Call for sci­ence labs

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

A call for new sci­ence labs and equip­ment at Pil­bara pri­mary schools, to be paid for from the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions fund, has been made by La­bor Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Stephen Daw­son.

His com­ments came af­ter WA La­bor leader Mark McGowan an­nounced the party’s Sci­ence in Schools pol­icy.

The ini­tia­tive would al­lo­cate $12 mil­lion to con­vert ex­ist­ing class­rooms into sci­ence labs and a fur­ther $5 mil­lion for re­gional schools to buy sci­ence re­sources.

Mr Daw­son said in many Pil­bara class­rooms, sci­ence was taught in gen­eral class­rooms, not pur­pose-built sci­ence labs.

He said it was crit­i­cal to cre­ate a more hands-on learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment to en­cour­age chil­dren to en­gage with sci­ence.

“We want kids in the Pil­bara to be given the tools they need to as­pire to a ca­reer in sci­ence and it’s im­por­tant to im­merse them in sci­ence at an early age,” he said.

“It’s time to get se­ri­ous about pre­par­ing stu­dents for jobs out­side of the re­sources in­dus­try and cre­ate new em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man said Roy­al­ties for Re­gions had al­ready made a $57 mil­lion in­vest­ment to im­prove the de­liv­ery of early child­hood, pri­mary, sec­ondary, vo­ca­tional and ter­tiary education in the Pil­bara.

“The Kar­ratha Trade Train­ing Cen­tre at St Luke’s Col­lege has ben­e­fited from Roy­al­ties for Re­gions in­vest­ment, pro­vid­ing a path­way into elec­tri­cal trades for stu­dents,” he said.

“Roy­al­ties for Re­gions funds given to Pun­dul­murra Col­lege in South Hed­land, in part­ner­ship with Curtin Univer­sity, has en­abled Pil­bara stu­dents to com­plete a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in nurs­ing, en­rolled nurs­ing and reg­is­tered nurs­ing pro­grams through the Pil­bara Re­gion Pi­lot Pro­gram.

“Other projects to ben­e­fit in­clude the Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre at St Luke’s in Kar­ratha, the Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Train­ing Cen­tre at the Pil­bara In­sti­tute’s Pun­dul­murra Cam­pus ... and the Hed­land Se­nior High School up­grades and re­fur­bish­ment.”

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