Conceived as an incubator and exemplar for contemporary science education, the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences brings together some of the brightest young science minds, scientists and science educators in a purpose built facility in one of the premier biomedical and science precincts. The project is the result of a partnership between The University of Melbourne, University High School, Bio21 and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and is designed for 200 VCE students to pursue a science rich curriculum and also to support educational research being undertaken by The University of Melbourne. The facilities have been developed to support the School’s specific pedagogical approach which enables students to participate in a tertiary style program of lectures, tutorials and laboratory workshops. The design recognises that a large proportion of student learning and knowledge retention happens outside of the classroom in well designed and engaging internal adult spaces.
A research project being undertaken by the University has enabled a direct geothermal system to be installed beneath the building in a way that is legible and accessible, and can be monitored by students. This and the systems which help achieve the 6 star energy rating are part of the ‘building as text book’ strategy which will also support student investigation and interest in sustainable technologies.