Primary School Science Centre

A proposal for a science center in a Bulgarian primary school

The proposal was developed with my colleague Yasen Nedyalkov for "School of the Future" 2016 contest in Bulgaria, as part of educational funding for about 25 national schools to regenerate and innovate their environment.

The Science Centre is a proposal directly responding to the needs and requirements of 1st primary school "Nikola Yonkov Vaptzarov" in Berkovitsa, where our main ambition was education through experience. 

Scientists say that imagination is even more important than knowledge and imagination is nurtured through experiencing and being in direct contact with matter, environment and people.
Our concept was triggered from the fact that students of the 21st century have information virtually anywhere, while experience is diminished or becoming more and more two-dimensional. The direction of study in the future will be more related to understanding and observing phenomena, rather than theory and formulas. We wanted the new space to reflect the energy of natural phenomena and feel like a series of nucleus - working spaces, in which little electrons - the students, interacting with one another reflect dynamics, curiosity for science and love for nature.

The school is situated in a picturesque site near the Stara Planina mountain and we aimed to bring the natural richness of the area in the educational process and take the educational process out of the classroom. In that way the fortress of the school is demolished and it becomes an everyday interaction and connection to nature.

Our main mission was to create a space which inspires, provokes, triggers curiosity and will for knowledge and creation. We looked at the sciences not so much as separate subjects but rather interlaced phenomena. 

The floor graphic was designed symbolically from fusing the straight lines of maths and physics, the organic in biology and the fusions in chemistry. It aims to create a different environment in each zone, gradually changing color and emphasizing that everything is connected.
The multi-functional cabinet is planed with modular tables, which can form various configurations for individual or group work. Interactive board and floor projections could bring games into the learning process, making the understanding more accessible and fun for the students. Furthermore, the center could host evening classes for adults about technology, thus helping both the development of the region and the community as well as supporting the school through donations.  
The laboratory space.
The terrarium connecting the cabinet and the laboratory is home for diverse plants and small animals like hamsters, fish and parrots. The students are encouraged to take good care of the flora and fauna in this space and explore them daily. In addition, the through the window a telescope give the opportunity to discover the area and even the stars at dark. That way the students in Berkovitsa will have contact with a range from the smallest particles they explore in the laboratory, through observing the forms of life, to the mysteries of earth and space.
The mountain in front of the school facade, which is an allusion to the big mountain in the area and acts as an alternative entrance or exit and an "amphitheater" for events, lessons, exploration and play. It is build in time from the students, who can bring soil to the site and eventually grow grass and plants on top of it. 


***
The project is currently awaiting its official approval for realization.

 
Back to Top