ACS Hillingdon International School welcomed students, staff, families and special guest, astronomer Mark Thompson, to the official opening of its £10 million science centre last week.
BBC’s Stargazing Live’s Mark Thompson opened the new centre, giving a fascinating introduction to the beauty of the Universe and highlighting the importance of the practical aspects of science education in inspiring the next generation of scientists. During the evening, guests also took part in practical experiments exploring human spaceflight run by the National Space Academy.
The school’s new science centre includes seven new laboratories and features a specialist binocular microscope and reflecting telescope among its cutting-edge technology, as well as an electrophoresis unit which students can use to investigate and visualise DNA.
Students will also benefit from the centre’s enhanced testing capabilities, such as the high-quality Vernier temperature probes, allowing them to conduct advanced scientific experiments. New flexible furniture has also been used throughout the labs to facilitate student collaboration and project work.
Mr Thompson commented, “It is fabulous to see the new superbly equipped science centre at ACS Hillingdon. The school clearly understands the importance of hands-on science, and I am excited to see how the students will respond to this amazing new facility.”
It is important to encourage children’s curiosity and their inquiring minds from a young age, and stimulate thirst for learning – even if us parents sometimes have to resort to search engines to find answers to difficult questions. – Martin Hall, Head of School, ACS Hillingdon
Dr Neelu Sharma, Head of Science at ACS Hillingdon, added, “This summer several of our graduating students won places to study biochemistry, pre-medicine, biomedical sciences, physics, and medicine at top universities. Our new science centre will ensure we provide the best possible resources for any of our students wanting to pursue an interest in the sciences at any level.”
A recent survey by One Poll, commissioned by ACS to celebrate the opening of the new science centre, recently found that 54 per cent of UK parents are regularly flummoxed by the deep and meaningful scientific questions put to them by their children. On average, a parent will turn to Google six times a month to find the answers.
Martin Hall, Head of School at ACS Hillingdon said, “We know that students passionate about science are a force for positive change in the world. It is important to encourage children’s curiosity and their inquiring minds from a young age, and stimulate thirst for learning – even if us parents sometimes have to resort to search engines to find answers to difficult questions.
“The new state-of-the-art science centre and a wide STEAM curriculum will encourage broader student collaboration and discovery, enabling them to forge future science careers and giving them a clear advantage in the world of work.”
As well as the science centre, a number of other developments have been completed at ACS Hillingdon, including a dedicated High School library, a modern resources centre, and an increase in classroom areas to create more shared learning spaces.
A new Middle School technology lab is also set to open in December with mobile technology at the heart of its design. The tech lab will include projectors and writable walls allowing student work to be shared in real time using mobile devices.
To view the school and new science centre, visit acs-schools.com/opendays.