Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory to get new funding

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Kent Street SHS students are some of the many students who have visited the Gravity Discovery Centre, which the McGowan Government says will receive new funding for three years starting in the 2021-22 financial year.

THE Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory in Yeal will be able 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 a year.

Yesterday the McGowan Government said it would provide funding of $100,000 per annum for three years to the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory, which is on Military Rd in the Shire of Gingin.

A spokesman for Science Minister Dave Kelly said the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory would receive the first portion of funding in the 2021-22 financial year.

Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory chief executive officer Jan Devlin said the funding would allow the centre to develop new materials and displays for visitors.

“There will be an investment in staff to support the delivery of science education programs,’’ she said.

“We will also be able to progress the planned gallery upgrade.

“The money will also assist in broadening schools and public awareness of the space sector and jobs available in science, technology, engineering and maths.’’

The Gravity Discovery Centre in Yeal will be able to expand its space and STEM engagement activities developed for school students and the wider WA community.

GDC board chairman Don Pridmore said the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory was proud to be able to provide opportunities for employment in the area and the funds would help them continue to build the region’s profile as an exciting science tourist destination.

“Our volunteers with an interest in science and engineering and working with kids, will have additional opportunities to have meaningful experiences at the centre too.’’

Mr Kelly said the Gingin’s Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory works with the Quantum TX space business accelerator program, which received 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.

He said for more than two decades, Gingin’s Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory had been educating young Western Australians about the latest discoveries in science and technology and how they relate to everyday 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,’’ he said.

“We are committing $300,000 over the next three years to help the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory reach and inspire more young Western Australians to follow the exciting career pathways STEM offers.”