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Astro-Science Workshop

A group of Far Horizons participants launch a high-altitude balloon into the atmosphere.

The Astro-Science Workshop (ASW) at the Adler Planetarium is a fun, intensive program about space exploration designed for high school students in the Chicago area. ASW began more than 50 years ago during the space race and Apollo program and counts numerous scientists, engineers, business leaders and a former NASA astronaut as alumni. ASW encourages participants to consider pursuing careers in science by offering the unique opportunity to work with astronomers, engineers, and educators at the Adler Planetarium.

This year’s program will focus on hands-on opportunities in which participants develop their skills in electronic hardware, computer programming, computer-aided design (CAD), data analysis, and the unique experience of high-altitude ballooning engineering and experimentation. Participants will also develop their own experiment which will be tested aboard a high-altitude balloon. Experimental ideas shall be a group effort that may encompass fields related to telescope observing or optics, light pollution research, high-altitude exploration, but not limited to your own creativity.

Meeting Schedule: 

  • Monday-Friday, July 20–August 7, 2020
  • 9:00 am–3:00 pm*

Interested? Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Teens enrolled in 8th–12th grade during the 2019–2020 school year
  • Interested in learning new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEAM) skills and passionate about science
  • Team players who collaborate well with peers

*There will be one field trip during the program to prepare, launch, track, and retrieve a high-altitude balloon payload. Transportation from the Adler to/from the field trip location and back to the Adler will be provided by Adler staff. The field trip will be from approximately 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on the field trip day. Date TBD.

Stipends and Transportation Support

Participants who successfully complete the workshop series will earn a $300 stipend. Partial financial support for transportation to and from the Adler is also available.

College Scholarships

At the end of ASW, three $2,500 college scholarships will be awarded to ASW participants who have demonstrated exemplary engagement and leadership qualities as well as the successful completion of a Research Portfolio (details to follow). Scholarships will be paid directly to the post-secondary institution upon the student submitting proof of enrollment.

Applications for the 2020 session are now closed.


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