VSSEC is assisting rural and regional Victorian teachers to establish STEM clubs at their schools. This program follows on from our radio telescope program, The Invisible Universe, and is part of the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series.
This program will be delivered only in rural and regional areas, explicitly to exploit their natural advantage of dark skies. Rural students are in a much better position to conduct optical astronomy than metropolitan students. They will see their location as superior to that of city students.
These clubs will be the basis for a program of project-based STEM education, with regular visits by VSSEC educators to mentor teachers as they extend the range of projects. We will help teachers build their skills in project-based learning, providing well designed, proven projects, access to equipment and materials which might otherwise be a barrier and access to mentors who can provide assistance, guidance or just a sounding board as teachers guide their students. And all for free.
One such further project is the CanSat project, funded by the Australian Space Agency, in which students will design, build, test and launch their own CanSats (aluminium-can sized satellites).
Who can apply?
Regional and rural Victorian Government schools whose students have participated in Radio Astronomy: The Invisible Universe are eligible to apply.
When do applications open?
Now. Teachers can book both of these programs for 2022 (or sooner) immediately.
Note: there are only 30 telescope kits available!