Astronomy for kids is super thrilling. Kids love the fact that there are so many unknowns and more to discover. It’s like being the first person to sail over the horizon or the first person to dive down into the deepest ocean. Kids can become real explorers. And, well, just being outside in the dark is a unique experience and kids go crazy for it. 

At Stargazers Club WA, we’re passionate about astronomy and stargazing. It’s a terrific hobby to have.

  • It’s a bit technical, which kids love!
  • It’s a lot about exploring new frontiers, which creates intrigue.
  • It’s outside in the dark, where kids can explore a new environment.

We’re lucky in WA. There’s lots of astronomy for kids to get into and enjoy. Who knows? One day, you might have a budding astronaut on your hands!

Here are 5 great ways to get your child into astronomy

1. Join an Astronomy Club

There are some great astronomy clubs in WA. The best one to join will depend on the age of your child.

In Perth, there are four clubs:

  • Astronomical Group of WA (AGWA) holds regular meetings and suits older children
  • Astronomical Society of WA (ASWA) also holds regular meetings that suit older children
  • Space UWA is great for young adults and perfect if your child is studying at the University of WA
  • Stargazers Club WA is especially for beginners. Classes are best suited for children aged 8 years and over. Younger ones will enjoy the more casual Stargazing and Astronomy Nights.

If you live in southern WA, check out the Astronomical Society of the South West. And if you're north, there's the Geraldton Astronomy Group.

Whichever group you choose, parents or guardians should accompany children. You’ll encourage your child’s interest in astronomy and you might discover a thing or two as well!

2. Leap into Astrofest, 29th February 2020

What a way to introduce astronomy to kids! Astrofest is WA's biggest astronomical calendar event and attracts thousands of families to enjoy the fun and festivities.

Dozens of big telescopes on the oval show off some wonderful views of the Universe. Join in the fun, meet amateur astronomers, talk astronomy and enjoy a community of stargazing enthusiasts.

The best thing is that it's free and family friendly. Astrofest has been running for over 10 years and is organised by Astronomy WA, our State's astronomy and space science community.

Head over to the Astrofest Facebook event page page and let us know if you're keen!

Astrofest attendees looking at planispheres
Kids on the go at Astrofest!

3. Go Stargazing While on Holiday

Country WA has a very dark night sky. In fact, our dark night sky is world-class and people from all over the globe travel here for astronomy and stargazing.

You’re lucky! The Milky Way, in all its beautiful glory, is in your backyard. The next time you’re travelling in country WA, remember to pop your head out at night time to see the stars. You’ll notice a remarkable difference from the city night sky and you’ll see millions of stars above.

There are some new Astrotourism Towns springing up in WA. Communities across the Mid West and Wheatbelt regions are choosing dark sky sites where you’re welcome to visit at night to see the stars. There are some pretty events happening in regional WA too.

4. Dark Sky for Kids

Light pollution isn't something we hear about all that often!

Most kids live in brightly lit cities where the stars are hidden from view. More of the new generation growing up in cities never sees a dark night sky and the hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Discovering more about light pollution raises the curtain on the night sky, its heritage and wonder.

Australia's Astronomer at Large, Prof Fred Watson, stars in a great Dark Sky for Kids animated video. It's a great way to find out ways to reduce light pollution to save the stars and more.

5. Visit an Observatory

We’re blessed with many organised stargazing experiences around WA. Visiting an observatory or listening to a guided tour about what’s up in the night sky is a wonderful way to inspire astronomy for kids.

Take a trip to Perth Observatory or the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory one night. Both are on the outskirts of Perth where the night sky is a bit darker for fantastic stargazing.

Perth Observatory Telescope
Perth Observatory, image by Carol Redford

Astronomy for kids is a sure-fire way to get your children out of the house and away from their screens. Let their eyes focus on the grandeur of the Universe above. The questions and interest will flow. Happy stargazing!

ready for astrofest 2020?

It’s the BIG event coming up with so much astronomy for kids. Getting your child interested will be a breeze!

We look forward to welcoming you to our friendly community of Stargazers & Astronomy Lovers where we thrive on making learning about the galaxy easy & fun!

Carol Redford - Founder Stargazers Club WA

Carol

Astrotourism WA

If you’re interested to find new places to go, hop over to Astrotourism WA.

Local towns in WA are choosing beautiful country locations and welcoming visitors for stargazing, telescopes and astrophotography.

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