Primary schools needed for research project

primary schoolThe School of Architecture at Victoria University, Wellington needs local schools 

to take part in a research project to test architecturally designed solutions for noisy New Zealand classrooms.

The Oticon Foundation in New Zealand has awarded the School of Architecture a research grant to develop and test innovative acoustic solutions in primary schools.

“With the Oticon Foundation backing, we are now looking for primary schools with classrooms with different acoustic features to take part in the research,” Natasha Perkins, lecturer, School of Architecture said.

“We are prototyping acoustic ceiling forms and an acoustic ‘pod’ that will create a quiet zone for students to work in.”

The research will involve testing the acoustic solutions in a range of classroom spaces including open-plan classrooms, those with concrete walls, or concrete piles and with different floor coverings.

Industry support for the programme includes material supplier Autex New Zealand and technical support from Marshall Day Acoustics.

“Research into our classrooms shows most are too noisy and children have difficulty hearing, which affects their ability to learn,” Karen Pullar, secretary to the Oticon Foundation said.

“The foundation hopes that in the long term the research grant to the School of Architecture will help with the development and production of cost-effective acoustic solutions that can be available to schools across the country.”

The research project aims to develop and test acoustic solutions to create classroom spaces that reduce the medical, social and language issues that affect children’s ability to learn.

The acoustic prototypes were expected to be ready to test in term four. Schools interested in finding out more about the project should contact Natasha Perkins at the School of Architecture, email [email protected].

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