The second session of Astronomical Agriculture has been held at the Australian Agricultural Centre.
The two-day cultural mindfulness and agricultural STEM program was designed by the CEO of the AAC, Jo Marshall, with the Crookwell Academy of STEM Excellence.
The programs equip primary school-aged children with the skills to observe, identify and explore science in the world around them.
Held at 'Wharekarori', a working farm near Goulburn, a meeting place for traditional owners and near the lands of Wiradjuri, Gundungurra and Ngunawal.
In 2023, the STEM program focused on Sustainable Neighbourhoods, empowering children to engage in hands-on activities that ignite curiosity and deepen their understanding of scientific concepts in the agricultural environment.
Through the Astronomical Agriculture immersive education initiative, astronomers guide students to explore the night sky.
The experience blends science with cultural appreciation as students learn about the significance of celestial observations in agriculture and Indigenous knowledge systems.
Through programs like the Astronomical Agriculture initiative, students learned about the Dreamtime stories and language of the Wiradjuri people, fostering a sense of respect for native Australian cultures.
The diversity of the programming, which included soil sampling and creating art, is helping students explore the world around them, practising how to express themselves, and creatively develop their skills and appreciation of science and culture.
Ms Marshall said that the program is beneficial for students in many ways.
"By offering a comprehensive curriculum, the AAC aims to improve on-ground outcomes for the agricultural industry while also helping prepare students for success in the future," Ms Marshall said.
The students' experience extended to overnight accommodation in the unique yurt huts, helping students to build strength from staying away from family and a sense of community through spending quality time with each other.
Ms Marshall said that the experience fosters connection as well as extended interest in the land.
The program was conducted in collaboration with the Pejar Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal, Crookwell Academy of STEM Excellence (CASE) and the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund.
The 2024 Program Action for Change semester one dates are March and May.
Further information about future programs can be found through the AAC website.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.