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The University of Southampton

Chris Packham kicks off Science Learning Centre launch week

Published: 3 December 2004

What role do science teachers play in conserving the environment? Television presenter Chris Packham will be setting out his own ideas on the subject in a short talk to teachers from across the region at the new Science Learning Centre South East (SLCSE) at the University of Southampton on 8 December.

The Southampton graduate's talk, entitled Life in the balance: where do teachers of science fit in?, will also be transmitted live via a video conferencing link to schools across the south east. A workshop focusing on nature initiatives for children follows in the afternoon.

Chris Packham's talk is one of a number of events taking place in the lead up to the Centre's formal launch by Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation on Monday 13 December. Other events during the launch week include The Drama of Science, a drama workshop that aims to equip teachers with skills to put together a science drama project with pupils.

The Science Learning Centre South East is one of nine regional Centres across the country which aim to help teachers, technicians and classroom assistants in England lead the world in science education by 2015. All the regional centres will provide innovative professional development for science teachers from primary to post-16 education. They bring together research, industry and educational expertise acting as a catalyst for creating intellectually stimulating and relevant science education.

Professor Mary Ratcliffe, the Director of the Centre, said: "The Centre is based at the University's Highfield campus and is therefore able to draw on the University's strengths in cutting-edge science research and educational excellence. We will be working with teachers and University schools as well as relevant science, engineering and technology bodies across the region to enthuse pupils in the classroom and help develop an understanding of the impact of contemporary science."

Teachers and technicians can use the Centre to access the latest scientific development and industry practices and to gain support and expertise in delivering science education that gives pupils the knowledge and understanding they need, both as scientists and citizens of the future. Eight schools across the region act as satellites of the Centre.

The Centre is already running a range of courses for teachers including an interactive session observing the night sky over the Pacific via a live Internet link with the Faulkes Telescope North, located on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Notes for editors

  1. Digital images of Chris at the Centre will be available on request from Media Relations after the event.
  2. The Science Learning Centre South East is part of a network of nine regional centres and one national centre.  More information is available at:
  3. The new Centre is the result of a successful bid by the University, led by staff in the School of Education, to the Department for Education and the Wellcome Trust.  Established as part of a £51 million national network, the Centre aims to bring about innovation and inspiration in science teaching in schools and colleges across the whole of the South East region.
  4. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship.  The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff.  Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
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