My daughter is fourteen years old and has recently made a statement that she wants to go into astronomy. I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I heard that she has leanings towards becoming a geek/nerd like her old man though I'm in computers and networking and not physics, but still.
Today, she mentioned that she wants to attend a school like Harvard because "once you go to Harvard, you can get a job anywhere in the world."
I suggested that she shop around for other schools more known for their physics and sciences programs, mainly because the first school that I always think of when someone says "science" is "MIT" and not "Harvard".
However, I could be wrong and so that's my question to all y'all. What colleges and universities would be some of the best places to learn astronomy and related sciences? Colleges/Uni's outside of the US are also in the running; her mom speaks Russian fluently and so she has some exposure to Russian, though I don't know if she'd be interested in studying in Russia for example.
Also, what kinds of things could she do to better prepare for that kind of degree? Do those high school science fairs or "build a robot" type competitions help these days?
Any and all feedback is appreciated and I'll answer questions if asked of me and her."