Department of Education



Star Gazing at Gingin. Motivating students to follow Maths and Physics Pathways

9 October 2013
Ballajura Community College - an excursion that ticks all the boxes. The best excursion ever! Astrophysics at Gingin Observatory and the Gravity Discovery Centre.

Activities at the Gravity Discovery Centre

In the middle of winter and on one of the blackest nights of the year, 5 teachers and 50 year 11 and 12, Physics and Maths Specialist students went on an overnight camp to the Gingin Observatory and Discovery Centre. August 9th, was specifically chosen for its blackness which made star gazing clearer and more exciting.

The excursion started with a science afternoon at the Gravity Discovery Centre, based around activities and astonishing information. It was great to see everyone engaged in real world activities and science passions were ignited - not only among the students but among staff as well.

After an evening meal, everyone drew breath as the roof of the observatory retracted and the sky above was spectacular. WOW!

The large telescopes, high magnification binoculars and the expertise of our guide were outstanding. The views were awesome. Saturn's rings were clear, easily visible and amazing, as were the stars and moon.

Photo of Saturn taken by Ryan Shaw

Saturn photo by Ryan Shaw

This excursion was a real hit not only with the students and teachers but for science in general. It generated interest, promoted discussion and created enthusiasm for science and technology.

According to a group of year 11 Physics students they said "before we went on the trip, friends who didn't do Physics were asking what they could do to come on the trip. Now, the year 10s are saying if it's on for next year then they're going to sign up for Physics or Maths (SP)!"

Tower of Gingin

"It was excellent. The best excursion I've ever been on" - Mr T Isaac (Physics teacher)

"When can we go again? I loved it" - Ms C Moyle (Maths Teacher)

"It was amazing. Brilliant" - Mr R Bartlett (Maths Specialist. Teacher)

"Absolutely brilliant, we saw Saturn's rings! The kids loved it and were superbly behaved. Let's get our booking in now for next year." - Mr P Green (Deputy Principal)

"It was a privilege to go on the excursion. There was laughter, joy and we had a great time - and it was educational! The most enjoyable experience was The Leaning Tower of Gingin. It was exhausting to walk to the top at an angle of 15 degrees but thrilling at the same time. Thank you to School Pathways Program, Defence Industries for organising and supporting this wonderful and informative excursion for us."
- L Lieu (Maths student)

Year 11 Physics students

Star Gazing at Gingin. Motivating students to follow Maths and Physics Pathways

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