New funding boost for Science Oxford Centre at Stansfeld Park
The Oxford Trust’s Stansfeld Park project has taken another exciting step forward with the news that we have been granted a Special Award from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. The financial award will enable us to develop a LiveLab zone in our new Science Oxford Centre on the Stansfeld site, which is due to open in autumn 2018.
The LiveLab will be a curated, bespoke space for children to experience a research environment and to meet real working scientists and engineers. Equipped with video/camera capabilities, laboratory benches, microscopes and more, this exciting space will be used for scientist-led demonstrations featuring researchers from Oxford’s world-leading universities and innovative companies, alongside our own staff.
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 aims to make a difference through providing educational fellowships and studentships to support research in science and engineering, applied research in industry, design studentships and other grants. In addition to this core programme, the Commission also provides Special Awards to organisations working to encourage STEM education and we have received one of these awards.
The Science Oxford Centre will promote exploration and creative thinking, cultivate a positive attitude to science and lay the foundations for science learning for primary-aged children. As well as the LiveLab, it will include:
- A science discovery zone – containing custom-built interactive STEM installations to encourage enquiry-based learning, problem-solving and social skills rather than the more superficial ‘wow’ factor entertainment exhibits that have limited learning value
- Learning space – part classroom, part workshop, this space allows teachers to learn alongside pupils by employing the latest informal learning techniques, based on the proven Thinking Doing Talking Science
- Outdoor learning spaces – in the 15-acres of woodland, grassland and ponds the Trust will expand its physical sciences and engineering expertise into the natural realm. Outdoor exhibits will dovetail with indoor installations – for physical play, exploration of the natural world, to learn about biodiversity, and to deepen the holistic learning experience.
- Flexible theatre – a 120-seat ‘roll-back’ facility to expand our range of engagement formats – from films, talks and shows, to temporary planetarium installations. Alongside the Science Education Centre there is an atrium space and cafe with large outdoor viewing deck over the ponds for use by non-school visitors, creating a welcoming arrival for family groups using our centre, and for relaxation, networking and exhibitions.
For more information about the new Science Oxford Centre visit here.