THE State Government has announced a $16 million boost for science facilities at six schools including New Norfolk High School which will receive $500,000 under the School Science and Technology Stimulus Package. “Science and technology skills are a vital asset in our fast-moving modern world. The frontiers are constantly expanding. This crucial investment will help our students to keep-up and prosper in the science and technology careers of tomorrow,” Premier Lara Giddings said.
Education Minister Nick McKim said the investment would build on strong recent improvements in the Tasmanian school system. “This package builds on our unprecedented investment in educational infrastructure projects in the last State Budget. We’ve allocated $65 million over the next four years, including $22 million in this financial year,” Mr McKim said.
“We’re seeing significant recent improvements in Tasmanian school results, based on our learning improvement projects and the outstanding efforts of our teachers and staff. We know science and technology are key building blocks in the diverse and sustainable economy we’re helping to build for Tasmania. We need to make science as engaging and relevant as possible for our students, to help encourage their passion for learning. This investment helps achieve just that,” he said.
The works program includes fit-outs and improvements to classroom bench tops, tap-ware and sinks, gas fittings, safety flooring, preparation rooms with safe chemical storage, better ventilation and fume extraction, tools and equipment, and new storage. The Education Department will hire consulting architects and consult with schools shortly, to set the timeframe for each project. Much of the work is expected to happen in the upcoming school holidays.
It is not known how the funds will be used to improve New Norfolk High School's near-new $2 million science block which was opened by Dick Adams in 2011.