| 23 August 2017
Two hundred primary schools will have classrooms converted into science laboratories over the next four years to boost STEM learning for students.
With an estimated 75 per cent of future jobs requiring critical thinking and problem-solving skills, today’s announcement will allow more primary students to conduct hands-on science experiments.
Melville Primary School science teacher Peter Bruce said a science laboratory would help develop students’ mindsets as they entered the room.
“Their natural curiosity would be boosted by having equipment on hand and models of inflatable planets and insects hanging from the ceiling,” he said.
“They’d be able to work in small teams, record observations and set up investigations that take longer to produce outcomes like salinity studies and caring for frogs.”
Melville Primary School students have been using the facilities at neighbouring Melville Senior High School.
“We take our Year 6 students to the school as part of transition to secondary school so they can experience a science laboratory,” Peter said.
“They learn how to set up, conduct and report on complex science investigations.”
Teaching the primary students was Melville Senior High School science teacher Sara Wood who said more science laboratories in primary schools would benefit students in the long-term.
“Science is an engaging subject that allows interactive learning, and by promoting science in primary schools we have the ability to develop scientists of the future,” she said.
Selected schools will also receive a one-off grant of $25,000 to purchase equipment and resources.
Height adjustable benches with chemical resistant surfaces, vinyl flooring, hot and cold water troughs and first aid facilities will feature in the new laboratories.
Special consideration will be given to schools with low ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage).
Primary schools are invited to submit expressions of interest for the science laboratories.