TV Science Presenter Opens new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths building at Cirencester College)

Friday October 21st marked an important date in the history of Cirencester Sixth Form College, as they celebrated 25 years of providing outstanding post 16 education for Cirencester and the wider community and the opening of the newest addition to the College’s facilities.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) building houses research standard labs, a computer engineering suite and an art and design centre, alongside spacious classrooms for the wider STEM choices such as Earth Science and Psychology.  The project, costing £2.8 million, was jointly funded by the GFirst’s “Gloucestershire Growth Deal”, the Education Funding Agency and the College.  Kim Clifford, Executive Principal, welcomed funders, governors, employers, colleagues from education and the community. Staff, students and pupils from Cirencester and Swindon schools also took the opportunity to join the College’s students at this memorable event.

David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP commented: “I’m pleased to see our Growth Deal funding providing such excellent facilities for students in the county. To work towards closing the skills gap, it is essential that students have access to the best facilities they can, and that education providers are creating clear progression routes into industry, enabling employers to forge partnerships with schools, colleges and universities.

The Gloucestershire STEM strategy aims to align education capability with sector industrial growth and demand, providing the facilities and resources needed to create the next generation of workforce.”

Executive Principal of Cirencester College, Kim Clifford, said: “We are extremely proud of the new STEM building which gives us exciting opportunities to expand our already excellent track record in STEM subjects.  The college’s STEM Strategy sets out to be connected, contextualised and contemporary; serving the local priorities and needs of employers and learners by providing provision and solutions aligned to support the local economies and communities.

It is so fitting that this coincides with the 25th anniversary of the opening of the College in 1991.  An anniversary of the provision of specialist but inclusive sixth form education for the young people of this area and which has resulted in so many of them going on to highly successful futures, very often in scientific related careers.”

Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy said:

“This government has invested over half a million pounds to help Cirencester College build world-class facilities across science, technology, engineering and maths.

“I’d urge students from Gloucestershire and the surrounding areas to make the most of the excellent training and employment opportunities it provides.”

After officially opening of the new building, TV Science presenter and broadcaster Dallas Campbell, delivered an entertaining and amusing guest lecture in the Sundial Theatre, aptly named ‘Dallas in Wonderland, Adventures in Science”.  He took his audience on a world-wide journey to the very top of the world’s tallest building, not for those with a fear of heights, then to the sewers of Mexico and finally to experience the blast off of a Soyuz rocket at close range, which rocked the College’s theatre sound system.  After engaging scientists and non-scientists alike, Dallas mingled with the 200 guests answering the many questions his talk hadinspired.

Dallas also presented Marcus Jones with STEM’S highest, discretionary accolade, ‘The Platinum Award.’  This honours Marcus’s exceptional participation and contribution as a STEM student and ambassador at the College before he left for university in the summer of 2016.  Marcus is now studying Astrophysics at the University of Exeter.

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