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 which may encompass fields related to telescope observing or optics, light pollution research, high-altitude exploration, but not limited to your own creativity.

  • Dates: Monday-Friday, July 15 – August 9, 2019
  • Times: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm*
  • Cost: FREE (Note: participants will need to bring lunch each day)
  • Transportation Support: Participants are eligible to receive transportation support in the form of CTA passes

*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

College Scholarships

At the end of ASW, three $2,000 college scholarship 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.

How to Apply to Astro-Science Workshop

STEP 1: Fill out the online application form (either below or here) and click the “Submit” button.

STEP 2: Ask a teacher to send us a recommendation for you. The letter must include:

a) your name
b) your teacher’s name
c) your school’s name and your school’s full address
d) the reason(s) why the teacher believes you would make a great Astro-Science Workshop participant

STEP 3: Tell your teacher to send the email to by no later than Friday, May 3, 2019. (Note: The email must come from the teacher, not you. A teacher may send in a recommendation for more than one student from the same school. You are responsible for making sure your teacher sends us your recommendation letter.)

All three steps must be completed for your application to be complete. If you fill out the form and a teacher does not send us a letter of recommendation for you, your application will be considered “incomplete.” If you have questions, please email us at Deadline to submit your application plus a letter/email from a teacher: Friday, May 3, 2018.

We will notify all applicants of acceptance or decline by Friday, May 24, 2019.