Pictures: Countdown over as Carol Vorderman opens new state-of-the-art college centre in Dagenham
- Credit: Archant
The countdown to a new state-of-the-art technology centre for students is over.
Carol Vorderman, famed for her mathematical agility on TV show Countdown, was on hand to opened the new Gazelle Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre at Barking and Dagenham College yesterday evening.
The centre, based in the college’s new £30million Jubilee building, is the only one if its kind in London and offers students a place to enhance their skills, including those specific to industries such as forensic science.
“I am an example of how careers in subjects such as mathematics, science and engineering aren’t always what you would expect,” said Carol.
“There are so many different career opportunities out there linked to STEM subjects and it’s really important that we encourage young people into these areas and show them all there is to offer.”
She said her own son Cameron, 16, would “absolutely adore something like this,” and added students were often unaware of how much science and maths featured in all careers — even those not typically associated with the subjects.
Students using the centre can now benefit from two investigative labs, which hold specialist equipment such as robotics and 3D printers, as well as a 3D cinema and touchscreen computers in specially designed learning pods.
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Luke Endacott, 19, from Romford, who is studying a BTEC level three in forensic science, said the new space would allow him to gain skills, including taking fingerprints and creating e-fits of suspects, which were foreign to traditional A-level students.
“I’m going on to do a forensic science degree and when I get there I will have done things that other people won’t have,” he said.
College principal Cathy Walsh said the new centre had the “wow factor” adding: “When I went to school and did science it was a passive experience. Now it’s about the students and about an engaging, fun learning environment.”
Barking and Dagenham College, Rush Green, Dagenham, is a member of the Gazelle Colleges Group which aims to transform further education for a changing working world.