14314
State College
Planets, Stars, Galaxies and the Universe
Discover the secrets of the universe as you explore distant galaxies, collaborate with professional astronomers, and participate in expert-led discussions at the Davey Lab Observatory.
Rating (5)
Program No. 14314RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
999
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation, Intro to Universe
University Park/State College, PA
D
Nittany Lion Inn

Activity note: Inn check in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:30-6:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In the Nittany Lion Inn dining room, choose what you like from the dinner buffet with coffee, tea, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Three instructors will lead lessons and field trips, each with their own style and areas of expertise. All instructional sessions will take place at Davey Lab, which is about ½ a mile from the Inn. Transportation will be provided for those who prefer not to walk. Given the nature of celestial observation, some activities — the telescopic observation evening activity in particular — may be altered depending on weather conditions. To account for these weather conditions, night observation will take place on 1 of 3 evenings and the other 2 will be at leisure. For two lunches, participants will receive prepaid debit cards to choose and buy lunch (included in the program cost) from an extensive selection at the Hetzel Union Building. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We’ll wrap up as our presenters give an introduction to the universe! Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

DAY
2
Solar System, Mars & Stars, Sky Observation
University Park/State College, PA
B,L,D
Nittany Lion Inn

Activity note: Nittany Lion Inn to Davey Lab is approximately ½ mile. Getting on/off a trolley necessitating a few steps.

Breakfast: In the Nittany Lion Inn dining room, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet.

Morning: We’ll set off on a narrated trolley ride around the Penn State campus. After arriving at Davey Lab, we’ll get started with an orientation to the solar system with our instructors.

Lunch: At the Hetzel Union Biulding (HUB), participants will be given prepaid debit cards with which to buy lunch included in the program cost. Among many other choices, the most popular option is the Soup & Garden, which offers choices from a diverse salad and hot main dish bar.

Afternoon: After returning to Davey Lab, we’ll have three specialist lectures given by our knowledgeable and enthusiastic instructors on Mars in 3-D, searching for planets and life around other stars, and solar observation (weather permitting).

Dinner: Inn buffet.

Evening: On the rooftop observatory on Davey Lab led by our instructors, we will view astronomical objects through a variety of telescopes including one large research-grade telescope. The night this happens depends on local conditions.

DAY
3
Stars, Black Holes, Wormholes, Phases of the Moon
University Park/State College, PA
B,L
Nittany Lion Inn

Activity note: For those who do not wish to walk from the inn to the lab, transportation will be provided.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: At the Davey Lab with our instructors, we’ll learn about the birth and evolution of stars.

Lunch: Inn buffet.

Afternoon: Our lecture series will continue in Davey Lab with our instructors to address black holes, planetariums, phases of the moon, and one bonus talk with a special guest lecturer.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to visit other attractions on campus and in town on your own or just relax at the inn.

DAY
4
Galaxy Classification, The Big Bang Theory
University Park/State College, PA
B,L,D
Nittany Lion Inn

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: Strap in for a brief history of the universe and the Big Bang with our instructors in the Davey Lab.

Lunch: At the Hertzel Union Building (HUB).

Afternoon: We’ll have 2 lectures in Davey Lab including a 3-D fight through the universe and an interactive learning experience about galaxies and the universe with the use of a video game.

Dinner: Inn buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Dark Energy, Science, Religion & Existence, Astro Jeopardy
University Park/State College, PA
B,L,D
Nittany Lion Inn

Activity note: For those who do not wish to walk from the inn to the lab, transportation will be provided.

Breakfast: Inn buffet.

Morning: At the Davey Lab, we’ll start off the day with a lecture about the Big Bang and dark energy.

Lunch: Inn buffet.

Afternoon: Attend 2 lectures about asteroid impacts and science, religion and the nature of existence followed by an open discussion.

Dinner: Inn buffet.

Evening: Enjoy a fun and friendly game of Astro Jeopardy with your fellow Road Scholars using the knowledge you’ve gained over the course of the program!

DAY
6
Review, Program Concludes
University Park/State College, PA
B

Activity note: Hotel check out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: For our final meal of the program together, our professors from throughout the course will join us over the breakfast buffet.

Morning: Our last session will be a lively review at Davey Lab with Q&A, and wrap up with the instructors. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and we look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!