'The School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (TSAA) is really fantastic. It's opened my eyes to brilliant concepts that I couldn't have dreamed of seeing anywhere else other than university, and I haven't even begun to study the Astrophysics course yet! Personally I've always been interested in astronomy, but the layout of this course has probed my curiosity further. The online style allows students to work at their own rate, which is great because you're not smothered by information and turned off by the topic (which is how I feel with almost all of my school-based subjects).

In the past few weeks I've come to realise the true value of this course. It's drastically helped me with my other three mathematics-based subjects (maths B/C, physics and in some parts chemistry) and it will definitely broaden my horizon for the future. I totally recommend these courses to others who have an interest in science and are serious about strengthening their mathematical skills.'

Elliot Coupe
Past Year 12 Senior Astrophysics (Advanced), Cairns State High School

'As a Year 9 student at Atherton State High School, I knew that I liked science, but I didn’t realise what a big part it would play in my life. I entered the second year of intake into Mr David Platz’s accelerated course in Astronomy and Astrophysics over grades 10 and 11. As I learned everything from the basics of planetary motion to the details of supernova remnants, I was introduced to a pioneering initiative in the field of science education—The School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (TSAA).

As I progressed through these courses, I was astounded by how it improved my understanding of physics and mathematical concepts. Having explored their real-world applications in astronomy and astrophysics, senior science and maths studies were a breeze. The learning experience was enhanced by a modern, online approach to self-paced learning on Blackboard. With lecture notes, tutorial help and online, progressive assessments, these courses cater to every learning style and location and lets everyone move at their own pace, with opportunities for one-on-one help if needed.

Studying these courses gave me the opportunity to communicate and network with industry professionals, world-renowned professors of astrophysics and like-minded young scholars. Hands-on work at real observatories and interacting with scientists from all over the world really solidified the fact that I could turn my passion for science into a career.

Studying through TSAA played a large part in being accepted into the Professor Harry Messel International Science School Two-week Intensive. Overall the connections that I made helped direct me to Swinburne University in Melbourne, where I have just commenced my tertiary studies. TSAA’s comprehensive program has also enabled me to connect with established physicists in Melbourne, expanding my professional networks.

These courses have worked wonders and I truly believe that TSAA is at the forefront of moulding the scientists of the future. I would recommend TSAA courses and activities to any students who have a passion to excel in science; it will change your life and send you ad astra—to the stars!'

Grace Lawrence
Undergraduate Science Student, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne

'As a past student of The School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, I cannot think of a more rewarding, challenging and engaging high school subject than Senior Astronomy or Senior Astrophysics. Having the TSAA’s courses at the top of my CV has opened doors in computing and physics, sparking conversations directly with institutions around Australia. I believe the TSAA’s courses to be more than tools to get into the course of your choice, as the skills I have gained whilst studying allowed me to participate in the TSAA’s international study of a black hole binary object in the northern sky. As a past student, I cannot commend the courses and opportunities offered by the TSAA highly enough.

I found the Senior Astronomy and Senior Astrophysics courses online and self -paced approach to learning extremely engaging and efficient. As other students have also found, the level of familiarity with mathematical tools and procedures transfers to other high school maths subjects. Similarly, in physics, every concept is built on the solid foundations established in each of the astro courses. I found the online delivery of courses to be ideal, as all coursework and content was constantly available and could be completed when and where I was able, around all of my other commitments. Though the inherent convenience of the format helped, the application of physics concepts to real world scenarios using real world data made the online course engaging and highly rewarding.

During my limited time as a senior high school student, I have most definitely taken advantage of the many opportunities afforded by studying with the TSAA. I found work experience with professional astronomers in Melbourne at the Swinburne University of Technology extremely valuable, along with several student astro conferences during which I built my professional networks with active astronomers. Currently, I am working with Carl Pennypacker from the University of California - Berkeley and Graeme White, adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Queensland on an international project studying the short period variability of the optical counterpart of the binary system. These experiences have exponentially increased my understanding of the many processes in science, with a degree of specialisation in the field of astrophysics.

I would encourage any student with an interest in mathematics or science and the ability to complete the challenging and extremely satisfying coursework to take on Senior Astronomy and then Senior Astrophysics. For a student that is dedicated and willing to grab opportunities with both hands, I can't imagine a better senior subject.'

Chris Dilger

Last reviewed 03 March 2020
Last updated 03 March 2020