Reimagining the Benham Science Centre
How can I contribute to the reimagined Benham Science Centre?
- make an online donation to the Building Fund to support the Benham Science Centre here.
- request further information about supporting one of the remaining components of the interior fit-out from: firstname.lastname@example.org
- discuss naming opportunities for one of the five individual labs, by calling the Principal’s Office for a personal and confidential conversation: 8291 3141 or emailing her Executive Assistant, Laura Freeman: email@example.com
All donations above $2 are tax deductible. Every gift of every size makes a difference. Tax receipts are provided.
Please continue reading for further details on this exciting new development.
What’s happening to the Science facilities at Walford
The current science laboratories on the secondary campus are undergoing a major transformation to become the Benham Science Centre, ready for students early in 2019.
This continues our strength and focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) that threads through the School for all girls, from Reception through to Year 12.
This is the first significant upgrade to our Middle/Senior Science facilities in many years and we are very excited about the changes it will bring.
Why do you need my support?
In contributing to this project you will be enabling students today and tomorrow – your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, godchildren, friends’ children – to have the very best STEM experience, and give them the gift of choice when they graduate from Walford. In turn you will be helping to address the national shortfall of women studying STEM.
That’s quite a big impact from one gift!
Why is this development necessary?
The redevelopment will change in a very positive way how chemistry, physics and biology is delivered. Teachers will have greater flexibility in the classrooms which will reflect contemporary pedagogy, and the profile of science within the curriculum will be elevated, attracting even more students to these disciplines and further cementing Walford’s leadership in STEM education in the State.
What will the development mean for Walford students?
Girls will enjoy five new, completely reimagined laboratories enabling students to research, inquire, experiment and discover in flexible, spacious and naturally lit surrounds.
The redeveloped Benham Science Centre will provide:
- increased flexibility in classroom arrangements where each lab is interchangeable in use
- encouragement of collaboration and class involvement
- updated technologies that aid in visual demonstrations
- continued safety compliance
- moveable, contemporary furniture, with a range of formal and casual seating for different functions and locations
- desk and work areas of age-appropriate height that allows for users with disabilities
- spaces for formal teaching, small group discussion, lecturing and quiet study that encourages social learning.
Why is this project a priority?
Whilst Walford already enjoys a long history of outstanding science education, and an excellent track record in recent cohorts pursuing STEM subjects, it is important that the facilities keep pace with contemporary standards, and provide the very best opportunity for our teachers and students to excel.
Effective teaching and learning in science involves effective demonstration, experimentation and group engagement. The spaces in which science is taught needs to enable these key learning techniques. The new room arrangements will enable these modes of learning and enable flexibility for contemporary teaching methods.
Ensuring we have a steady pipeline of enthusiastic, curious and determined STEM graduates is also critical for the nation.
When I look to [the] future I see a world of opportunity for Australian’s with STEM training. I see a STEM-powered economy that Australians can forge, if we have the confidence and the capability combined….There are no limits on what a STEM graduate can do and we shouldn’t impose them….Our best future is a future that builds on technology, innovation, ideas and imagination. It is a future with STEM. And it is a future that is ours to build.”
- Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist
From ‘Australia’s Workforce’, March 2016
How is this project being funded?
This transformation represents a major milestone in the delivery of our campus Master Plan and has been made possible through the Council of Governors’ careful and responsible approach to the School’s fiscal management. The majority of funds for this $1.9M project have been secured through the Government of South Australia’s SAFA loan scheme, with advantageous repayment terms.
We have also been delighted by the generous support of a number of donors through our Annual Appeal, through the PTA, as a result of the 125th Anniversary Ball last month which raised over $100,000 – a magnificent, record-breaking result – and through bespoke gifts from a number of individual donors.
How can I keep in touch with the project?
Donors receive weekly updates on the progress of the redevelopment, giving the inside track on what’s happening throughout the Summer. In addition, donors will have an opportunity for early sight of the transformation that is taking place, in January.
A formal opening of the building is being organised in Term 1 and donors will be among our valued VIP guests to join our celebrations.