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New STEM Centre launched to inspire young people

A brand new centre has been officially opened at Royal Leamington Spa College to inspire young people in the vital STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

The centre has been funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and was officially opened by CWLEP board member and CEO of Leamington-based technology group The Emerald Group, Sarah Windrum. Staff and students from the college showcased the range of technology at the event, including:

• Reaction Wall – to test student (and teacher) reaction times as part of investigations into fitness, health and sport
• Nao Robots – can be programmed to perform a number of tasks including dance routines, face recognition, movement, reciting poems and scripts
• Infrared Spectrometer – used to analyse chemical evidence at crime scenes or other locations as well as the composition of various substances
• Virtual Reality Technology – software and goggles to explore various virtual worlds and simulations
• Engineering technology including 3D printer, pneumatics trainer and self-assembly robots
• Dual Projection Facility – for large scale demonstrations of computer games and other interactive screen based projects

The centre is designed to be used by pupils from local primary and secondary schools, as well as students at WCG.

Angela Joyce, Group Principal and CEO of WCG, said: “We are delighted to officially launch the new STEM centre at Royal Leamington Spa College. Our vision is to support local and regional schools in getting young people excited about science, technology, engineering and maths, so thanks to the funding from the Local Growth Fund, we can make this a reality.

“By capturing their attention early, we can spark their interest in these vital subjects, guide them towards suitable qualifications and help to secure the talent that our country and region needs for the future.

“We want to work with schools to provide activities that directly enrich and support their teaching for the benefit of all our local young people.”

Sarah Windrum, CWLEP board director and CEO of Leamington business The Emerald Group, said: “Encouraging the next generation of young people to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is really important and this fantastic facility is certain to be inspiring.

“The Local Growth Fund has many aims including improving skills and talent and the STEM Centre will provide a range of exciting ways of learning for students of all ages in Coventry and Warwickshire to develop a love of STEM subjects which they will hopefully pursue as future careers.”

For teachers and schools interested in using the STEM Centre, please email stem@warwickshire.ac.uk.

Royal Leamington Spa College offers a wide range of courses in STEM-related subjects. For more information, go to www.wcg.ac.uk.