Jacob Tate - Jacob Reaching for the Stars

Jacob Reaching for the Stars

Written by Journalist, Angela Norval - Bundaberg Today, Friday November 26, 2021

While he might spend much of his time looking to the stars, St Luke’s Anglican School Year 11 student Jacob Tate has his eyes focused firmly on his future.

Jacob’s love for the skies and space all started in Year 4 when he read a book on the planets.

“It was something super basic and just gave a few facts on each of the planets, but ever since then I have been drawn to research, learn and try to understand all of the many wonders of space,” he said.

“While I am unsure exactly what I want to do when I leave school, if I can turn my love for space into a job that would be really cool. “I love the idea of learning about many different aspects of the universe as a career.

“If that doesn’t work out, I think the next closest thing would be to get into astrophotography and take photos of space as a hobby.

Image of the Moon taken by Jacob with his own telescope. 

“I am lucky in that I am interested in science-based subjects, especially biology, and some of the topics I have coming up in physics, while also mathematics and we have a strong curriculum at St Luke’s that provides for my interests.

“St Luke’s has been really good and the wide choice of subjects that the school offers has really helped me understand what I like and what I don’t like.

“It has helped me understand that I am more of a science-based student, which is especially helpful now that I am nearing the end of my school life as it gives me a general idea of what to do after school.”

Jacob not only has a wealth of subjects at St Luke’s Anglican School leading him towards a future career path in astronomy or astrophysics - he has been working with academic welfare and careers director Kane Kersnovske and has been accepted into the University of South Queensland in Toowoomba to study astronomy next year while still completing Year 12 at St Luke’s.

While the subjects will be by correspondence, Jacob will still be able to get first-hand experience at USQ and telescope time while he studies.

Jacob appreciates the support of Mr Kersnovske, who has been particularly helpful during the process of finding and applying for the astronomy course.

“Having someone like Mr Kersnovske at school is really good because students can go and meet with him during school to talk about any university, future career paths or, like in my case, courses that are available for students to enroll in and he also helps us work out how to achieve the school and extracurricular subjects balance well.

“For instance, he has shown me that doing this course will be recognised by other universities and might increase my chances of getting into a university after school because I would have already got a feeling for university standards in terms of the content and assessment pieces and I think that might help me later on in life.

“Universities will be able to see that I have done some work already and it could also help when getting a job as it will show that not only did I go through and complete Year 12, I also went ahead and extended my education by enrolling in a university course before I finished school.”

Until next year, though, Jacob is more than happy to study space and the many different phenomenon being revealed in his lifetime, even taking photographs using his telescope to share with his friends and teachers.

“I think I will always be drawn to the fascinating events happening in the sky,” he said. “Astrophotography is always an interesting hobby for me because I love just looking at the planets and any other interesting parts of the sky.”