Science Minister Dave Kelly today announced that the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory in Gingin will receive $300,000 over the next three years to expand its space and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) engagement activities.
Located 70 kilometres north of Perth, the not-for-profit interactive science education centre has been inspiring local, interstate and international visitors for more than 20 years.
The centre provides engagement and education to students and the wider community in science, cosmology, astronomy, space and Aboriginal culture.
The Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory’s activities support the McGowan Government’s STEM skills strategy, Future jobs, future skills, which prioritises increasing student participation in STEM to help prepare them for jobs in emerging and future industries, such as the growing space sector in Western Australia.
The centre works with the Quantum TX space business accelerator program, which receives support through the WA Government’s $16.7 million New Industries Fund, hosting program participants and providing expert speakers highlighting opportunities in the space sector.
The new funding will be used by the centre to invest in staff and facilities to grow its science education programs, with hundreds more being able to participate in Aboriginal astronomy sessions and up to three additional school education and holiday programs per year.
Students and public visitors will be treated to new and modern displays that showcase future employment opportunities and their connection to STEM education.
The funding will also be used for targeted awareness campaigns in schools and among the public, with the centre aiming to increase public visitation by 1,000 people each year.
As stated by Science Minister Dave Kelly:
“Through its Future jobs, future skills strategy, the McGowan Government is committed to giving all Western Australians the opportunity to develop their STEM skills.
“For more than two decades, Gingin’s Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory has been educating young West Australians about the latest discoveries in science and technology, and how they relate to our day-to-day lives.
“With our growing local space industry, the sky is the limit when it comes to exciting careers in STEM and the McGowan Government recognises the important role the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory plays in inspiring more students to pursue a career in these fields.
“We are committing $300,000 over the next three years to help the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory reach and inspire more young West Australians to follow the exciting career pathways STEM offers.”