Future plans to inspire more students and increase range of activities
Over 200 local school pupils have taken part in unique hands-on scientific learning opportunities at Discovery Park since the relaunch of its Community Lab last year. As is clear from the Community Lab January 2020 Impact Report, published today, students and teachers alike have been inspired by the activities, established to encourage children to adopt scientific careers and grow the local STEM1 skills base. The Community Lab at Discovery Park, the thriving science park for ambitious and growing life sciences companies, is a unique collaboration between academia and industry led by Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and Pfizer.
Also involving the STEM Hub and other tenant companies such as York Bioanalytical Solutions, over the past year the Community Lab has run 19 sessions for teachers and students, trained four groups and won an award from the UK Science Park Association. To help local children develop their science capital2 further, plans to include new biology activities and to involve younger children are in development.
Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park said: ‘The Community Lab is part of our commitment to help maintain and grow the local scientific skills base, and this first Impact Report shows the real progress being made. As the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Update, launched last week, says, “No life sciences sector can develop and thrive without the right high-quality skills.” We thank all our partners for their support and work towards building this workforce of the future.’
Sue Chandler, Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services at Kent County Council, said, ‘The Impact Report published today shows just how well the Community Lab is succeeding in its objective to excite and inspire local students about science. It’s great to see this partnership of schools, industry and academia working so effectively together to help build a skilled workforce.’
1 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
2 An individual’s exposure to and knowledge of science