This post was written by Physics teacher, Rob Davie, from Taylors Lakes Secondary College.
Introduction to Astronomy Excursion
As part of this program I have been trialing different approaches towards encouraging student interest in using the telescope we have been given, and through it, an interest in the study of the natural world around them. To that end it occurred to me that students might be more inclined to want to view objects through the telescope if they have some sort of knowledge of astronomical bodies, even if only rudimentary. It seemed to me that if they had even a basic understanding of aspects of stars then it might spark their interest in attending the viewing evenings.
So I looked at the VSSEC website and selected the “The Stars in Your Life” and the “Reach for the Stars” program, running back to back this made for a full day’s excursion for the roughly forty students who expressed an interest to attend. The students really enjoyed the day and learnt a great deal as you read in their comments below the two images that follow.
I was really impressed with the quality of the learning experience provided to the students by the VSSEC staff. So what did the students think of it? Two students have commented below.
The VSSEC excursion was an amazing experience. We learnt about rockets in such a fun way. We made our own rockets with plastic bottles, triangle pieces of cardboard and sticky tape. Once they were made we filled the rockets with water, pumped the bottle with air, then had a race to mars. It was a learning experience that I will never forget. While laughing and giggling, we were learning. The other half of the day, we went on the computers learning about stars. We researched the solar system and the Visible Universe learning about our full addresses. We played games where we had to visit stars and write their information (brightness, temperature and colour). In the end, our minds were full of amazement and information. It was a fun yet educational experience.
Satomi Valencia 7K
On the 1st of April, some of the year sevens went on a science excursion to Strathmore College. We learned how to construct and fly water powered rockets, this included trying different techniques, like using different amounts of water, fewer or more fins or even how much air pressure we pump into them. We also became astronauts for a day and pretended to fly a ship to different stars in our universe. I learned that hotter stars are a bluer colour and colder stars are a red colour. With this knowledge we also found out that even though a star may be bright it can sometime be not as hot, and a star that is not so bright can be actually many time the suns heat. I also learned that I have a much bigger address that you thought. First you put your number of your house, then your street, suburb, city, and state, then your country, planet (Earth of course), then the Solar system, followed by the Orion Arm, then the galaxy, after that you put Universe. And that is my complete address.
Over all, this excursion was full-filling and I learned a lot and more importantly it was fun and enjoying. ☺
Olivia Brne 7K
Thank you Rob, Satomi and Olivia for your reports on this fantastic excursion!