STEM campus opening: 'First class STEM education for the next generation'
An £8 million science, technology, engineering and maths innovation campus has officially opened.
A plaque was unveiled by Doug Field, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, at the new state of the art STEM campus, which is part of West Suffolk College and based in Western Way.
The campus has been developed to train the creators, programmers and innovators of tomorrow from GCSE level through to degrees.
The 4,300 square metre new teaching facility comprises two seminar rooms, 10 classrooms, six laboratories, learning hubs, social spaces and a business centre.
The event opened on Friday with a speech from Nikos Savvas, chief executive.
He said: “We live in one of the most thriving communities in Britain, if not the world.
“How do we create something for the region that looks not just for what we need to do now but what we need in the next 10 years?
“In order to do that we need to start with the primary schools. If we manage to capture the imagination of girls in primary schools, then we’ve already doubled the workforce.
“The way we have set it up is so that the schools don’t have to pay a penny. Last year we helped more than 5,500 kids in primary schools.”
Doug Field added: “We have a skills gap.”
“We cannot grow if we do not have the people and capacity to do so. That is our pledge to this region – £7 million later, we have an invaluable asset to this region.
“So, what do we think it’s going to deliver? First class education for the next generation. Opportunities for 16 to 18-year-olds to get into higher education.
“It is not all about buildings – we need to inspire and prepare people for the future. That preparation and inspiration is vital, because we know that interactions with employers drives inspiration and growth.”
Following the speeches, attendees were invited to three fully immersive tours.
STEM exhibitions were also held in the large ‘hangar’ space in the centre of the campus, and included contributions from ARM, Autodesk, Britbots, BT, Claas, EDF, Haas, Marshall, Treatt and Vitec.