Development and regeneration in Barking and Dagenham

Countdown star opens new college centre

By Jim Dunton - Wed 30 October 2013, 3:22 pm

Barking & Dagenham College's state-of-the-art new science, technology, engineering and maths centre has been officially opened by TV star Carol Vorderman.

The Gazelle STEM Centre is one of only two of its kind in the country, and features purpose-built creative space that can cater for up to 30 students at a time.

As well as allowing students to develop their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills in a way that is linked to their college studies, the centre will also run activity days for students and pupils at local schools that aim to bring STEM careers, such as crime-scene investigation, alive.

At this month’s opening, maths evangelist and former Countdown mainstay Vordeman got to try a range of crime-scene investigation technology, along with students.

College principal and chief executive officer Cathy Walsh said the new centre would help deliver a new generation of STEM-qualified workers for the borough‘s future.

“This is an exciting time for our area of east London, and its role in the development of the STEM economy, especially with the plans for the development of the Sanofi-Aventis site and its potential for attracting more STEM industries, and consequently more STEM jobs,” she said.

“The mayor of London is prioritising the development of more STEM-related careers for our capital, which means our young people need the right skills and expertise so they can benefit from these new work opportunities.

“It’s why Barking & Dagenham College has built the only Gazelle STEM Centre within the M25.”

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