Building refurbishment to provide a formal teaching laboratory and an adjacent learning area for geology.
The Mawson Building houses a branch of the Earth and Environmental Sciences School at the University of Adelaide North Terrace Campus. The project delivers a refurbishment of a 1950s building with the aim of enhancing the experience of first-year geology students. It involves the transformation of a series of existing office, classroom and laboratory space into a 100-seat formal undergraduate teaching laboratory and an adjacent informal learning area. The project is the result of extensive stakeholder consultation, through a series of workshops and site visits to similar flexible learning spaces recently developed in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Both the laboratory and informal learning spaces incorporate a wide range of technologies to enable a variety of teaching and learning styles. The formal teaching lab includes electronic teamboards, PCs on each table for student collaborative work, and a control system to allow each PC screen to be projected onto the teamboards and/or a large dual projection screen at one end of the room. The dual-screen format is designed to maximise the size and clarity of maps and geological images projected from Google Earth. Technologies in the informal learning spaces include Wi-Fi access, PCs, power and data for laptop use, and LCD screens where students can share information and work collaboratively.
Both spaces are enlivened by visual graphics and exhibition-style displays which celebrate the rich history of the geology faculty and the teaching of geology within the Mawson Laboratories building.