Education and Poverty, Black holes and the Event Horizon Telescope

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Tonight, on Boiling Point, Nick, Jake and Tim stopped by the studio to talk about the educational impacts of poverty and the super exciting first imagine of a supermassive black hole.

The correlation between poverty and a lack of education

Despite Australia being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the ACOSS Poverty in Australia report (2016)  found that one out of every six children under the age of 15 in Australia was living in poverty. Nick, graduate microbiologist and “teacher to be”, discusses his research into how this statistic relates to a lack of education. 

32 years ago, Bob Hawke announced an end to poverty and a reduction of the number of children in poverty in Australia to zero in three years. When he made this speech there were 500,000 children in poverty. Today there are 750,000. So, what are the detrimental impacts of this rising poverty in terms of a child’s education? The lack of healthy food, clothes and other resources can prevent children from going to school. This can be because they are ashamed, ill, hungry or feel excluded and marginalized. 

What can be done? Nick explains how there must be a governmental push towards helping poorer children into education. In terms of an individual effort there is not much that can be done except donating to charities. 

Studies have shown that poverty in even the first year of academic education has a negative impact. This is an issue that needs to be addressed more by the government if we want to give all Australian children an equal chance of education.

Ja’mie Credits: ABC Summer Heights High

Next, Jake and Tim discuss just how accurate Interstellar was… 

On the 10th April an incredible announcement was made. The first real photo of a black hole was released by Event Horizon Telescope team. And guess what, it’s supermassive! Achieving this photo is so incredible because the gravitational pull of a black hole is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. The hole is 26,000 light years from the earth and 4 million times the mass of our sun. The images were so big that the internet wasn’t big enough to hold them. 

This incredible discovery brought up a lot of thought-provoking discussions from our panel. Not only about the physical science behind a black hole but also how does this shape our reality? How does reality change inside a black hole? For basic information on the science of black holes Tim suggests going to Kurzgesagt– in a Nutshell. For an idea as to what to expect if you ever happen to find yourself inside one, watch Interstellar. 

Interstellar Tesseract Scene 2014

Story: Boiling Point guest intern; Francesca Johnson

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