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Crawley students celebrated for science achievements as STEMfest launches

Local students, teachers and Manor Royal employers officially launched the eighth Crawley STEMfest on Tuesday, with an evening of learning about the latest technological innovations mixed with some silly science-based comedy!



Photo of speakers attached: L-R: Mike Harris Harwoods Jaguar Land Rover, Paula Aldridge Gatwick Airport Limited, Molly Morgan Ifield Community College, Simon Watt, Josh Skiggs Ifield Community College, Steve Sawyer Manor Royal BID

The achievements of young scientists and engineers were celebrated. Students from Crawley College, Ifield Community College, Oriel High School and St Wilfrid’s Catholic School displayed projects they

have been working on in school, including work on a biodegradable plastic that could have serious benefits to the environment. Josh Skiggs and Molly Morgan from Ifield Community College spoke about the solar-powered car they are helping build. They will be taking this to France and Australia later in the year, to race against other schools from across the world.

The keynote address was from Abhi Chacko, Head of IT Commercial and Innovation at Gatwick Airport Limited. Guests learned about future innovations at Gatwick, including robots that can park your car! The event was hosted at Harwoods Jaguar Land Rover and guests were also treated to the latest innovations in car manufacturing with a tour of the workshop and show room.

The evening ended with a big laugh as comedian, science presenter and biologist Simon Watt, took guests through a whirlwind comedic journey, showing us why the blobfish deserves more praise than the cute panda and his own journey from sandwich artist to science comedian.

Crawley STEMfest officially launched for 2019 on 2nd April and will host a series of interactive workshops, shows, demonstrations and other activities in schools from now through to July. STEM in the Park, the large family event, takes place on Saturday 18th May in Memorial Gardens and at Crawley College.

The 2019 festival culminates with the Big Bang Fair South East on 26th and 27th June, when hundreds of businesses and other organisations will provide a wide range of activities for an estimated 12,000 students and their teachers from across the region.

Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang Fair South East are organised by STEM Sussex, the outreach department of the University of Brighton, in partnership with Crawley Borough Council and Crawley College. Headline sponsors are Gatwick Airport Ltd, while the Crawley STEMfest launch event was sponsored by Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID).


New primary school just outside Crawley nears completion

Last week, Crest Nicholson celebrated a significant construction milestone as the roof of its brand-new Kilnwood Vale Primary School was completed.



Crest Nicholson partnered with leading education contractor Willmott Dixon to build the school in the Faygate community at Horsham, West Sussex. Due to open ahead of the new school year in September, the state-of-the-art school will provide places for more than 420 new pupils across two forms as well as a nursery class.

The milestone, also known as a ‘topping out’ ceremony, was celebrated by the partners with final works now underway to ensure completion by the Summer. Upon completion, Kilnwood Vale Primary School will be home to more than 2.36 hectares of open space including a football pitch, multi-use game areas and extensive playing fields. The school will also feature a dedicated wildlife area, including a stunning pond and wild flower meadow for students to enjoy learning and leisure activities.

The school is set back from the road, offering easy drop-off access and parking, giving parents in Kilnwood Vale peace of mind that their children’s safety has been carefully planned for. Both the school and associated nursery are designed with Kilnwood Vale’s growing community in mind, with plans set out to expand to three classes per year group as more people move to the area.

School operator GLF Schools, which was founded in 2012 and now looks after more than 30 primary and secondary schools, has played a key role in the design of the school. GLF Schools has worked closely with teachers to incorporate their preferences for classroom layouts to create the best possible learning environment for Kilnwood Vale pupils.

Managing Director of Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects, Andrew Dobson, commented: “We are proud of the progress which has been made so far and thrilled to give pupils a new place to learn this September. We’re delighted to deliver our vision for Kilnwood Vale, following our core garden village principles: considering social, environmental and economic factors. We want to show residents that we’re not just building houses but creating a sustainable and thriving community legacy.

“This year marks the five-year anniversary of when our first residents joined the Kilnwood Vale community. During that time, Kilnwood Vale has grown into one of West Sussex’s fastest growing communities, with over 600 people now calling the development home. We’re looking forward to sharing this key part of our commitment to offer local family’s access to the best amenities.”

Willmott Dixon’s spokesperson for the ceremony Managing Director in South London, South East, Roger Forsdyke, said: “Work on the new school in Kilnwood Vale is progressing well. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Crest Nicholson to deliver this new facility, which will leave a legacy by providing much needed education places to this already thriving community.”  

GLF Schools spokesperson, CEO Jon Chaloner, added: “We are delighted to be opening our third school in West Sussex when Kilnwood Vale Primary School opens in September. Each school has its own distinct character and culture which is respectful of the community it serves, and the Kilnwood Vale community will have these beautiful new buildings within which the school will undoubtedly flourish.

“Kilnwood Vale’s pupils will benefit from an inclusive ethos, excellent teaching and
a broad and balanced curriculum underpinned by strong leadership.”

Contemporary two and three-bedroom homes at Kilnwood Vale are available from £274,950, with many available using the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. For more information, visit the on-site Sales & Marketing Suite which is open on weekdays between 10am and 5pm, from 10am to 7pm on Thursday and between 10.30am and 5.30pm on weekends. Alternatively, call 01293 852501, or visit

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