Warrington school opens first STEM centre of its kind during British Science Week

Beamont Collegiate Academy officially opened the doors to its STEM Centre and FabLab on March 10 as part of its British Science Week (6-15 March) celebrations – and is set to attract budding scientists from across the North West.

The centre, sponsored by water company United Utilities, is the only school in the UK to have a FabLab and STEM centre that is also open to the public, businesses and pupils across the region including primary, secondary, college and teacher training students.

It will be home to a range of industry leading equipment, including large 3D printers, lasercutters, robotics, drone technology and virtual reality tech, as well as traditional craft tools. Businesses including Sellafield, Arla Dairies and Bentley Motors have already used the centre.

As part of its support for the initiative, United Utilities will be hosting a hands-on STEM day at the centre for 50 North West primary schools. They will have the opportunity to use drone technology, robotics and 3D printing, or use more traditional hand tools to create things like insect houses for their school grounds.

The centre was officially opened by Louise Beardmore, customer services and people director at United Utilities. She said: “At United Utilities we are passionate about inspiring future generations to consider a career in STEM as there are so many opportunities in this sector for the next generation.

“It’s for this reason we are delighted to be involved with this fantastic centre, which will enable students from not just Warrington but across the North West to gain first-hand experience of using hi-tech equipment and learn more about STEM in a fun and engaging way.”

Chris Hillidge, Director of STEM at the academy, said: “The centre is a great asset to our academy, the students have loved being hands-on and using the equipment. The standard of the facility is so high, it provides real-life experience of what it would be like to work in the STEM industry.”

If you are a school, college, or business and would like to use the STEM centre, please contact its team through the website: http://fablab.warrington.ac.uk/