Thursday, May 17, 2012

New research, learning hub to nurture science students opens

SINGAPORE: Students can now design their own science experiments and conduct research projects at the Centre for Research and Applied Learning in Science (CRADLE), a new open learning and research lab at the Science Centre Singapore (SCS) which opened on Thursday.

CRADLE will give students more avenues to learn about science through inquiry-based experimentation and research.

The centre will also help develop teacher-mentors and enhance the capacity of teachers and schools in science research and innovation.

CRADLE is a collaboration by SCS, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), DSO National Laboratories and the Ministry of Education.

Chief executive of SCS Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng said the initiative aims to bring new and innovative ways of learning science to students, beyond what is taught in the schools.

"Unlike traditional learning, where they are taught facts and conduct experiments to confirm the factual evidence, students here approach experiments from the ground-up organically," he said.

"They get the opportunity to explore and strengthen their spirit of self-discovery -- just like real scientists -- by pursuing their own experimental ideas."

Prof Lim said CRADLE would provide the infrastructural support for science projects and give students access to equipment and expertise that may not be readily available in schools.

It would also help to extend the limited research attachment opportunities for students to conduct real-world research.

CRADLE research programmes are designed to encourage independent learning and place emphasis on engineering, design and innovation projects.

Upper secondary and junior college students who are between 14 and 18 years old can participate in the programmes, which are aligned to science education and research in the scientific community.

Workshops are also conducted for teachers to encourage and inspire them to bring more hands-on activities to the classroom, develop project ideas and manage research projects at the school level.

The education ministry provides the support for teachers to be attached to CRADLE for two years.

These teachers, known as Educator Researcher Mentors, will help to help bridge the gap between classroom learning and laboratory research.

View the original article here

Source From Channel Mews Asia

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