Natural Sciences 2.0: DHPS’ state-of-the-art learning and teaching environment

Contemporary learning and teaching methods involve more than face-to-face lessons and browsing through books: It is about group work, interactive and flexible study methods, use of media and participation.
The Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS), one of the 140 German schools abroad worldwide, has spared no expense or effort in renovating and revamping its science facilities to implement precisely this goal:
The physics, chemistry and biology labs shine in new splendour and offer the approximately 1000 learners and teachers at DHPS a state-of-the-art learning and teaching environment.

Design meets efficiency
The DHPS science rooms now boast flexible furniture that replaces conservative table arrangements with mobile units that can be expanded as needed, providing even more space for group work and interactive experiments. Besides the health benefits of the ergonomic chairs, the furnishings are also a feast for the eyes: Its fresh apple-green look offers teachers and learners a motivating and contemporary learning ambience.

Flexible laboratories
As in all other subjects, the use of media is part of the modern teaching of scientific content. Smartboards and microscopes with integrated HD streaming cameras that enable learners to follow what is happening under the magnifying glass were already part of the standard equipment in the past. Now, so-called media wings - ceiling systems that supply the learners' workstations with electricity, water, gas, light and internet access - optimise the experimental possibilities in the biology and chemistry rooms. In the physics rooms, fold-out power lifts provide electricity, Internet and low-voltage connections for interactive experiments.

Safety first
Experimenting with electricity and gas involves risks and must, of course, only be carried out under the supervision of a qualified teacher. The teacher can monitor the supply via the ceiling systems from the control centre in each of the science rooms.
In addition, the safety of the learners is ensured by a special safety splash guard that can be extended from the teacher's desk.
Further protection is provided by the laboratory cabinet in the chemistry rooms: Experiments can be carried out behind the safety screen and harmful substances and vapours are eliminated immediately.

Interaction in a scientific setting
The construction phase for the internally financed project lasted from October 2020 to February 2021. The ideas and concept were developed by representatives of the natural science departments and the DHPS administration, an international laboratory supplier based in Germany provided the furnishings and equipment, and the construction work was carried out exclusively by and in cooperation with Namibian companies.
As a German-Namibian school of encounter, the DHPS is particularly pleased about the contribution to improving education in the country: The former laboratory equipment and functional furniture was donated to the Namibian Ministry of Education for use in governmental educational institutions throughout the country. Future cooperation with universities, alumni and scientists are envisaged, underlining the project as an investment in Namibia's future - not only with regard to the optimal preparation of DHPS alumni for their professional careers, but also to the interaction of the organisations in the name of sciences.

The festive inauguration ceremony with invited guests of honour took place on 31 March 2021.


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