SkyWatch provides a comprehensive astronomy experience and teaching service for all South Australian schools, covering the earth and Space Science section of the new ACARA Curriculum (see “connections to curriculum”)


SkyWatch offers the following experiences for staff and students:


MirrorDome *

With spectacular 360 degree images, the MirrorDome traveling digital theatre and planetarium brings the excitement of a major theatre into your school, hall, or library, with movies and full curriculum-linked Astronomy presentations. Currently available in the SkyWatch MirrorDome library of 360 degree experiences are:


> Oasis in Space

This is a beautiful, informative journey through the planets of the Solar System, searching for other water worlds like Earth.

> Earth’s Wild Ride

Showcasing moments in the Earth’s history, with dinosaur extinctions, volcanoes, floods and Ice Ages, as pictured from an imaginary Moon settlement during a solar eclipse  in 2081.

> Ring World

A NASA production telling the story of the Cassini spacecraft and its mission to Saturn. Featuring close-up images of Saturn’s rings and many of its amazing, and incredibly varied moons.  

> Stellarium

A Planetarium program enabling curriculum-based Astronomy lessons, including the night sky, the planets, the constellations and the seasons.

> Solar

A solar system simulator that allows interactive exploration and explanation about all aspects of our solar system.

> Celestia

A real-time 3D space simulation enabling virtual traveling through the solar system, Milky-Way galaxy and beyond!

> Panodome

Panoramic fisheye images that can be interactively rotated on the dome.


Viewing Nights

SkyWatch can conduct viewing nights for schools, clubs, camps and business and professional organisations. This can include instruction about what can be seen in the night sky and viewing of celestial objects with state-of-the-art telescopes.


Professional Development and Worksheets

SkyWatch can provide ‘hands-on’ instruction for teachers using telescopes and other teaching aids,  as well as follow-up lesson plans and worksheets for students on a variety  of Astronomical subjects, including:


    • The night sky, anywhere, anytime

    • the major constellations

    • constellations in Greek and Indigenous mythologies

    • the Ecliptic and the Zodiac

    • the Earth’s axis tilt and the seasons

    • the Sun and the Solar System

    • other Astronomical topics: lessons developed on request! 


Lectures and after-dinner Talks

SkyWatch can also conduct lectures, after-dinner talks and viewing evenings for meetings, conferences and seminars, PD workshops and camps for professional and business organisations. Contact us for information and topics.


Some useful Astronomy Links:

> General Astronomy:

Space “misunderstandings”:                http://badastronomy.com

NASA home page:                               http://www.nasa.gov

Space missions:                                   http://jpl.nasa.gov/missions

Astronomy picture of the day:              http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/

Astronomical Society of SA:                 http://www.assa.org.au

Planetarium Software (Freeware):       http://www.stellarium.org/


> Especially for Teachers:

Primary Level:                                    http://StarChild.gsfc.nasa.gov

Primary Space activities:                    http://spaceplace.jpl.nasa.gov

Solar System:                                     http://seds.org

                                                            http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy

Secondary Space Science:                http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov

Space Science Lessons:                    http://science.nasa.gov

General Astronomy lessons:              http://www.astronomynotes.com/

Teachers’ Space Directory:                http://teachspacescience.stsci.edu

 
Programs and Activities
* What is SkyWatch’s MirrorDome? 
Developed by Swinburne University in Melbourne, the MirrorDome is a ventilated, inflatable dome which is both a portable planetarium and a traveling cinema, giving the audience a 360 degree viewing experience. MirrorDome captivates and excites audiences of all ages. It combines learning and entertainment with a library of new films. As well as showing the movies, MirrorDome’s planetarium program can showcase the sky from anywhere on Earth, any time.

The MirrorDome is 5 metres in diameter, and can comfortably accommodate a class of up to 30 children. It can be set up in any room with a minimum ceiling height of 3.6 metres, and minimum floor area of 6 metres by 7 metres.  MirrorDome offers thrilling programs with supporting material for: 

• School classes of all year levels 
• family and enrolment evenings at schools 
• community and school holiday programs 
• fundraising and social events 
• PD seminars for businesses 
• fetes, shows, club meetings, etc.