There was a topping out at the Copernican Revolution Workshop. Thus, the investment has passed the halfway point and is entering a new one. – Nicolaus Copernicus placed the sun in the center of his universe, we want to place learners in the center of the educational universe – said the director of the Copernicus Science Center about the new research and development center.
– The Copernicus Science Center is popular and we wanted to go a step further. We wanted to create a space where scientists would be able to carry out specific research and then put it into practice – also for the city – said the Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski during the topping out ceremony – explaining why the city hall together with the self-government of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship co-finances the investment of Pracownia Przewrotu Copernican.
He noted that the building is modern, saves energy, has great acoustics and a lot of light. – Such buildings make Warsaw change for the better – he said.
CKN Director: We want to place learners at the center of the educational universe
– Nicolaus Copernicus placed the sun in the center of his universe, we want to place learners in the center of the educational universe in the Copernican Revolution Studio. Not the core curriculum, not the teacher’s card or beautiful and modern buildings, but learners, because we are creating this center for them, said Robert Firmhofer, director of the Copernicus Science Center (CNK).
He explained that it will be a large research and development laboratory, interdisciplinary, in which social sciences will combine with engineering sciences and new technologies: – All this to know more about how learners learn, how we can support them in this process of their own discovering the world and building your own competences and in order to create new solutions and products that will power both the education system and hit the market. Because this is the idea behind this venture that products will also be developed here in cooperation with commercial partners that can be commercialized.
Firmhofer also pointed out that the building was designed with the use of modern BIM technology (Building Information Modeling), which enables constant and ongoing access to information about the project, its schedule and costs. – Paradoxically, modern technologies do not have to cost more. Polish studios rarely work in this technology, so it raises the design costs a little at the beginning. In BIM technology, real data is entered into a special system every day – first at the project level and then at the execution level. And this allows you to reduce costs already at the construction stage. It also allows you to shorten the investment time and protects against collisions – he said.
Laboratories, recording studio, construction workshop
The Copernican Revolution Workshop will become another element of the Copernicus Science Center building complex, currently consisting of the main building of the Copernicus Science Center, Planetarium and Pavilion 512. The whole is located in the immediate vicinity of the Vistula, riverside boulevards and the entrance to the Świętokrzyski Bridge.
The studio will include laboratories equipped with equipment for conducting biological, chemical, physical and mechatronic classes, as well as a professional recording studio. There will also be a construction workshop with tools for designing and implementing engineering challenges. The space will be adapted to testing the class formats in school conditions and similar to those in which scientists work. Venetian mirrors, behavioral analysis equipment and recording devices are to allow for advanced research. The new building will also house an office space and a showroom where the research results will be presented.
When asked by the Polish Press Agency, Firmhofer, what will differ the Copernican Revolution Workshop (PPK) from the main building of the Copernicus Science Center, replied: – It will not be something completely different. We want to build on what we have already managed to do and it seems we can. We know how to prototype, create and build exhibits and we want to develop these competences.
The director also pointed to the problem with access to space, which has plagued the institution in recent years. – So far, we have not had a space to invite partners and researchers. We have no way of experimenting in such an almost real world – in the context of a school classroom or family room. And we will have exactly such spaces in the Copernican Revolution Workshop – explained Firmhofer. He also emphasized that the idea of the project is open to academic and business partnerships.
Research and development space
The CSC authorities assume that the building of the Copernican Revolution Workshop will, as a rule, not be open to visitors. “It will be a research and development space, but parts of this space will be open to, for example, FabLab classes for schools,” Firmhofer said.
The new investment will increase the financing possibilities of the Copernicus Science Center thanks to cooperation with business. – Like any project, this one also has its cost and revenue side. These sides need to balance us. For now, it seems that we have an idea how to balance it, because, of course, maintaining this activity will cost money, said Firmhofer and added: – We want to be able to finance this activity from various sources of income – sponsorship, commercialization of solutions and research grants.
The total cost of construction and investment works is over PLN 82 million. The investment is co-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) in the amount of PLN 16 765 860.42 (net) and subsidies from the budget of the City of Warsaw in the amount of almost PLN 27.7 million (net). The remaining funds are the own contribution of the Science Center.
Main photo source: Marcin Obara, PAP