St Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala students interview guests at Esplora Science Centre opening
Dante Camilleri and Gareth Chircop
Last Friday a group of 13 year old students from St Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua were invited to participate in the official opening of the Esplora Science Centre in Kalkara.
St. Margaret College students were accompanied by Science teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, Physics teacher Erica Falzon Ellul and LSA Svetlana Galea. This was a great opportunity for them to interview various distinguished guests and participating students and get their personal views and feedback about the new Science Centre in Kalkara.
The Esplora interactive science centre consists of several buildings and outdoor spaces, all interconnected following an extensive restoration and development process at the former Bighi British Hospital. The science centre consists of 250 exhibits including hands-on workshops and science shows making science relevant to our everyday lives.
According to Minister of Education Evarist Bartolo, this is a “Wonderful project offering students the joy of learning science” while EO Science Mario Muscat says that this centre “will definitely enhance the teaching of Science by making it fully interactive and so increase student’s interest in the sciences”. According to Assistant Director for Curriculum, Desiree Scicluna Bugeja, this centre will give the opportunity to “teachers to teach science in an informal way” thanks to what Director of Curriculum Gaetano Bugeja calls ‘hands on activities’ which will now be able to offer a different learning experience for various parts of the science curricula.
David McQueen from the Glasgow Science Centre says that the Esplora Science Centre aims to “excite students in learning science” while Rachael Blackburn from the Directorate of Quality and Assurance says that this centre is intended to offer “creativity and motivate student’s interest in the science field”.
Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius said that thanks to the 56 science shows and 256 hands-on science workshops in this centre “we aim to stimulate more love for science”. He added saying that this project “costs €26 million and is the first of its kind in Malta”.
Now this centre will be under the responsibility of the Malta Council for Science and Technology under the chairmanship of Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando.
Present for the official opening of this Science centre were various ambassadors and when interviewing US Ambassador Madam G.K. Hill, she said: “That this centre offers students a wonderful experience to come in touch with a variety of science fields all together” while Ghanaian High Commissioner Kenneth Tachie said that this project is “Very educational, making the learning of science easier”.
St. Margaret College students had also the chance to get some personal feedback from various students from different schools. Here are some of their comments:
“It is a great project and very interesting for us students,” commented student William Chiasson (St. Edward’s College, Independent Secondary School, Cospicua).
“It is extremely interesting. It is a good way to introduce younger people to the fascinating world of science,” said student Randon Sant (De LaSalle College, Church Secondary School, Cospicua);
“It is something different and very interesting with lots of hands on experiments and activities where we can learn new things” by student Clisielle Ghirxi (St. Joseph Church Secondary School, Paola).
“It is good to introduce us students to all these interactive workshops which books cannot offer,” commented student Aleksandrs Andrejevs (St. Margaret College senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua);
“Here you can experiment with many things at one go like optics, sound, forces, motion etc.” said student Morgan Gibrila (St. Edward’s College, Independent Secondary School, Cospicua);
During the inauguration, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he feels very satisfied to hear so many children making so much noise showing their excitement and enthusiasm in this Science Centre. Quoting DG of Education Dr Francis Fabri, “this is an amazing state of the art project. I invite students to browse round and ask them to say what they think of this Science Centre”.
Everyone is welcome to visit the Esplora Science Centre in Bighi and participate in the various workshops which according to Director of MCAST, Stephen Cachia all aim “To help students enjoy the Science World”.
Surely Esplora is the place where according to Deputy Principal of MCAST Anthony Saliba, “one can see with his own eyes students enjoying Science” and so according to CEO of PBS John Bandy, “it is a must that students pay frequent visits to the Esplora Science Centre”.
The authors, Dante Camilleri and Gareth Chircop, are both students at St Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua
St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala, Cospicua students: Agius Dean, Andrejevs Aleksandrs, Bartolo Kieran, Bonnici Nirvaia, Calleja Shanise, Camilleri Dante, Cesare Isaac, Chircop Gareth, Coleiro Charis, Dalli Gwyneth, Demicoli Rianne, Formosa Hailie, Harrington Matthew, Mangion Karl Isaac, Saliba Ylenia, Sciberras Mariah and Vella Neil together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, Physics teacher Erica Falzon Ellul and LSA Svetlana Galea invited for the official for the official opening of the Esplora Science Centre at Bighi in Kalkara.