Interactive Boeing-backed mobile aviation classroom takes flight at DCUBlathnaid O’Deaon May 6, 2022 at 10:52 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic


An aviation-themed mobile STEM classroom has been installed in Dublin City University (DCU) with the aim of allowing students to experience science in a more interactive way.

The Mobile Newton Room has three professional flight simulator panels. The classroom’s arrival at DCU marks the first time the concept has come to Ireland. Mobile Newton Rooms are made up of two expandable containers designed to fit on a ship, train, or truck. The containers can be set up anywhere in the world to engage with local partners and teachers.

The concept was first devised in 2003 by Norwegian educational group First Scandinavia, after it spotted a gap in the market for hands-on educational experiences for young people learning about STEM. First Scandinavia created the first permanent Newton Rooms in Norway in 2007.

The project grew quickly and today there are nearly 50 Newton Rooms installed in various schools around Europe, including Norway, Scotland, Poland, Spain and Denmark. In 2018, First Scandinavia teamed up with aerospace giant Boeing to set up an aviation-themed Newton network across Europe, benefiting thousands of students in places like France, Germany, Italy and Belgium.

Boeing invested €4.5m in the project. The first Newton Flight Academy outside of Norway opened this spring in Glasgow as part of Boeing’s investment.

“International experience has shown the Boeing-backed Newton Room to be an extraordinarily engaging STEM learning experience for students, and DCU is excited to bring it to Ireland,” said president of DCU, Prof Daire Keogh.

As part of the programme, members of the Mobile Newton Rooms team have trained DCU students from courses in aviation, science education and physics to deliver modules for Transition Year students from all over the country throughout the next three weeks.

Students will take modules on everything from mathematical concepts in an aviation setting to coding and renewable energy. Slots for the Mobile Newton Room at DCU are now filled. However, the university hopes this is the first step in getting a permanent Newton Room for the first time in Ireland.

The Mobile Newton Room was launched on the campus by Minister for Education Norma Foley on 4 May.

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