School Stargazing Nights
Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the responsible precaution of having NO further telescope stargazing nights for the public, scouts, guides and schools in 2020 in order to avoid potential spread of the virus by contact with shared telescopes.
The Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society prides itself on extending its facilities and services to educational bodies of all year levels.
Being more than just a club, the Society aims to be a leading resource to the community and to its members. For school extra-curricular activities, the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society has numerous flexible solutions to bring astronomy to the people.
MPAS can either visit your school in the evening on any day of the week for an interesting, informative and engaging STEM incursion, or you can visit us in the evening at our registered Observatory as an excursion to Mt.Martha.
Our outreach science events are provided by our experts to regional and metropolitan schools at Primary and Secondary levels (K-12), as well as to University level.
Our knowledgeable scientists, engineers, teachers and others have been actively associated with National Science Week for over 20 years since its inception, and over the last 5 decades over 73,000 visitors have enjoyed the MPAS speakers and telescopes.
A school evening starts with a Space, Solar System and Universe presentation with ample opportunity for Q&A for the age group. It can also include hands-on inspection of a substantial real meteorite and even part of the famous Cranbourne meteorite. This is followed by after-dark night sky viewing with our telescopes and instruments. The evening typically goes for 1.5 hours, but is flexible to your needs.
The evenings proceed regardless of weather. If it is totally overcast then the indoors session extends to the length of the evening and a telescope may be brought inside to show how it works.
Cost is $5.50 per student (with a minimum $300 for very small groups), being GST-invoiced after the night. No deposit is necessary, and the evening can be cancelled with a week's notice.
In the past, some schools have applied to STAV or ASTA for their annual grant support of events such as these, while others simply budget for it as an incursion or excursion.
Please note that these evenings are extremely popular each year, with some schools booking 12 months in advance to be sure of the optimal dates.
Typical group size is around 60-80 students, but we can manage less or, indeed, a lot more if you have the room.
Please note we require that all children are supervised closely at all times during the evening by their teacher, parent or guardian. All our members at these nights have Working With Children checks done.
If we come to you, then a surcharge may apply if your school is more than 30km travel distance from our observatory in Mt.Martha. Please enquire for your specifics.
If you come to us at the Observatory, then group size is limited to 100.
Alternatively, we may be able to arrange a daytime speaker during school hours if telescopes are not required for your needs. Cost is $250.
For more information about School / Group bookings send us an Email.