A Pilbara high school has launched a new space club to inspire students to enter careers in astronomy and rocketry.
The Karratha Senior High School initiative was developed to build awareness of astronomy and rocketry within the school community and encourage students to develop an interest in physics, chemistry and mathematics.
Karratha Senior High School science teacher and Space Club coordinator Timothy Okonkwo said the club involved innovative hands-on workshops, as well as collaboration with industry experts such as the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.
“Students will learn how to operate telescopes, take pictures of the night sky and deep space objects, collect astronomical data, astrophotography, and spectroscopy,” he said.
“Similarly, students will be engaged in rocketry by teaching them how to design and launch their own model rockets.”
The school held a successful launch day this term where students’ rockets blasted off after months of designing and testing.
Students learnt about the history of rockets, mechanisms, technology and worldwide rocket projects while building their own rockets.
The club has inspired students to pursue careers in astronomy and engineering.
Karratha Senior High School head of science Dhiv Sri Ranjan said it was important to expose students to different career opportunities in STEM.
“This club will help students develop 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills,” he said.
“It will also equip students with the necessary skills required to survive in the fast-changing world.”
It is hoped the rocket launch will become an annual event on the school’s calendar.