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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).


Crawley College unveils plans for state-of-the-art new STEM facility

Crawley College has revealed the exciting first stage in the development of its campus.



The college, which is part of the Chichester College Group (CCG), has unveiled plans to build a multi-million pound facility on the site, at College Road in Crawley, which will put the college at the cutting edge of training delivery in a whole range of subjects.

The new building will be home to a suite of modern teaching and interactive spaces, which will be used to integrate the use of technology and STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) in to all subjects taught across Crawley College.

Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of CCG, said:

“We are very excited to be able to share our plans for the new STEM facility here at Crawley College.

“Working with employers, the council and the community, we recognise how important it is to invest in STEM and this new facility will give the college a specialist building to train students in advanced technologies, in turn ensuring that local people are able to fill local jobs in these industries.

“This is part of our long-term commitment to Crawley College and investing in the modernisation of our facilities for the benefit of young people in the local area.

“This will also be a centre that will be accessible to local schools, employers and the wider community – it will be a STEM centre that is not just for Crawley College, but for Crawley.”

The facility, which has received funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, will house cutting edge technology, including virtual and mixed reality technology.

West Sussex-based contractors W Stirland Ltd will be managing the project, which was approved at Crawley Borough Council’s planning meeting on Monday 18 November.

Shaun Stirland, Managing Director at W Stirland, said:

“We are really pleased to be working with the Chichester College Group on this exciting new development.”

Julie Kapsalis, Managing Director at CCG, added:

“We are aiming to address skills shortages in the engineering, construction and IT industries, providing high quality, employer-led training in industry-standard facilities.

“This in turn will help to drive career aspirations, enabling young people to gain the support and training they need to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in these industries.

“The new STEM facility will enhance the way we teach and introduce a whole new way of learning, which is more interactive, creative and engaging and will enable us to develop new courses to train the future workforce in a wide range of specialisms.

“This centre will also integrate STEM technology into all subjects, providing a different approach to teaching and training.”

Building work is due to begin in January 2020, and the building is set to open to students in January 2021.

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