We are happy to assist brownies, cubs, guides and scouts who are working towards their Astronomy or Stargazer badges.
We shall start taking bookings for the next winter season 2014-15 around mid-August. Please note that we shall try to give priority to those groups who were unable to visit last season.
1 - Your group can book in to join one of our regular Wednesday public open evenings. There's a half-hour talk, followed by the chance to observe if the weather is clear. Even if it was cloudy, we'd try and ensure that your group could visit one of the historical telescopes on site.
However, these evenings are primarily designed as a drop-in event for the general public, so we are only prepared to accommodate one such (well-behaved) group of less than 30 people a week, and available slots book up pretty rapidly. You can always look at our schedule to see if what we have available fits in with your plans. Entrance is free, and the rest of the family is also welcome to come along; however we cannot always guarantee that the talk is tailored to your group's interest and experience.
2 - Alternatively - and this is probably the better option for most groups - we can try to accommodate your visit separately on another evening, which could fit better with your more regular meeting time and day. A couple of our very outreach-friendly graduate students or postdoctoral researchers would host you: they can give your group a talk more tailored to what is required for that age group and the badge they are working towards. They can visit the oldest telescope on site, followed by a stargazing session if (and only if) the weather is clear - or some other activity if not. We would expect a suitable number of adult helpers to be accompanying your group and to provide leadership and discipline; parents and siblings are very welcome to come along. In return we do, however, ask for a contribution of 50 - 75 pounds towards the costs of running our outreach programme (the amount depends on how many hosts are required for your size of group). For obvious reasons, note we cannot accommodate requests for a Wednesday evening. Please note that these sessions are proving incredibly popular, and the number that we can offer is constrained by the availability of both the staff volunteers and the telescopes.