‘Educational Lab’ makes Lakeside Park a role model education campus
This education campus on the shores of Lake Wörthersee is therefore an international role model. The aim of the ‘Educational Lab’ is to familiarise young people (kindergarten age and above) with the MINT subjects (mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology) – and at the same time to enable teachers from different institutions to access specific further training offers.
This will spark an enthusiasm in young people for the natural sciences, entrepreneurship and internationality as well as further enhancing the status of Carinthia as an education location. The approach is supported by cooperation with the University of Klagenfurt, the University College of Teacher Education Carinthia, the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and individual school locations.
Assorted modules are offered in state-of-the-art laboratories spanning an area of 3,000m2: this out-of-school place of learning provides pupils and teachers with a unique opportunity to experience and impart biology, chemistry or physics first-hand and using state-of-the-art facilities – including nature protection fieldwork on the shores of Lake Wörthersee and prototype production at the business’s own Smart Lab.
“Our high-tech companies are global market leaders in their niches. The best workforce is needed to achieve this success. The Educational Lab marks the start of a new chapter in terms of the training and education of our children and young people. We get them enthusiastic about research and technology from a young age through laboratory experiments in the lab or workshops with scientists. We are providing around 1 million euros of funding for this and helping to ensure that our local businesses retain their international lead in the future too. After all, this generates jobs and affluence for our region,” says Infrastructure Minister Jörg Leichtfried.
State governor Peter Kaiser is also proud of the achievement: “Despite the difficult challenges of the last few years, Carinthia has succeeded in increasing its research quota to 2.9%. The development of technology sites and institutions such as Lakeside Park, Joanneum Research and Carinthian Tech Research are positive and renowned examples of this. It is first and foremost about getting young people enthusiastic about research and development so as to drive this forward in the future. Fundamental innovation is therefore required in the education sector. With the module ‘BIKO mach MINT’, we have already made a key contribution to providing schools with an exceptional opportunity for experimentation in the MINT subjects”.
And Klagenfurt’s Deputy Mayor Jürgen Pfeiler adds: “A technology and education centre of international standing is of key significance in a town like Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. It generates perspective, including beyond the local borders. The Educational Lab was developed in collaboration with regional education partners and creates offers for teachers and learners of all ages. This makes the site and its university one of the most important in the entire Alpe-Adria region”.
The Educational Lab is a research laboratory for the learning of the future. Innovative forms of teaching and learning are developed, implemented and evaluated in concrete forms here. Using this platform, teachers can connect with learners, prospective researchers with established scientists. This driving force of innovation is important for the future of Carinthia and the future of Austria.
This year, we already have 21 partner organisations and over 3000 event participants – and the trend and demand are steadily increasing. Schools in particular can make use of the new forms of mediation provided by our infrastructure – and thereby generate added value for their pupils and teachers. This is the best way of supporting youth development in the fields of natural sciences and technology – and our answer to the skills shortage,” explains Managing Director of Lakeside Park, Hans Schönegger.
The Ministry for Infrastructure is contributing 960,000 euros to the Educational Lab. This will finance the SmartLab and workshops. The state of Carinthia and town of Klagenfurt are also investing an additional 1.6 million euros in the project. The European Union too has contributed 12 million euros for the construction of the building.