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Monday, 5 February, 2001, 13:45 GMT
Futuristic classrooms in 10m experiment
Space
Pupils in Cornwall will have a "space centre"
A space exploration "mission control" is to be built in a school in Cornwall, as part of a pilot project to develop a classroom of the future.

This 600,000 scheme, which is to be based in Camborne School and Community College and set up in partnership with the National Space and Science Centre, will provide an interactive classroom for teaching the science of space.

Pupils in nearby schools will be wired up to be able to use the space centre's facilities, including remote access to telescopes around the world.

The Schools Minister Jacqui Smith announced the project in Cornwall as part of a 10m pilot scheme to find ways of modernising school design.

Twelve local authorities will take a share of the money, funding a total of 32 school projects, which will use technology and design to re-invent the classroom.

"As we enter the new millennium, it is time to challenge current thinking on educational building design," said the minister.

"We need to look at new ways of helping children to achieve more through developing technologies and create learning environments that are truly stimulating."

Other classroom of the future projects include a 900,000 "eco-centre" in Bournemouth, which will be based in three schools, and will provide remote video links with Scottish glens and the Galapagos Islands for virtual field trips.

In Norfolk, a project is to receive 640,000 to examine ways in which technology can link up small rural schools.

And in Bedfordshire, the Science Museum is to take part in three pilot schemes, which will look at how new technologies can be used to motivate pupils.

This 1.3m project will look at how the interactivity of the classroom can be developed, using not only computers, but the walls, ceilings and floor.

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