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Media contact: Elise Pitt, Media & PR Officer, UOW, +61 2 4221 3079, +61 422 959 953,


A brand new $35 million state-of-art space that will revolutionise the way sciences are taught at UOW has been officially opened by Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb AC.

The three-level, 7,000 square metre Sciences Teaching Facility, officially opened on 5 May, allows for the flexible delivery of a number of laboratory classes from biology, chemistry and earth and environmental sciences.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE said the Facility could accommodate 460 students concurrently with individual class sizes of up to 240 students thanks to the large purpose-built laboratories and state-of-the-art AV systems.

“The Sciences Teaching Facility has been designed to enhance the learning experience. Students will use everyday technology such as mobile touchscreen devices to interact with their teachers and fellow students – even the digital microscopes will be networked.”

“Using a flipped classroom concept, the space will also see students interacting with COWs (Computers on Wheels) in collaborative classrooms,” Professor Wellings said.

The modern laboratories will also allow for the possibility for students to plug-in and complete compulsory practical activities at a time that suits them.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, Professor Alison Jones, said the Facility would expose students to industry standard equipment and methodologies from the first year of their degree.

“For us all to prosper and be well, Australia, and the world, needs scientists. This exciting and innovative new science and teaching facility, on this beautiful campus, provides a venue for first-class university teaching and inspiration in the sciences for students.”

Sciences teaching facility launch

“It is equally a place to engage with future young scientists while they are at school and a ‘place to call home’ for globally talented academic staff at universities. UOW is committed to science teaching and research that supports our region and the world.”

Professor Jones added that UOW has a reputation of producing science graduates with superior practical abilities, which are highly sought after by employers, and the new facility would lift these skills even more.

The Facility, which is adjacent to the SMART Infrastructure Facility and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and linked to the Sciences Building, will be one of the first in the world to receive the latest in digital wireless microscope technology from renowned scientific technology supplier Leica.

It also features flexible learning spaces where tables can easily be folded up and wheeled around the room to facilitate collaboration and large and colourful informal learning spaces that are flooded in natural light and overlook the greenery of the University’s sporting ovals.

Earth and Environmental Sciences classes started in the ground floor collaborative teaching spaces in April. Classes in the upstairs laboratories will start in July with the commencement of spring semester.


  • Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb at the opening of UOW's Sciences Teaching Facility.

  • Professor Ian Chubb AC inspecting the new facilities.

  • UOW's new Sciences Teaching Facility was opened in May 2015.