Christine Antorini, a former Danish Minister of Education, has been appointed as Director of LIFE, a new major not-for-profit science learning centre funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
The goal of LIFE is to raise the standard of teaching of the natural sciences for children and adolescents in Denmark’s primary and secondary schools. The initiative will supplement regular teaching.
A grant of DKK 123 million from the Foundation will cover the launch of the centre in its first 2 years. Thereafter, the intention is to award grants of up to nearly DKK 1.6 billion to fund the centre’s activities for the following 10 years and for LIFE to be established as an independent foundation once the establishment phase is complete.
“Together with schools, LIFE will inspire authentic and experimental science teaching to the widest extent possible. A willingness to be amazed, the pleasure of creating and curiosity are pivotal for long-term efforts to strengthen STEM subjects and education in the natural sciences,” says Christine Antorini.
The LIFE learning centre will comprise a digital platform that includes virtual laboratories, game and teaching modules, a building serving as a learning centre in Lyngby and mobile laboratories designed in specially constructed semi-trailers that will travel to schools throughout Denmark. Once the initiative is fully operational, about 100,000 children and adolescents will benefit from the mobile laboratory visits or visits to the learning centre in Lyngby each year. LIFE also hopes that about 500,000 students will take its digital learning courses each year.
Birgitte Nauntofte, CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: “I am incredibly pleased that Christine Antorini has agreed to take on the important role of leading the development of LIFE. Her comprehensive knowledge and fascination with teaching and learning make her the ideal match for this job.”
Christine Antorini has long served as a member of the Folketing (parliament) for the Social Democratic Party. From 2011 to 2015, she was Minister of Education in the governments of Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Since she was re-elected to the Folketing in 2015, her roles have included chairing the Education and Research Committee of the Folketing.
“I have enjoyed my time as a politician immensely, playing my part in shaping Denmark’s policy on education and research. Now I have the opportunity to put into practice my knowledge and experience from the world of education. LIFE will make an important contribution to helping children and adolescents in Denmark become engaged in learning about the natural sciences. I am incredibly pleased to be involved with this together with the team of education consultants and researchers who will be part of LIFE,” says Christine Antorini.
1) to set new standards for application-oriented science education in Denmark by offering courses that are relevant to students and teachers and that include experiments based on the authentic challenges companies and researchers face;
2) to ensure that enough talented adolescents choose a science education and career, in which Denmark has a strong foothold and great potential; and
3) to ensure that future generations acquire the knowledge they need to be able to relate critically and creatively to the opportunities associated with the rapid acceleration of scientific and technological development.
LIFE is an acronym for Learn, Inspire, Fascinate and Engage. Read more about LIFE here: www.life.dk
Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected].