School Day Tours

The Australian Education Reporter - - SCIENCE IN SCHOOLS -

PERTH Ob­ser­va­tory has been con­duct­ing school day tours since the Perth Ob­ser­va­tory Vol­un­teer Group (POVG) took over the run­ning of the ob­ser­va­tory in 2015.

“The ac­tiv­i­ties have been com­pletely up­dated and in­clude as­pects to cor­re­late with the Aus­tralian Cur­ricu­lum in an ac­tiv­ity based learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” POVG School Day Tour Co­or­di­na­tor Dr Chris Coul­stock said.

New ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude stu­dents hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to en­gage in role-play ac­tiv­i­ties; ma­nip­u­lat­ing one of the old tele­scopes and its dome and look­ing at the sun via a tele­scope and com­puter in­ter­face.

The Perth Ob­ser­va­tory now of­fers a choice of eight ac­tiv­i­ties for each of the Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 groups that at­tend the tours.

“These in­clude look­ing at the Mun­dra­billa Me­te­orite and learn­ing about these visi­tors to earth and then learn­ing why the moon has phases; learn­ing about plan­ets at our scale di­a­gram of the so­lar sys­tem and through the So­lar Walk; and see­ing if they work out what would be the most use­ful to keep with them if they crash landed on the moon,” said Dr Coul­stock.

Ac­tiv­i­ties are con­ducted in­side and out­side the main build­ings and domes and there are shade mar­quees avail­able for use dur­ing sum­mer tours. The sum­mer and win­ter tours are the same although ac­tiv­i­ties are moved in­side the main build­ings or the domes dur­ing wet weather.

Schools can chose tour star­ing times and usu­ally chose be­tween four and six ac­tiv­i­ties for stu­dents to com­plete.

There are pic­nic tables avail­able for stu­dents to en­joy a lunch break and POVG hope to build a shaded am­phithe­atre to pro­vide more seat­ing space.

“Although we only have ac­tiv­i­ties for Years 3-6 at present, we have had older and younger chil­dren come and we have adapted the ac­tiv­i­ties to suit them,” Dr Coul­stock said.

As a re­tired pri­mary school teacher, Dr Coul­stock be­lieves that As­tron­omy in pri­mary school can be dif­fi­cult to teach.

“Many of our ac­tiv­i­ties re­late to the cur­ricu­lum and make your teach­ing just that lit­tle bit eas­ier,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Chris Coul­stock from the Perth Ob­ser­va­tory Vol­un­teer Group at day­[email protected] perthob­ser­va­ or sim­ply fill in the on­line form at www.perthob­ser­va­ au/tours/school-day-tours.

Stu­dents learn about As­tron­omy at the Perth Ob­ser­va­tory.

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