Posted on October 27. 2017
It’s not just any other school day when students spend their classes in a Newton room. It’s a day full of activities inspired by jobs that shape the future of our planet. For two days, school children put on safety glasses and lab coats, and become engineers, scientists and experimenters. In a Newton room, a facility equipped with state-of-the-art instruments and technology, children get motivated to learn about natural science, mathematics and technology. Dedicated teachers conduct practical lessons and workshop according to the creative curriculum of the schools. This includes energy and chemical experiments, programming robots, geological field trips and more.
There are 31 Newton rooms in Norway, and the first ones are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this year. The concept developed by FIRST Scandinavia, a foundation dedicated to concepts and projects in the sciences for children and young people, has been a success: over 32.000 children visited a Newton room in the school year 2015/16, which is five times as many as in 2008/09.
The architecture and interior of the Newton Rooms are thoughtfully designed, so that each student can get the most out of the lessons and workshops. The creators also considered the value of healthy sitting. Rigmor Angler, Concept Manager of the Newton model: “In the Newton rooms, the school kids work very hands-on with different projects. Naturally, they must be able to swiftly move between the working stations in the open landscape, the laboratories and the auditorium. That’s why we chose the Varier Move chairs which allow the kids to use their body and to constantly move, even when they are sitting.”
The advantage of the Move is its versatile usability: Due to the adjustable height, the Move fits to any desk. The tilted base provides a wide range of movement, making it easy to lean forward or quickly move to a different position a few meters away. The Move is a real energy booster, as it constantly encourages movement and keeps the children in the perfect balance between moving and learning.
“We have great experiences with schools and other educational institutes such as libraries and universities that equip their facilities with Move chairs”, says Jacques Walg, physiotherapist and expert on healthy sitting. “Children have a natural urge to move. When they sit still, they do something that is against their nature, and that uses a lot of energy. On the Move chair, they feel no restrictions, and thus are much more focused.”
There are seven more Newton rooms in the planning. In addition to the great value of practical education, the hope is to interact with industries found in the respective municipality, and thus trigger young peoples' interest. Let’s also hope that the researchers of tomorrow will be inspired by healthy sitting. It would be an equally great investment in their future.