Monday 26th June 2017:
Our first day of our work experience we spent at CIRO (Curtin node), we were introduced to our Curtain node Supervisor Ryan, who is currently doing his PhD in binary black hole accretion, we talked to PhD students for the rest of the day. The first student gave an overview of his PhD field: Epoch of Reionization and he showed us the scale of “Universe”. The next student we talked to was highly engaging and informative speaker. The third speaker was also highly informative and engaging. The day flew past, time flies when you’re having fun. We were invited to the student ‘free subway lunch” where we mingled with more PhD students.
Tuesday 27TH June:
From the get go the day brought many new fun challenges, first we met up with Greg in the state of the art facility of UWA node of ICRAR. We were then introduced to a researcher Kevin who gave us a fantastic overview of the field of Astrophysics and Astronomy. We even were given prizes. Are logic and arithmetic abilities were compromised when we were tasked with the challenge of weighing a galaxy. The task gave us a fantastic introduction to the field proving both challenging and interesting mathematical concepts.
Wednesday 28TH June:
Once again the morning began with a brisk introductory talk with Greg, describing the exciting events to come. Firstly we began by completing a more “hands on” task of sifting through Astrofest competition photos. We were luck enough to each pick a photograph of our choice one for us and a combined photo to donated to our school, of which will be hanging proudly in our school and bedroom. We attended a presentation discussing the weekly scientific news, such as the drone that can plant an excess of 100,000 trees a day! After this we were allowed a lunch break which we explored the beautiful UWA campus which lies just across the road. Following up on this we spoke to a PhD student called Tristan who informed us to the job opportunities and life of a PhD student and pointers on how to get there!
Thursday 29TH June:
Back to Curtin! Today we were lucky enough to be introduced to many more PhD students and Dr’s who shared their work, time and stories with us. We covered many topics ranging from what path they took, to the research they are doing such as applying chemistry skills to astronomy. We were again invited to mingle with the PhD students over lunch. The quantity of knowledge within the university is astounding everyone has such a broad understanding of everything we asked about.
Friday 30th June:
Final day today, it’s sad to think we will be leaving ICRAR’s door shortly, but our experience has certainly been worth while! In the morning, we were given the opportunity to view the spirit telescopes (s) which lie on top of UWA’s physics building. This was a exciting experience for both of us, not only did we learn about the state of the art optical telescopes but we were also given the opportunity to make use of them in the future. Shortly afterwards we attended the weekly morning tea- a great opportunity to listen weeks great events, news and to grab a bite to eat too! This was highly enjoyable but the experience wasn’t over yet Luca (extragalactic astronomer) informed us about the formation of stars and various different aspects of stars life cycle. This was our final talk and arguable the most enjoyable! After lunch we were privileged to help out with other researches data locating black holes and transits of planets in front of stars. But sadly the day soon came to an end.
The whole week has thoroughly enriched our understanding of the field and what the field entails. The experience has encouraged many questions and prompted the urge to purchase a telescope and start observing now! Between both nodes of ICRAR we could participate in their weekly happenings, become informed of what research is happening, ultimately giving us something to look forward to after we finish school.