As a first for regional NSW schools, leading co-educational day and boarding College, Scots All Saints in Bathurst, today announced it will create a state-of-the-art Innovation Centre where its students can immerse in experiences that combine and accelerate learning in STEM, Design, Technology, Nature, Growth and the Environment to build skills and knowledge to apply them to real-world problems.
Head of College, Mr John Weeks was delighted to be able to announce the new Innovation Centre as the first of its kind in a school setting within regional NSW providing effective tools and training to transform education, bringing transdisciplinary problem-based learning into classrooms.
“The Scots All Saints Innovation Centre brings world’s best practice in education to regional NSW, enabling our students to work collaboratively and develop knowledge to propel them into network pathways and long-term, future success as the next generation of community leaders,” Mr Weeks said.
“Research shows the new basic skills needed by young people to engage in a complex world and navigate the challenges they will inherit are problem-solving, communication skills, digital learning, teamwork, critical thinking, creatively and financial literacy. Other schools are doing this around the world, and we are pleased that our students will have a dedicated cutting-edge Innovation Centre and teachers who will have professional development to focus on skills needed beyond the 21st century,” Mr Weeks said.
At the launch of the ground-breaking Innovation Centre project, Mr John Weeks was joined by President of the College Foundation, Mr Bruce Clydsdale who presented a $750,000 cheque as a significant investment to help fund the project.
Mr Clydsdale spoke on behalf of College Foundation Members, many of whom are past students, teachers and staff from the former All Saints’ College, announcing their endorsement of the project and support of further growth of Scots All Saints College as a modern and progressive College of all-round excellence.
“The College has a long history of innovation including Computing with the first interactive Classroom computer in 1975, teaching of Asian languages, and staff-designed Life Skills course in 1978 which is now almost identical to the PD/H/PE curriculum so the Foundation Directors voted unanimously to fund this new innovative development,” Mr Clydsdale said.
Since the Foundation was established in 1979, with generous donations from students, staff and corporations, the Foundation has helped to upgrade many of the College’s educational facilities.
Mr Weeks said the new Innovation Centre was made possible with the generous investment by the College Foundation and Federal Government funding who can see the value of the new Innovation Centre, not just for regional NSW education but a best practice model in building future ready learners for the country.
The Innovation Centre is modelled on a US prototype and will be a purpose-built building covering 600 square metres in size to accommodate spacious, open plan and interactive learning spaces incorporating six distinct (but not exclusive) Learning Labs focusing on:
- Design – explores the world of engineering, manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence
- Bodies – explores the world of health care, medicine, wellness
- Energy and Hi-Tech – explores the world of energy generation and transmission using high-tech innovation such as wind, solar to produce energy
- Growth – explores the production of food and agriculture in intensive environments.
- Digital – explores the world of data, coding, industry in intensive environments.
- Young Inventors – building entrepreneurial capabilities from idea to concept and pitching to the market.
The exterior and interior design concepts were unveiled to Year 8 STEM students and the College community today who were excited and impressed by their future learning environment. Initial building and construction will begin very soon with the plan for the Innovation Centre to completed and ready for use in 2020.
The site of the Innovation Centre will be on All Saints Campus which houses the Junior (K-4) and Middle (5-8) School students. A Senior School (9-12) STEM Centre, including plans for new science facilities, is part of the Scots All Saints College Master Plan which will be developed in the coming months.