RiAus PDplus: The Square Kilometre Array

RiAus PDplus: The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a Telescope to Explore the Early Universe

PDplus is a new initiative of the RiAus focusing on providing professional development opportunities for teachers, delivered online.  The sessions draw on the varied and exciting public program of science engagement activities at RiAus. They provide a unique opportunity for teachers to have access and put questions to scientists about their research and careers. These sessions are aimed at middle school (year 7-9) teachers, and will be complemented by extensive resources for further classroom activity.  Teachers can log on to view sessions through the CENTRA network.  Instructions on how to do this are contained in the ‘Getting Started with Centra Virtual Classroom’ section of the DECS website.

Professor Peter Quinn, Director of The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).
Thursday 5th May 3:45 - 4:30pm

Telescopes have allowed us to look beyond our own solar system and make amazing discoveries.  Now a new and exciting period approaches through the development of the world’s largest telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). So what is the SKA and what does the remote desert of Western Australia have to do with it?  Take a cosmic journey back in time as Professor Peter Quinn discusses the power and potential of this new technology to discover and unravel the mysteries of the universe.


  • Origins of the universe – e.g. what we know so far and how we currently look back into the past
  • How the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) would work – e.g. how sensitive it would be, which part of the electromagnetic spectrum it observes, why Australia is the best spot for it
  • What the SKA could find out – e.g. it could hear extraterrestrial signals and look back to the start of the universe.

Teachers view live online via Centra Virtual Classroom at http://bit.ly/peterquinn