The Lake Afton Public Observatory was created in 1979 through the cooperation of four local units of government. Construction and equipment costs were equally divided between Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita. Through 1994, the majority of the operating funds of the Observatory were shared equally by the Wichita Board of Education and Wichita State University. Since then the Observatory has been operated by Wichita State University's Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics Education with additional funds from Sedgwick County for facilities. All programs, exhibits, and school out-reach materials are designed, prepared, and presented by Observatory staff and volunteers.
Observatory programs also extend beyond its walls through classroom presentations, portable editions of exhibits, instructional astronomy games, video tapes, and astronomy activities for use in the classroom. Offers programs for the general public on weekend evenings throughout the year. The observatory offers a variety of exhibits and displays. You can make your own telescope, travel through the solar system on a scavenger hunt, or explore the properties of light. At other exhibits, you can see the universe in 3-D or touch a rock from space.