Geophysical Education Observatory


The establishment of the Geophysical Education Observatory through the nationally distributed Seismometers in Schools and the GPS in Schools projects allowed secondary school students across Australia to take part in an international research experiment and learn about Earth Sciences and Geodesy.

A quick clip giving you a glimpse into the work we do as part of the Australian Seismometers in Schools Network at RSES.

This movie shows the work we do at the Research School Earth Sciences at ANU as part of the Australian Seismometers in Schools Network.

Australian Seismometers in Schools Program (AuSIS)

The Australian Seismometers in Schools Program (AuSIS) installed 42 seismometers in schools around Australia that send data to the ANU network and on to an international repository for seismic data. The program also involved the development of support and educational materials for teachers utilising the instrumentation. The AuSIS website ( allows more students than those at the 42 schools with the seismometers to engage in the program. Any school can go to the website and look at the live feeds from the AuSIS network of stations around the country. The AuSIS seismometers are located at the following schools across Australia.


The documentary below is made by former Melrose High School student Denis Lissogourski on the AuSIS network.

List of schools across Australia with seismometers


  • Hawkesdale P12 School.
  • Keysborough Secondary College.
  • Mt Clear College, Ballarat.
  • Rosebud Secondary College.
  • Sale College.

New South Wales

  • Dubbo College Senior Campus.
  • Kincumber High School.
  • Lightning Ridge Central School.
  • Moama Anglican Grammar School.
  • Mullumbimby High School.
  • Peel High School, Tamworth.
  • Snowy Mountains Grammar School, Jindabyne.
  • The King’s School, Parramatta.
  • Ulladulla High School.


  • Daramalan College, Dickson.
  • Melrose High School, Pearce.


  • Ayr State High School.
  • Beerwah State High School.
  • Cairns State High School.
  • Moura State High School.
  • North Rockhampton State High School.
  • Toowoomba State High School.
  • Wavell State High School, Wavell Heights.

Northern Territory

  • Darwin High School.
  • Katherine High School.
  • Nhulunbuy High School.
  • Philips College, Alice Springs, NT.

Western Australia

  • St Joseph’s College, Albany.
  • Georgiana Molloy Anglican School, Busselton.
  • St Mary Star of the Sea, Carnarvon.
  • St Anne’s Primary School, Harvey (funded jointly by UWA and WADept Mines & Petroleum).
  • John Paul College, Kalgoorlie.
  • St Luke’s College, Karratha.
  • Kulin District High School.
  • Mazenod Senior College, Perth.

South Australia

  • Cummins Area School.
  • Jamestown Community School.
  • Marden Senior College.
  • Renmark High School.
  • Roxby Downs High School.


  • Lilydale High School.
  • Taroona High School.

AuScope Earth app

The AuScope Earth app was developed from the AuSIS Program to let anyone to investigate our dynamic continent by accessing real-time data feeds from the AuScope Seismometers in Schools network. It was designed for use by science school students and interested members of the public to allow an understanding of basic seismology. The app is available through both Google Play Store and Apple AppStore.

GPS in Schools (AuGPS)

The objective of the AuGPS was to encourage the integration of scientific research and education by engaging students, teachers and the public in GPS observing. The project acknowledges that students of all ages, but especially during the high school years, learn best when some component of the learning process involves practical activity. The project exposes students interested in GPS to how it works and its application within Earth and other sciences. Hand-held GPS units encourage students to take lessons outside and perform basic mapping exercises; such as mapping sand dune migration or coastal erosion within a geography course or, demonstrate the concept of measurement uncertainty and precision within mathematics/science course.

There are 16 sites across Australia. The GPS data from all of the sites is accessible from Geoscience Australia as part of the National Positioning Infrastructure. This allows students to track their schools’ position as it moves with the tectonics of the Australian Plate (i.e. 7cm per year); effectively letting them see for themselves a geological process in action.

In additional to the physical infrastructure, a curriculum aligned educational pack was developed by the project team that provides material to teachers in relation to:

  • What GPS is and the physics and mathematics of how it works, and
  • Earth science applications of GPS including plate tectonic motion, earthquakes, deformation monitoring, engineering, sea level change and precision agriculture.


Participating schools include:

  • Ballarat Grammar, Victoria.
  • Coburg Senior High School, Victoria.
  • Cranbourne Secondary College, Victoria.
  • John Monash Science School, Victoria.
  • Werribee Secondary College, Victoria.
  • Taroona High School, Tasmania.
  • Lilydale District School, Tasmania.
  • Devonport High School, Tasmania.
  • Columboola Environmental Education Centre, Queensland.
  • Melrose High School, Pearce, ACT.
  • Gungahlin College, Gungahlin, ACT.
  • Armidale School, New South Wales.
  • Kirrawee High School, New South Wales.
  • Corrimal High School, New South Wales.
  • Warilla High School, New South Wales.
  • Goulburn High School, New South Wales.

Gungahlin College in the ACT school is collocated with the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) Learning Centre and therefore the project is providing educational opportunities for the CIT Building, Information and Spatial Information School.

In Canberra, the equipment is being used by the ACT Regions Surveying and Spatial Science Institute (SSSI) to train school teachers in surveying, GNSS and GIS skills: this is part of a regional education program with the support of the ACT Government Education Directorate.

For more information contact Dr John Dawson, Geoscience Australia.