get a glimpse of high school life and some of them may be inspired to consider the selective admission programs available to Chicago students. Since 7th grade is a key year for the admissions process, we are limiting our program to 5th and 6th graders in Chicago. If you are interested you can sign up below or if you have questions please contact the program coordinator.

Click Here to Sign Up Online