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Science Learning Centre South West opens

Press release issued: 17 January 2005

Tomorrow [18 January], the pioneering new Science Learning Centre South West will officially open.

Tomorrow [18 January], the pioneering new Science Learning Centre South West will officially open from its base within At-Bristol, the award winning science and discovery centre. The centre is run in partnership with the University of Bristol and the University of Plymouth and will deliver continuing professional development for science teachers and technicians from across the region.

This is one of nine regional centres opening in England this year as part of a national network of Science Learning Centres; a Department for Education and Skills and Wellcome Trust initiative. All of the centres will offer teachers access to newly furbished labs, advanced ICT equipment and innovative courses covering education strategies, traditional science and the wider ethical issues of science in society, cutting-edge scientific research and developments across business and industry. As well as improving knowledge, the scheme aims to reinvigorate teaching skills, boosting science literacy and understanding of its impact on society among pupils.

Inspiring science teachers and technicians from primary level through to post-16 and colleges, The Science Learning Centre South West will deliver across the region using a state-of-the- art education suite and a teacher drop in centre within At-Bristol. In addition, the world-class science facilities at the Universities of Bristol and Plymouth and partner school sites will also be used and mobile resources will be available.

Professor Kathy Sykes, Collier Chair of Public Engagement in Science and Engineering at Bristol University, will officially open the new centre on 18 January and the course programme for the Spring and Summer terms will be highlighted. The programme includes:

  • Debating Controversial Science Issues, this course will support teachers from a variety of disciplines who are seeking to enrich their teaching through discussion of contemporary social and ethical issues in science.
  • Springwatch, designed by the BBC, Science Learning Centres and the Woodland Trust, this course demonstrates to primary science teachers how science can be brought alive in schools. Offering training in observation, species identification and leading fieldwork, the course aims get Primary schools involved in recording the onset of spring for the BBC programme "Springwatch".
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