Curriculum

The Ballarat Observatory offers a unique range of programs that cover the AusVELS curriculum and provides an experience that will excite your students’ imagination.

Daytime tours can be booked Monday to Thursday from 10:30 to 15:00 during school terms. Night tours can be booked Monday to Thursday but the time depends on daylight savings. Tours are usually scheduled to begin half an hour before sunset.

Each tour can be tailored to your students’ needs and is guided by an experienced astronomy/science educator.

In addition to presentations, we use computer simulations and virtual night sky software to enhance the learning experience, from collisions between galaxies to the formation of star systems.

Our core programs cover Years 3 – 12 across the following domains of the AusVELS curriculum:


Physical, Personal & Social Learning 

  • Interpersonal Development
  • Personal Learning

Discipline-based Learning 

  • Art
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Mathematics

Interdisciplinary Learning

  • Communication
  • Design, Creativity & Technology
  • Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Thinking

 

 

  • Day and Night (Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Seasons (Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Shadows (Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Constellations & Celestial Navigation (Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • The Solar System (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • History of observatories & Telescopes (History, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Life and the Sun (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Scale of things in the Solar System (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Gravity, Forces, Light & Optics, Electricity & Magnetism, Heat & Energy (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Gravity on other planets (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Basics of Telescopes (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • History of observatories & Telescopes (History, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • The Sun (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • In-depth journey to the planets of the Solar System (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Scale of things in the Solar System (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Scale of the Universe (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)

 

  • Classical Mechanics, Light & Optics, Electricity & Magnetism, Heat & Energy, Particle Physics (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • The Electromagnetic Spectrum (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • History of observatories & Telescopes (History, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Different types of telescopes (Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Life cycle of Stars (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Radio Astronomy (History, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Space exploration – past, present, future  (History, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Scientific Notation (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Galaxies & the Milk Way (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Galaxies in the Universe (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Large scale structure of the Universe  (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Black Holes and exotic astrophysical objects (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • The very small – an introduction of particle physics (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Cosmology and the Early Universe (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Extrasolar planets (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Introduction to Astrophysics (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Computers & Science (Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
The Observatory has put together a few hands-on activities, that allow students to learn some of the practical uses of astronomy and also think about some interesting concepts that arise in astronomy. Some of the activities include

  • Make a bush clock (Year 3-12) (Personal Learning, Art, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Make a Sundial (Year 3-12) (Personal Learning, Art, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Using Pipehenge to understand seasons (Year 3-12) (Personal Learning, Geography, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Toilet paper Solar System  (Year 3-6) (Personal Learning, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • First Contact – Alien’s say Hello  (Year 3-12) (Interpersonal Development, Personal Learning, Art, Science, Mathematics, Communication, Design/Creativity/Technology, Thinking)
  • Flag for a Planet  (Year 3-12) (Interpersonal Development, Personal Learning, Art, Science, Mathematics, Communication, Design/Creativity/Technology, Thinking)
  • Making a Model of the Constellations (Year 3-6) (Personal Learning, Art, Science, Mathematics,  Design/Creativity/Technology, Thinking)
  • Finding your Latitude (Year 5-12)  (Personal Learning, Art, Science, Mathematics, Thinking)
  • Virtual Sky (Science, Mathematics, ICT, Thinking)
– Tour of the observatory’s historic telescopes & Pipehenge

– Safe Solar viewing (weather permitting)

– 3D Astro Tours

– Optional 30 minute lecture on a particular area of astronomy

Program can be suited to cover specific topics if required.

– Tour of the observatory’s historic telescopes & Pipehenge

– 3D Astro Tours

– Visual guide of the Night Sky and constellations (weather permitting)

– Viewing at the telescopes (weather permitting)

– Optional 30 minute lecture on a particular area of astronomy

Program can be suited to cover specific topics if required.