Space Education - Visits for schools and other learning groups

A trip to Te Awamutu Space Centre is an experience your students won't forget. The venue is full of interesting displays and interactive activities to fire the imagination for all ages (including adults). It's truly immersive and children are always eager to share what they find and learn. You'll probably hear them talking about it long after they have returned to school.

We recommend allowing at least two hours for your visit. The exact format is flexible and we're happy to customise your experience, however we do find that the best plan is to divide the visit into two parts of one hour each as detailed below. It often works well to have a morning/afternoon tea break between part 1 and 2.

  1. PART 1: Presentation
    Dave Owen (AKA "Space Dave") delivers an audio-visual presentation that lasts up to an hour (shorter for very young children, maybe longer for seniors). This includes time for audience participation and questions.
  2. PART 2: Exploration
    At least one hour of exploration and activities, during which students look at the displays, try interactive activities and complete paper-based challenges (quizzes, etc).

Presentation Topics: The table below shows various topics you can choose to cover. In most cases we recommend "Our Place in the Universe" as this is the best introduction to the basics of astronomy and it also includes all primary school curriculum requirements. You might also like to look through our full list of presentation topics for more options. Dave can customize sessions to your needs and include topics you request.

Numbers: We prefer working with groups of between 20 and 60 students, however we can accommodate up to 100 students at a time. With larger groups we ask you to keep the adult/student ratio down to the recommendations below (approximately - we're not strict).

Cost: We understand that not all schools can afford the same prices so our charges are flexible. We need to average $5 per student so we'd be very grateful if you could pay this amount. However, we don't want anyone to miss out due to lack of funds so if you have a special case, we'll accommodate you for whatever donation you can scrape together. We only ask that you are honest about it.

Teachers and adult helpers are free, with one caveat: If you plan to bring many more adults than the ratios below, please ask them to consider paying.

Health & Safety: We recommend the following adult/student ratios:

  • Preschool: 1/5
  • Year 0 - 6: 1/6
  • Year 7 - 8: 1/7
  • Year 9+: 1/15

Download our RAMS (PDF). Find more compliance information and documents here.

Preparing for your trip: Once you've made your booking we have a few suggestions to get ready for your visit.

More information and bookings: Please contact us.

School visit All ages catered for Flexible and customizable Tied to the New Zealand curriculum Digital displays

"Totally recommend this to all you teachers out there... Our kids love Spaceman Dave."
- Kim Tautari-Scott, Teacher, Te Awamutu Primary School

"The passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge that Dave had when speaking about the Solar System had students spellbound. They were full of questions and wanting more. He is an outstanding educator who instills a passion for learning."
- Tracy Ellis, Teacher, Te Awamutu Intermediate

Topic Description Suitable for Curriculum
Our place in the Universe Start by looking down on New Zealand from space, then journey out to the farthest reaches of the cosmos while learning how it all fits together. Year 3 - 13
  • Nature of Science
  • Planet Earth and Beyond
The Solar System A tour of the solar system including the Sun, planets, moons, comets and asteroids. Year 1 - 13
  • Planet Earth and Beyond
Space Exploration See what it's like to live and work in space, how things work in micro-gravity, and much more. Preschool - Year 13
  • Nature of Science
  • Planet Earth and Beyond
Matariki: Culture & Astronomy This talk can cover Māori traditions of Matariki and/or other related topics. For example, If you're already covering Matariki at school it might be more useful for us to talk about other aspects such as how the Matariki/Pleiades star cluster has influenced world mythology and culture over the ages and why it is so interesting to modern astronomers. Year 3 - 13
  • Planet Earth and Beyond
Advanced Classes Run special sessions for your advanced students. With smaller groups of suitable students we can explore subjects in more depth as well as providing hands-on activities. Year 3 - 13
  • Planet Earth and Beyond
  • Technological Practice
  • Technological Knowledge
  • Nature of Technology

Schools travel from around the Waikato and even farther to visit us. It's worth the effort!