Soon after opening in 1935, Griffith Observatory initiated one of the first school visit programs in the region. Generations of Los Angeles-area students have made the pilgrimage in buses up Mount Hollywood for a unique experience in science education. Many more visit informally during regular public hours of operation.
The Griffith Observatory School Program is open exclusively to fifth-grade students. The content and activities are aligned with the California State Board of Education Content Standards for fifth grade. Only fifth-grade classes will be considered for school program visits. Programs are usually held on Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays, from October to early June. The program uses the Observatory’s telescope, exhibit, and building content as well as programs in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium and Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. Thanks to Friends Of The Observatory (FOTO), there is no charge for students to attend a program. Since the program resumed in 2007 after the renovation and expansion project, over 260,000 fifth-grade students from thousands of schools have attended.
As part of the fifth-grade school program, the Observatory developed resources and activities to help teachers make the visit as effective as possible. These materials are available for free to any teacher who would like to use them.
Since 2008, Friends Of The Observatory (FOTO) has generously sponsored the Observatory's school program. Without FOTO's support, the program would not be possible.
We hope you will help FOTO in its mission of supporting the Observatory and its visitors.