Driving science home in Indonesia
About one-third of Indonesia's 8,500 state high schools, particularly those in remote areas, have no science laboratories. And thousands of private schools also have only poor facilities.
This article describes a government initiative to address this problem: a mobile laboratory staffed by teachers and technicians that is bringing science to Indonesian schools with no facilities of their own. The first mobile laboratory, which cost US$65,000, hit the road in June adorned with a banner declaring 'Science is everywhere'.
The science van can accommodate 40 students, allowing them to conduct experiments and use equipment such as microscopes and thermometers. The staff also hands out teaching modules on biology, chemistry and physics to teachers at the schools they visit. Indonesia's Ministry of National Education hopes one day to have a mobile laboratory in each of its 400 municipalities, but funding remains elusive.