Earth Lab: our new skills and learning building
Beginning construction later this year, Earth Lab, our new skills and learning building, will transform the educational facilities and opportunities available at Earth Trust.
Earth Trust’s educational opportunities have always been underpinned by our outdoor classrooms: the incredible natural green spaces we care for. However, 2019 will be an exciting time for Earth Trust, as we undertake a project to ensure our indoor learning facilities are every bit as interactive, inspiring and educational, as the outdoor green spaces which support our fantastic learning activities.
At the moment children, and adults start their learning journey with Earth Trust, in an indoor space designed as a museum. It is windowless and dark, with no views or direct access to outside space, offering limited inspiration and no interaction for those who have come to us to learn; a stark contrast to our outdoor classrooms! Furthermore, our current facilities only hold one school group at a time, thereby significantly limiting the number of schools we can welcome each week.
Heart of the Earth Trust Centre
The ground has now been prepared following the archaeological dig in October last year and over the course of 2019, Earth Lab will begin to take shape.
Earth Lab will be at the heart of the Earth Trust Centre, providing a stimulating, interactive and inspirational education space. It will be designed in sympathy with the surrounding landscape, augmenting the natural beauty of our stunning site and providing a seamless flow from indoor to outdoor learning areas. Our vision is for classrooms which are ‘alive’, perhaps including see-through pipes and a living plant wall to provide hands-on immersive experiences of ecosystems, which fully engage our learners with the environment around them. We will be able to expand what people of all ages can learn about and discover; from natural sciences, history and ecosystems to STEM.
Supporting our organisational objective to engage people, Earth Lab will have learning opportunities built into the fabric of the structure itself. The aim is to use the building as a demonstration; to show sustainability in action through the materials and construction methods used. Earth Trust will be using sustainable materials, techniques and technology that are available to the mass-market, or close to market, demonstrating that every sustainability gain achieved within this building will be possible and accessible for our visitors themselves, should they be inspired to follow Earth Trust’s example.
Earth Trust works to engage people of all ages with our mission to help them understand their environment and their role in caring for it. As such this new learning space will be accessed by people of all ages. As well as welcoming school groups during the week, it will also host adults attending skills courses during the evenings and weekends, families enjoying our festivals and birthday party groups.
Crucially, Earth Lab will double Earth School’s educational capacity with two flexible classroom learning spaces. This increase in capacity will enable us to pursue two of our major organisational objectives: engaging more people than ever before with our exciting range of learning opportunities; and importantly, safeguarding the Trust’s financial sustainability.
By providing a dedicated learning facility, which is inspirational and fit for purpose, Earth Lab will have a significant impact on Earth Trust and our work. We are now fundraising to bring this building to life, if you would like to help bring this landmark project to fruition, please do get in touch [email protected].