Year 7 to 12

Three teenage girls looking at a model of a spacesuit while another girl stands next to a model of the space shuttle on the wall Come and make your own space discoveries at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

Education Programs

The CDSCC Visitor Centre offers an informative and enjoyable way to learn about the planets and the story of space travel; and how we here on Earth communicate with and benefit from spacecraft exploring our Solar System and beyond.

For Schools

We offer a variety of school education program formats that target the curriculum standards and meet classroom lesson plans in consultation with teachers. Our programs are suitable for secondary (Years 7-12).

For Year 7-12 students, our free education programs run for 90 minutes. However, we understand that you might have less time available (especially for interstate schools) and can tailor a program to suit. We do recommend though making the 90-minutes available so that we can cover the topics below (or something else you'd like us to concentrate on) and provide extra time for all those great questions your students are likely to ask.

A typical visit for Secondary school students includes:

  • A brief introduction on arrival, and an orientation to the Visitor Centre facilities.
  • Familiarisation with key historical aspects of the Complex, including the story of our 26-metre antenna Deep Space Station 46 (DSS-46). This was the antenna responsible for returning the 'first' pictures of Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon in July 1969.
  • Introduction to the other antennas, particularly DSS-43, the largest antenna in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Overview of the work of the CDSCC and the significant role that Australia plays in space exploration.
  • Students are given time to look through the Visitor Centre exhibits. Fact sheets are available to collect.
  • A presentation in our main theatre. We discuss various aspects of exploration and space science and incorporate information on some of the latest missions and images being returned from space.
  • We include time for questions about exploring space, spacecraft tracking, or take questions on a specific area that you wish to cover as part of your current lesson plan (advance notice of your needs will assist us).
  • Spare time can include opportunities for your students to explore the Centre further, or watch videos.

Related Activities

Year 7/8

Year 9/10

Year 11/12

  • Consider the many types of careers available in the space science and technology fields in Australia e.g.: CSIRO, Square Kilometre Array.

Booking an Excursion

We look forward to making your visit as easy and enjoyable as possible. Please note that places fill fast each year, so your advance booking helps us to ensure that staff are available to guide you through your visit.

Our school programs operate:

  • February through to the start of the last full week of November only
  • Monday to Friday
  • We do not provide programs in ACT school/public holidays
  • First program starts at 9am
  • Last group starting at 3pm
  • We do not run night programs
  • Each session lasts 90-minutes
  • Minimum group size of 10 students

Best of all your entry to the Visitor Centre and its school programs is FREE!

You can find our Risk Assessment and Public Liability Insurance documentation here.

Booking Contact Details

If you have any further questions about visiting the Centre or would like to make a booking request, please feel free to contact us.

Contact: Korinne McDonnell and Glen Nagle
Office Hours: Monday - Friday between 7:45am and 4:30pm.
Ph: 02 6201 7809 / 7838

Please Note

The CDSCC is not an Observatory with optical telescopes. We do not offer night-time programs. Our work is in two-way robotic spacecraft communication and radio astronomy.

Fast Facts - Education Programs

  • Programs are suitable for year 7-12
  • Programs run for 90 minutes
  • We do not run night programs
  • Programs operate Mon-Fri
  • We do not provide programs in ACT school/public holidays
  • Programs and admission are free
  • Minimum group size of 10 students
  • Bookings are essential
  • Bookings run 6-18 months in advance
  • Special needs students catered for
  • G'n'T students catered for
  • Specific subject programs on request



Suitable for Year 3-12.
Our popular presentation on the scale of objects in the universe.
Powerpoint format - File size: ~40MB

Sun and some planets in scale

Multiwavelength Astronomy

Suitable for Year 5-12
Our presentation on how we use the electromagnetic spectrum to explore space. Starting with an Earth-based context that the students will be familiar with, and then moving to planets, nebulae, and galaxies.
Powerpoint format - File size: 12.9MB
Note: Additional animation to download (needs to be re-embedded in the presentation) - 3.8MB .mov here

Galaxy in four different types of light

Citizen Science

Suitable for Year 4-12
Certain projects may be suitable for younger students
As a volunteer on these websites, both you and your students can become citizen scientists and citizen researchers, participating in real science and other research.

Zooniverse Real Science Online

ZooTeach is a repository of lessons and resources for teachers, including: guides to projects for students and teachers, teacher-created presentations designed to introduce students to a particular project, and lessons developed to connect your students to projects and research within the context of things they already know.

Zooteach. Where educators can share high quality lesson plans and resources that complement the Zoonivers citizen science projects. Find out more...

NASA Spinoffs Home and City (interactive)

Year 5 - Science as a Human Endeavour ACSHE083 . Describing how technologies developed to aid space exploration have changed the way people live, work and communicate

NASA Spinoffs Home and City interactive. Trace Space back to you! Have you ever wondered how Space Exploration impacts your daily life?