Activities for Schools

Activities for schools

In the Observatório do Lago Alqueva – OLA one can find activities centered on Astronomy. The activities are planned taking into consideration the different school years and the curricular plan of the Natural Sciences, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics classes.



“Astronomical Observation” Activity

Classes with +12 students: 5€ per student, 1 educator per 12 students.

Remaining Activities

Classes with +12 students: 5€ per student (two activities), 1 educator per 12 students.


OLA provides a field and toilet facilities such that school groups can camp on the site for one night.





Available Activities

astronomy_amateur_3_v2Astronomical Observations

Astronomical observation session, with telescopes and binoculars. Explanations about the visible constellations and motions of the celestial sphere.

From 1st grade to 12th grade
sun-11582_640Solar Observations

Solar observation sessions, with safe telescopes specific for the sun. The nature of the Sun, as a star, its origin and evolution is explored. The dangers associated with the solar observation are also emphasized.

From 1st grade to 12th grade
17Clocks from ancient times – The Sun and the time measurement

By building a sundial, the relations between day and night and the Earth’s rotation are explored. Moreover the variation of the length of the day and the connection with the tilt of Earth’s axis and the movement of translation around the sun are motivated.

From 1st grade to 6th grade
2000px-geometry_of_a_lunar_eclipse-svgA shadows gameplay – The Moon phases, the yearly seasons and the eclipses

In this activity, the students learn why there is a day and night, why the Moon phase changes daily and what eclipses are. The participants use models of the Earth and Moon, exposed to the light of a projector which emulate the Sun.

From 1st grade to 6th grade
korolev_crater_1038_smallTarget Shooting – Simulating the crater formation and understand the Moon surface

Activity where impacts of meteorites and crater formation are simulated. The effect of the density and impact velocity have on the crater formation is analysed. The formation of the lunar surface is also explored.

From 7th grade to 12th grade
Weight, after all, what is it? – Exploring the relation between mass, weight and gravity

In this activity, the students are introduced into the concepts of weight and mass and their relation with gravitational acceleration. The concept of gravitational force and free fall is also explored.

From 7th grade to 12th grade
Light dispersion of a mercury-vapor lamp with a prism made of flint glassDiscovering the light – What has the rainbow to do with the composition of stars?

The composition of light and its propagation is explored in this activity via the analysis of images of rainbows and by using the decomposition of light using prisms. Spectroscopy is presented as the way to learn the composition of stars.

From 7th grade to 12th grade
Exploring the Solar System – A trip from Mercury to Pluto and beyond

The solar system viewed in detail. The planets are presented one by one and their physical properties and particular features are analysed. The activity can be done using software or by visiting our 400m solar system to scale.

From 1st grade to 12th grade
stellarium-001 The night sky of Alentejo, myths and legends

With a computer software, the Earth night sky is simulated and typical planets, galaxies and nebulas from outside sessions are identified and thoroughly explained.


From 1st grade to 12th grade
How do the ESO telescopes really work?

Questions such as how the small telescopes at home and the biggest telescopes in the world magnify the images of distant objects, and how astronomers find new planets around other stars, will be addressed.

From 7th grade to 12th grade
Nocturnal construction

This are simple instruments that allow one to know the time by the observation of the Ursa Minoris Constellation (also known as Small Dipper, Small Bear, etc). Questions such as the Earth rotation, the origin of day and night and the orientation by the Northern Star are also explored.

From 1st grade to 12th grade