Essex Heights PS has a very strong Science program.

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Our school has successfully applied to be part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program in 2018. We last participated in this program in May 2016.


ARISS lets students worldwide experience the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station, inspiring them to pursue interests in careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio. Astronaut Tim Peake explains how an ARISS contact works - click here.


Twelve students from Years 3 to 6 will be selected to interview Serena Aunon-Chancellor (an American physician, engineer, and NASA astronaut), crew member and a flight engineer on Expedition 56/57 on the International Space Station, as it passes overhead. Students have worked collaboratively on the questions they want to ask, and these have been approved by ARISS and NASA. Contact will be made at 6.24pm on Tuesday 17th July 2018. A live link on YouTube of our contact with the ISS can be viewed - click here.


This will be a whole school and community event, and we are very excited about this wonderful opportunity for our school.


ARISS in 2016:



May 20, 2016

A telebridge contact via VK5ZAI with students at Essex Heights Primary School, Mount Waverley, Victoria, Australia was successful  Fri 2016-05-20 08:35:16 UTC 30 deg.  Astronaut Jeff Williams KD5TVQ answered 22 questions from 11 students.
Watch a story produced by local media that features students preparing for the upcoming interview:

The ARISS linkup into Essex Heights held on 20 May was covered into both China and Indonesia and translated into their respective languages.
Watch the International Space Station pass overhead

The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 965 kilometres per hour; the space station flies at 28,160 kilometres per hour).


Below is a time-lapse photo of the space station moving across the sky.

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When do I Spot The Station?


Mon Jun 6, 5:17 AM 2 min 27° 27° above ESE 10° above ESE   
Mon Jun 6, 6:50 AM 5 min 18° 10° above WSW 10° above SSE   
Tue Jun 7, 6:00 AM 2 min 26° 26° above S 11° above SSE   
Wed Jun 8, 5:10 AM < 1 min 10° 10° above SE 10° above SE   
Wed Jun 8, 6:42 AM 3 min 12° 10° above SW 10° above S   
Thu Jun 9, 5:52 AM < 1 min 13° 13° above S 10° above SSE   
Wed Jun 15, 7:02 AM 3 min 13° 10° above S 10° above SE   
Thu Jun 16, 6:10 AM 1 min 10° 10° above S 10° above SSE   
Fri Jun 17, 6:52 AM 4 min 22° 11° above SSW 14° above ESE   

All sightings will occur within a few hours before or after sunrise or sunset. This is the optimum viewing period as the sun reflects off the space station and contrasts against the darker sky.


For more information


Science Competitions


ICAS Science

Tuesday 29th May 2018

The International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) is an independent, skills-based assessment program which recognises and rewards student achievement. Students in Years 3 to 6 may enter. Registration closes on 29th March 2018.

The Science Talent Search (STS)

The STS theme for 2018 is Australian Game Changers and Change Makers. For further information go to the website -  

Registration closed on Monday 28th May. Exhibition and Judging Day is Monday 29th October.

Students may submit work individually or with a partner.

Categories include: Posters, Inventions, Experimental Research, Creative Writing, Working Models, Computer Programs, Videos and Photography.


Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize

Students were given the opportunity to enter the 2016 Eureka Prize. Further information at 


This is a national schools competition run by Origin that aims to foster creativity and innovation in students from Years 3-8. The Top 12 ideas – including the three overall winners - will be selected based on an exceptional demonstration of originality, creativity, practicality, imagination and innovation. website for further information -

2015 Year 3 and 4 Winner Greta (aged 9) came up with a wonderful idea for vehicle safety. A device which alerts emergency services with a car's location using GPS when an airbag is deployed. She won a 7-night trip to the USA to visit the NASA Kennedy Space Centre.