Distance Learning: Our Classroom

Chat with a ScientistIn the northeastern United States, a unique combination of topography, geography, and geology creates one of the world’s most extreme environments – the summit of Mount Washington. Nowhere else on Earth experiences such consistent sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, freezing fog, and driving snow. These extreme conditions have earned Mount Washington the title, “Home of the World’s Worst Weather”. 

Through our distance learning programs, we make it easy for students to visit this extreme environment virtually. Students have the opportunity to learn about weather and climate directly from the people who study it every day. Weather observers living and working at the Observatory’s legendary summit weather station will share their first-hand knowledge and experience in an exciting, interactive format. Close that textbook and enter the alpine zone! 

Made possible by generous funding from Northway Bank


Designed to fit Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for grades 4-12, each program runs approximately one hour and is adapted to fit your class schedule. A live virtual presentation with MWOBS scientists, activities, and worksheets are included with each program.

The most interactive and customizable of the distance learning programs, the Life and Work program is designed to be a “Chat with a Scientist”. An interview protocol document will be provided to help teachers and students identify concepts and questions they would like to ask an MWOBS scientist. Embedded in the document are videos and articles that will help introduce MWOBS and the science of meteorology, a student worksheet that will help students organize their thoughts and questions, and a question bank with 100 frequently asked questions for students to reference. During the live connection, the MWOBS scientists’ time will be most spent interacting with students and answering their pre-formulated questions. Additional student activities include, “MWOBS Website Scavenger Hunt,” and, “Exploring the Sciences and Getting to Know Scientists”. 

This program takes a more scientific look into the work of MWOBS weather observers. Topics covered in this program include Mount Washington’s meteorological means and extremes, the science behind Mount Washington’s notorious weather, and how to take weather observations in an extreme environment. Students will also learn about meteorological variables, such as air pressure and wind, and the instruments used to record atmospheric properties. Additional student activities include a weather journal, a wind graphing and math activity, and a follow-up worksheet. 

The atmosphere is a complex system that interacts with other systems on Earth and in space. The result of these interactions is the different weather we experience every day. This program introduces the basics of meteorology to provide a general understanding of Earth’s weather. Topics covered include the structure of the atmosphere, clouds, air masses, weather fronts, and thunderstorms.  Additional student activities include worksheets about weather fundamentals, layers of the atmosphere, and fronts and air masses.  

The true meaning of climate and climate change can often get lost in the buzz surrounding these topics. It is important that younger generations develop a foundational understanding of climate and climate change so that they may be mindful of the various elements and processes that affect Earth’s weather. This program will explore the five components of Earth’s climate system, Earth’s climate through the past 800,000 years, natural and human causes of climate change, and climate change solutions. Additional student activities include a follow-up worksheet and a Greenhouse Effect experiment.  

Get excited for the upcoming Great American Eclipse of 2024! This program features a comprehensive journey through the history and science of solar eclipses, as well as insights into the much-anticipated 2024 eclipse. Experience the excitement firsthand as a weather observer joins your class live from the summit of Mount Washington. Delve into the specifics of the 2024 eclipse, from its timing to the critical path of totality. This engaging session will be a one stop shop for everything your class will need to safely view the eclipse. The program wraps up with essential information on weather and climate factors and their influences on eclipse viewing. Gain valuable insights and access the best forecast resources to ensure a safe and unforgettable experience for you and your students.

Can’t find the program you’re looking for? The experienced staff of the Mount Washington Observatory will design a program to fit your unique specifications and curriculum needs, including programs featuring the Observatory’s robust climate record. 

Program Fee

Much less than the cost of a field trip, a single program is $200 for up to 30 students. A second consecutive program is $155, and each additional program is $125. Multiple-day programs and assembly programs are also available, with special package pricing. We respectfully request that programs be booked at least two weeks in advance. Use the form below to request a program.


Distance learning programs simply require a strong internet connection, a webcam, speakers, a microphone, and a screen viewable by students in your class. MWOBS typically host programs via Zoom, but other platforms can be used as well. 

School Memberships

Base Camp (6 Hours of Programming)

$750Per School Year
  • Discounted program rates, no mileage fees*
  • Choice of program (school visit, virtual, field trip)**

Boreal Forest (10 Hours of Programming)

$1,200Per School Year
  • Discounted program rates, no mileage fees*
  • Choice of program (school visit, virtual, field trip)**

Tree Line (15 Hours of Programming)

$1,650Per School Year
  • Discounted program rates, no mileage fees*
  • Choice of program (school visit, virtual, field trip)**
  • Weather station for your school with supporting curriculum

Summit (30 Hours of Programming)

$3,000Per School Year
  • Discounted program rates, no mileage fees*
  • Choice of program (school visit, virtual, field trip)**
  • Weather station for your school with supporting curriculum

*For schools located in Grafton, Carroll, Coos County, NH and Oxford County, ME.
**Does not include Cog Railway or Auto Road ticket fees.

Have a question or another program topic in mind? Contact us by email at education@mountwashington.org or by phone at 603-356-2137 ext. 225. Reserve today to ensure educator availability!