Durlston Court Preparatory School has officially opened their £250,000 Design and Technology Centre, to help more pupils study and become familiar with STEM subjects.
The light and spacious centre was officially opened by Professor Maggs, Executive Dean at The Faculty of Science & Technology at Bournemouth University. After the official cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the plaque, guests were invited inside the centre to try out some of the activities and see the pupils in action.
· A sewing machine driving test – adults tested their sewing accuracy
· Soldering and programming circuits using ‘Pick Axe’
· Laser printing personalised key rings
· Using the 3D printers to create chain links
· 3D design using Tinkercad
Other IT and STEM activities included Coding, Robotics, Sound and Video mixing.
Inside the centre, 3D printers, laser cutters and software help students get to grips with science, technology, engineering and maths subjects. In addition, children will be able to make fabric components using the laser cutter to help with the textiles curriculum.
Durlston Court hopes this new centre will help to redress the gender imbalance in STEM industries. Faye Lawrence, Head of Design and Technology, and Jane Homewood, Director of Studies, talked about how they have developed their careers in this subject area to make it exciting and interesting for girls as well as boys.
Faye said: “Durlston Court is committed to preparing pupils for their future and the new facility, with its emphasis on industrial process, will equip pupils for their future Design and Technology education at senior level. It is vital we ensure our pupils are equipped to participate in the workforce in an era of rapid technological change. Our young people need to study science and technology for a brighter future.”
Philip Greenish, the chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering said in a recent letter to the Financial Times: “We need about 1.25m science, engineering and technology professionals and technicians by 2020 including a high proportion of engineers, to support the UK’s economic recovery.”