The Australian Opal Centre offers an engaging 1–1.5 hour program for primary to lower secondary school groups, based on the Centre’s collections and themes and with an emphasis on opalised fossils, opal and life on the opal fields. The unique natural and cultural heritage of Lightning Ridge inspires exciting educational activities for all ages.
Objectives of the Centre’s education programs include encouraging an enthusiasm for discovery and the natural world; fostering observational, descriptive and creative skills; and providing an introduction to basic scientific techniques and methods. Programs emphasise ‘hands on’ learning using authentic natural history objects and relevant artefacts.
The Centre’s collections include a range of 100 million-year-old opalised fossils of ancient plants and animals, including dinosaurs; natural history items relating to the study of fossils; opal, geological specimens and items relevant to opal geology; and materials relating to opal mining and the social history of the opal fields.
Programs are conducted by staff and volunteers with teaching experience and qualifications. Language and concepts are tailored to the age and interest of the students.
The main venue for Australian Opal Centre school education activities is the Black Opal Heritage Shed at the Three Mile opal field, Lightning Ridge. The Centre also operates a showroom at 3/11 Morilla St, Lightning Ridge, with a small museum display that provides a focus for student learning activities.
To book your school's visit or find out more about our programs, please contact us or call 02 6829 1667.