Regional schools receive lab funding

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Budding scientists are being cultivated in the Pilbara as five schools across the region have received funding to convert classrooms into laboratories.

As part of a $17 million State election promise to transform 200 primary school classrooms into science labs by 2021, five local schools have been among the first 100 to receive funding.

South Hedland Primary School, Baler Primary School, Dampier Primary School, Karratha Primary School and Tambrey Primary School will get new labs as well as receiving $25,000 each to buy new laboratory equipment.

South Hedland Primary School deputy principal Lee Pereira said transforming a general-use classroom into a science laboratory was an exciting opportunity for the school.

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“Our school considers science/STEM a high priority and we have a specialist science teacher who focuses on providing a high-interest, hands-on approach to engage students in this learning area,” she said.

“We believe it is important to spark students’ interest in science as it teaches them a range of investigative and communicative skills, helps them to become critical observers, teaches students about the world, and supports them in developing a belief that they can help to solve world problems.”

In addition to the science curriculum, the primary school hosts the Science and Maths Centre of Excellence, and indigenous students from all primary schools in the Hedland area attend twice a week.

Pilbara MP Kevin Michel said the schools had been selected based on their plans to grow and improve science education to equip students with skills for the jobs of the future.

“The McGowan Government wants to ignite an interest in science in WA students from a young age, and a science laboratory at schools will definitely get students excited about science,” he said.

The plan is one of several new initiatives, including a $2 million funding boost for professional learning to ensure schools have the resources, equipment and expertise to teach students science and coding.

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