Call for science labs
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.”