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20 years of rocking geoscience education

14 October 2019

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan today celebrated the 20-year anniversary of Geoscience Australia’s popular Education Centre.

Geoscience Australia’s education program promotes the importance of Earth science to school students and their teachers through face-to-face visits, workshops and classroom resources. 

“I’m really happy to share this milestone with Geoscience Australia and the many people who have been involved in educating students about Earth science over the past 20 years,” Minister Canavan said.

“Teaching young people about the importance of our natural resources, including those that are mined and used to improve the lives of Australians and people overseas, is more important than ever,” Minister Canavan said.

“Since it opened in October 1999, the Education Centre has hosted more than 3,200 school visits for around 140,000 students from across Australia, making it one of Canberra’s great institutions. The centre teaches students all about the importance of Earth science to everyday life – from understanding natural hazards and plate tectonics, to the value of rocks and minerals.

“The program is tailored to all age groups and it’s great to see the centre going strong and busier than ever.

“Through education programs like this one, the Federal Government is helping provide pathways for the next generation of experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Earth science and broader STEM studies are critical to future generations; for example, without finding new sources of minerals that are critical to manufacturing, we can’t build new technologies or sustain renewable energy sources.

“We also use Earth sciences to create safer communities through understanding hazards such as earthquakes, flooding and other weather events.”

Geoscience Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Steve Hill said today’s celebration coincided with the Education Centre’s recent refurbishment and enlargement.

“Here at Geoscience Australia, our Education Centre is at the heart of our work,” Dr Hill said.

“We recognise the value of engaging future generations in Earth science to spark their curiosity, build science literacy and ignite ambition for a STEM future.

“The Education Centre hosts more than 12,000 students and 1,100 teachers annually, where they can learn all about the work we do here at Geoscience Australia.

“Students can create an earthquake event through jumping on special mats and measuring the seismicity, they can also see and touch a variety of fossils and minerals, work on tectonic puzzles and find out how we use satellites to learn more about the Earth.

“We also welcome members of the public to come see our foyer displays, including a recently added lunar display, where you can actually touch a piece of the moon.”

The Education Centre was opened by the Hon. Warren Entsch in 1999 and was officially re-opened by Minister Canavan today.

Minister Canavan and students from the Forrest Primary School, which was the first school to visit in 1999, also added a layer to the Education Centre’s sediment column, which has been built up over the last 20 years.

More information about visiting Geoscience Australia can be found at: http://www.ga.gov.au/about/facilities

Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180