"The A-Lab is a tangible expression of the Making of the Future Partnership Agreement and is a rich resource to be utilised by the Tasmanian community to enhance engagement in learning," Professor Natalie Brown explains.
The collaboration she speaks of is between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government , in association with the Office of the Governor of Tasmania that resulted in the launch of the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment in February 2015.
The A-Lab, located in Elizabeth street, in the University's student apartment complex, has been co-funded, co-designed, and co-resourced by the University and the Department of Education.
Bright, multi-coloured window panels both obscure its interior and provide a playful hint that something unique is happening inside.
Upon entry, the A-Lab is revealed as a blended learning space.
On this particular Friday afternoon, it is hosting the UTAS robotics crew, whose workshop at the Sandy Bay Campus was damaged by the storm that hit Hobart in May.
It is a very different scene from the day before when the Commissioner for Children's and Young People's Consultative Council met here, or two days earlier when artists assembled for ArTelier, a project empowering them to build capacity to work with children and families.
And on the Monday, when teachers gathered for a professional learning initiative – a digital technologies workshop.
“The last few days are indicative of how quickly momentum is developing around the A-Lab,” Professor Brown, who is Director of the Peter Underwood Centre, said.
“It is allowing us to connect and collaborate with other key stakeholders and trial new and creative ways of working that can be scaled up and handed on to advance our vision for young Tasmanians to flourish through the transformative power of learning.
“With the co-location of senior State Government staff, the opportunity created by the A-Lab is being harnessed to achieve curriculum outcomes statewide.
“It is also being utilised by a number of community groups working in the education sphere.”
Photo: Youngsters experience the new creative learning space in the A-Lab.
Authored by Sean Stevenson.