Housing & Travel
No warp drive required. . . Just a trip to Penn State!
Join us this summer on the beautiful Penn State campus for a week of brain-expanding work that will pay big dividends in your classroom.
All workshops are held at Penn State University Park. The campus, located in central Pennsylvania, is accessible by car, bus, and air.
For 2013 the workshop, Astrobiology for Educators: Is there life beyond our planet? And how would we know? will be held at Penn State-Abington. NO housing is provided at Penn State Abington, commuters encouraged.
Before Arriving to Penn State
Participants will be expected to complete pre-course work before they arrive to the workshop.
Participants should plan to arrive on Sunday evening, the day before their workshop begins. Check-in time at the hotel is 3:00pm, so you can arrive any time after that.
Breakfast will begin at 7:30 on Monday morning in one of the hotel banquet rooms. All workshop attendees must attend an information session in this banquet room starting at 8am. All participants will receive workshop materials and a PSU computer access account. We will walk to class together after the information session. Classrooms are about 3-4 blocks from the hotel.
Breakfast will be on your own. Workshops will begin promptly at 9:00am in the classroom. Please allow yourself plenty of time to walk to class. Participants will have a morning break, a 1.5 hour break for lunch, and an afternoon break. Class will conclude around 5:00pm. On Thursday evening the faculty and staff will host a group banquet dinner and guest speaker at one of the restaurants in State College. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
On Friday, the workshop instruction will end around noon, but a random group of 5-6 educators will be chosen for a focus group evaluation and luncheon, which will last until 2:00pm. All participants should check-out of the hotel before they come to class on Friday and no workshop participant should plan to leave State College before 3:00pm on Friday, in case you are selected for the focus group.
Grants from the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium and NASA provide all participants with lodging at the Days Inn in downtown State College, adjacent to the Penn State campus.
Lodging will be paid for the duration of the workshop from Sunday evening through Friday morning. Check in time on Sunday is 3:00pm, check out time on Friday is noon. The Space Grant office will automatically book you a room when you are registered for your workshop. If you have any special requests, please contact the hotel directly.
The hotel will require a personal credit card when you check-in for personal charges such as phone, movies, room service and in-room internet access. If you do not use these services, your card will not be charged. If you use a debit card the hotel may charge you upwards of $200 when you check in. This amount will be returned to you (minus any charges) when you check out of the hotel on Friday morning.
Extending Your Stay
The hotel would be happy to provide extended lodging either before or after the workshop if you desire. However you will be responsible for the cost of additional nights lodging. Please contact the hotel directly with your personal credit card to make those arrangements.
If you are accepted into two consecutive workshops and wish to stay in State College over the adjoining weekend, you are responsible for your own lodging costs.
Most meals are on your own, but we encourage you to share meals and enjoy yourselves with your classmates. There are fantastic restaurants within 3-4 blocks of your hotel and we would be happy to provide suggestions on where to eat.
There will be a shared breakfast on Monday morning before the information session, light snacks will be provided daily in the classroom, and there will be a group dinner for all workshop participants and faculty on Thursday evening before the conclusion of the course.
Free wireless internet access is provided in the hotel, both in your room and the lobby. You will be assigned a temporary computer access account that enables you to have immediate internet access on campus as soon as you arrive.
For those of you who have taken workshops previously, you may be aware of "permanent" and "temporary" Penn State computer accounts. The computer account that you will receive for immediate access is a temporary account which will be good until the end of the summer but will not enable you to access all of the resources available to current students. If you would like to take full advantage of the library and the discounts at the Penn State online computer store, you will need to activate your permanent computer account at a signature station while you're on campus. We'll talk more about that at the orientation session on Monday morning and there will be plenty of time during the week to activate your permanent account if you wish.
There is free parking for participating educators staying at the Days Inn.
Those of you commuting to the workshops also will be allowed to park in the Days Inn parking area, if you would like. See the Days Inn website for directions.
You also can contact Penn State University and purchase parking passes for the week of your workshop or pay to park in one of the parking decks around campus and downtown.
Travel & Directions
The campus is located in the center of the state, at the intersection of Routes 26 and 322, fifteen miles south of Interstate 80.
Please visit the Penn State Visitor's Guide for helpful maps, driving directions and distances, airport services, flight and reservation information, local weather, and things to do in State College and the surrounding region.
US Airways Express, Northwest Airlink, and United Express serve the State College/University Park Airport, located three miles from the workshop site.
Rental cars and taxi services are available at the airport (about $12 one way).
Hotel shuttle service should be available. Please call the hotel at 814-238-8454 prior to your arrival to inquire.
I always go home from here grateful for this entire experience.
From the classroom, to the nightlife. . . for everything.
Anonymous 2009 Workshop Participant