A Visionary Learning Environment for Natural Science
The food chain of accomplished scientists starts at an early stage, which means that Natural Science needs to be made more accessible to Denmark’s primary/lower-secondary schools and high schools.
Recognising this fact, the Novo Nordisk Foundation has initiated a large-scale national plan to increase the interest in scientific subjects among children and young people. The name of the initiative is LIFE.
LIFE is a term, which not only encapsulates the academic focus of the initiative (living nature, natural science, and its application) but is also made up of the initial letters of the ambition: Learning, Inspiration, Fascination, and Engagement.
LIFE will be supported by three platforms, which include mobile laboratories established in specially constructed trucks, which will drive out to the country’s schools, enabling pupils to conduct a variety of scientific experiments. There will also be a digital platform with teaching packages accessible to all schoolchildren and teachers in the country. The third platform will be an educational centre in Lyngby, which houses the facilities for the development of educational material and teaching packages. The building will also be equipped with teaching laboratories and serve as a visitor centre for school classes.
It will furnish Denmark’s teachers with brand new resources. Work will involve game-based, digital solutions, which can reach many users, without them needing to be physically present in the LIFE building. The technology element is generally very expensive for primary/lower-secondary schools, and for teachers, the knowledge is usually rather inaccessible. Given their busy working days, the LIFE educational material will be a gift to teachers at every level.
The educational material will provide the young people with concrete issues and ‘nuts’ that actual scientists are attempting to ‘crack’. This will result in motivation and interest in Natural Science here and now, and may, in the case of older pupils, pave the way for a qualified choice of career.
‘The ambition is to reach all primary/lower-secondary and high-school pupils in Denmark’, Per Falholt, Director, LIFE.