South Australian school students will be inspired to shoot for the stars with construction of the state’s second permanent planetarium, the first in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, now complete.

Developed as part of Hamilton Secondary College’s $9.165 million facilities upgrade, the star gazing structure complements the school’s progressive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) focus, Space Academy and Space Education Centre.

The planetarium features a full dome ceiling with cutting edge equipment to project the night sky.

Premier Steven Marshall said the new facility will support the school’s space program and ensure our young people are well positioned to take advantage of careers in our growing space sector.

“Hamilton Secondary College has skyrocketed to their position as a leading player in the space education field, building on their strong focus on pathways in STEM and advanced technologies,” said Premier Marshall.

“South Australia is now home to more than 90 space-related organisations, making the state the undisputed national centre of Australia’s space industry and creating incredible career opportunities for many years to come.

“There’s never been a better time to consider a future in the space industry and the planetarium opens up new and immersive world-class learning opportunities for students at the college.”

Minster for Education John Gardner said the space program at Hamilton Secondary College is already well-regarded around the world and the planetarium will enhance that reputation.

“For any young person thinking about a career in the space sector, South Australia is the place to be,” said Minister Gardner.

“We want more children and young people engaging in high quality science, technology, mathematics and engineering related studies to get ready for the high-tech jobs of the future and our first school-based planetarium will inspire them to do just that.

“These state-of-the-art learning facilities at Hamilton Secondary College are ready to welcome year 7s into high school who’ll be exposed to new and innovative education offerings.”

Hamilton Secondary College Principal Peta Kourbelis said it’s an exciting time for the school community.

“We are excited to extend our current immersive space programs such as Mission to Mars to support SA students’ interest in pursuing space careers with our rapidly growing space ecosystem in Australia,” said Ms Kourbelis.

Delivered by architects Totalspace Design and builders Marshall and Brougham, the upgrade at Hamilton Secondary College includes a new performing arts building providing a 152 seat theatre, two music learning areas, music practice rooms, a new canteen, and a multipurpose space incorporating the planetarium.

Major and minor works were also undertaken throughout the school offering flexible learning areas, a new plaza and link to the new performing arts building, a refurbished food technology area, and improved heating and cooling systems.

The upgrade created more than 20 jobs and is part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s record $1.4 billion investment into education infrastructure providing students with world-class facilities and helping the school prepare for year 7 students to move into high school in 2022.

The official launch of the Planetarium will be late 2021 with a Showcase event set for early 2022.