BREC- LSU-BRAS Highland Road Park Observatory
13800 Highland Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
(225) 768-9948 | General Information
(225) 768-9948 | Reservations
(225) 766-3539 | Fax
General Public Hours and Admission Rates:
- Tues.-Thurs. 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
- Fri., 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM
- Sat., 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
School Tour Hours and Admission Rates:
- 9:30am-11:30am OR 12:30pm-2:30pm.
- If both field trips from same facility, 10:00am-12:00pm AND 12:00pm-2:00pm
- $2.50/child (minimum charge $30.00). Maximum 60 children per field trip
- Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 10:1
- Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Two weeks
- Number of Students per Visit: Up to 40
- Suggested Length of Time for Visit: 90 minutes
- Handicapped Accessible: Partially
- Grade Level Appropriate: 1st – 8th
- Lunch Facilities: A covered picnic area and soda machines are on-site.
- Gift Shop: No
- Bus parking available
Tell Us About It!
Look to the stars at the BREC- LSU-BRAS Highland Road Park Observatory. This educational facility is dedicated to astronomy. The Baton Rouge Department of Recreation has joined forces with Louisiana State University and the Baton Rouge Astronomy Society to provide this incredible resource. The Observatory is an authentic research station built in 1997. Visitors tour the observatory’s dome area which houses a 20-inch reflecting Ritchey-Chretien telescope. The first floor of the facility houses small displays and an open meeting area. Every Friday evening, scientists operate the dome telescope for public stargazing while the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society fosters stargazing through portable telescopes. Friday evening visitors can expect to see space jewels such as the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, Jupiter and Saturn, and much more.
What Can We See and Do There?
Students groups may choose between two educational daytime programs, Star Wheel Learners and Galileo Learners. Star Wheel Learners includes a tour of the Observatory led by trained staff. Kids construct a take-home starwheel and participate in a constellation lesson highlighted by an interactive solar viewing program (weather permitting.) Students look through a telescope fitted with a solar filter. There is a minimum requirement of 20 students to book this program. Galileo Learners includes everything the other program offers plus kids receive a lesson about Galileo and make their own Galileo-styled telescope. There is a minimum requirement of 15 students to book this program. One mile of nature trails with signs to identify trees and flora surround the observatory. Science classes and activities are held at the Observatory every Saturday morning. From solar gazing to model rocket building, the observatory provides learning experiences for those interested in science.
How Do We Get There?
From I-10, take the Siegen Lane Exit southbound. Turn left on Highland Road. The driveway to the Observatory is about 0.7 miles on the right on Highland Road, the next driveway on the right after the baseball fields.
Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?
While this field trip is mostly indoors, weather conditions will dictate conditions for solar viewing. In case of inclement weather, a solar slide show and an astronomy craft will be substituted. Teachers may want to call ahead to confirm viewing conditions.
Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
- K-4th grades: SI-E-A1-7; SI-E-B1-6; ESS-E-B1-6
- 5th-8th grades: SI-M-A1-8; SI-M-B1-7; ESS-M-C1-8
- 9th-12th grades: SI-M-A1-8; SI-M-B1-7; ESS-M-C1-8
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?
Check out the Observatory’s website. Look at the images taken from the Observatory. Students will see images of the solar system, the constellation Orion, nebula, star clusters, and views of the galaxy as seen from Baton Rouge. Consider visiting Lafayette Natural History Museum and Planetarium or visit their website for more heavenly classroom viewing. Check out the Challenger Learning Center at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum in Baton Rouge for more space science activities.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits
Display the star wheels and telescopes students made at the Observatory. Contact the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi (800) 237-1821 or visit their website www.ssc.nasa.gov for more field trip and classroom ideas.
Earth in space, solar system, stars, research skills, telescopes, space science