TechnologyObserving FacilitiesEducation and OutreachAbout Haystack

Pre-College Resources

These teaching units were created under the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program at the MIT Haystack Observatory.

List of Lesson Plans

Located in the wooded hills of Westford, MA, is the MIT-Haystack Observatory. Here, cutting-edge research is performed in radio astronomy and radar applications to probe the Earth's atmosphere, the Sun's dynamic nature, and mysteries of the distant Universe. It is a goal of Haystack to inform the community of the work that is being done at the Observatory in the areas of galactic and extragalactic observations, plate motions of the Earth's crust, and space weather. In addition, the Haystack Observatory is dedicated to providing educational resources for the local community of teachers and students at the pre-college level.

At Haystack, researchers use several basic science concepts every day. Electromagnetic waves, optics, and molecular chemistry are just a few of the core topics that can be incorporated into the high school science curriculum by exploring the atmosphere and the universe with lessons focused around the research specialties at Haystack.

This page provides links that contain classroom resources that will allow high school teachers to teach their students about the concepts and technologies used at Haystack, exposing them to the fascinating research that is taking place in their own back yard while enriching their science knowledge.

It should be emphasized that most of the original material presented in this web-site has been developed by TEACHERS, with the assistance of the staff at MIT/Haystack. All lesson plans have been successfully used in high school classrooms. These lessons have been prepared with specific attention to the goals and objectives of current science curricula. The object is to create lessons that will enhance your class, not require you to add substantial material.

The development of these educational materials at the Haystack Observatory was funded by the National Science Foundation under the Mathematics and Physical Science (MPS) Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program.

Basic Information - This link provides links to background information that is useful for teachers who use the various lesson plans.

Download the presentations from the 2011 RET Workshop here.

To help you find out where the materials presented here can be added to your existing curriculum, check out our subject by subject matrix of where these lesson plans can be used to enhance your current curriculum.



Haystack Radio Telescope

Wideband VLBI

Radio Arrays (MWA, SKA, MAPS, Deuterium)

Small Radio Telescope (SRT)




Westford Radio Telescope

Mark 4 VLBI Correlator

VLBI Technique Development

International VLBI Service (IVS)


Atmospheric Sciences


Millstone Hill Observatory


Array Systems

Open Source Projects

Space Science Resources



Radio Arrays (MWA, SKA, MAPS, Deuterium)

Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI)

Ionospheric Techniques

Open Source Projects

Observing Facilities

Haystack Radio Telescope

Westford Radio Telescope

Millstone Hill Radar

Deuterium Array

Atmospheric Optics Facility

Education and Outreach

Undergraduate Research

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)

Pre-College Resources

Public Outreach Activities

About Haystack

Northeast Radio Observatory Corp. (NEROC)


News Archive



Positions Available

Art at Haystack





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