“Science is the most fun subject when you get to do something practical,” says ninth-former Eivind Eikli Heggset.
The Newton Energy Room pilot projects is part of Statoil´s investment in the heroes of tomorrow and its motivated by the desire to make more children take interest in science.
(Photo: Helga Hovland)
In the Newton Energy Room, he and his classmates are in their element learning energetic lessons about wind, water, electricity, power, coal and oil.
“This is incredible fun, and there’s lots of great equipment. The coolest thing we’ve used at our school is a set of scales,” the ninth-former says.
He is in full swing making a windmill that is as efficient as possible together with his classmate Anders Solstad. Anders has just turned on the wind, which in this case comes from a large desk fan.
“This is much better than sitting on a chair all day doing maths. In a place like this, you can learn to love science,” Anders says.
Statoil has spent five million kroner developing and equipping the Newton Energy Room in Trondheim. Trondheim municipality is responsible for the educational element. A dedicated Newton teacher has been appointed to teach children about renewable and non-renewable energy in the room.
After a year’s pilot project, the company will assess whether it is a success and whether it should sponsor the establishment of more Newton energy rooms. The rooms are meant as an alternative to the classroom and will function as resource centres in science subjects for local schools.
“The problem for many schools is to raise enough funding for expensive science equipment,” says Olav Gjølgali, a science teacher attached to the Newton energy room project. “This room has lots of equipment, and the pupils have an opportunity to explore energy-related subjects in depth. We hope that this stay will give the pupils a desire to learn more – that it ignites a spark,” Mr Gjølgali says.
In the Newton Energy Room, the pupils get to see and test how things work for themselves.
(Photo: Helga Hovland)
Cheers are heard from the laboratory. A light bulb has been lit.
“We made electricity!” says Ingrid Georgsen. “We lit a fuel tablet and filled the steam engine with water. This generator transfers the energy that was formed by the pressure to the light bulb,” Ingrid says, while pointing to the different parts of the steam engine.
Her classmate Pernille Folgerø thinks it is much easier to understand how things work when you get to try it yourself.
“And even if we don’t succeed, we still learn something. Because then we have to figure out why it didn’t work and adjust something to get it right,” she explains.