Jisc RSC London at the launch of Barking & Dagenham College’s STEM Centre

flower arrangement

Flower arrangement created by a student specially for the opening

Jisc RSC London attended the opening of Barking & Dagenham College’s new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre on 24th October 2013. The opening marked a key milestone in the college’s successful journey. As Cathy Walsh, Principal and Chief Executive Officer pointed out, “it is from places like this that the future workforce and future entrepreneurs will come”.

The ceremony was opened by two students who highlighted the importance of the new centre and the college’s focus on developing the right skills to help learners create their own businesses and enter the job market.

Guest speaker Carol Vorderman MBE, former Channel4 Countdown co-host, highlighted the strong role for women in science and praised the staff at the college for the quality work on display. Some of which was captured by the Jisc RSC London throughout the evening – see videos below.

Other speakers on the night were David Wilson, Deputy Director for Enterprise Policy and Strategy from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and John Biggs, London Assembly Member for City and East.

3D room in the STEM Centre

3D room in the STEM Centre of Barking & Dagenham College

Exemplar use of technology permeated the centre. There were 3D animations showing the composition of blood cells, forensic test kits and a live video link with North Hertfordshire College, the only other Gazelle STEM Centre in England. The centres launched simultaneously to commemorate their status as national leaders of the STEM agenda. A countdown-style animation created by George Lessis, a Level 3 student in Animation, was displayed at the launch.

Key to the college’s strategy is to offer learners opportunities to plan and develop their own businesses. The college’s entrance features a row of small outlets used by students from different subject areas who have successfully bid to lease the shops.


LDD Lecturer, Andrew Duffy shows how his students will be able to order materials online from the LDD source outlet at Barking & Dagenham College.


Marcia Mendoza, STEM Learning Coordinator talks about how the new centre will help prepare future scientists.


Students at the launch – proud and visionary


John Ewens, e-Learning Manager prepares to start the video link with North Hertfordshire College, a sister Gazelle College


Howard Jeffrey, Entrepreneurial Pod Manager talks about some of the new opportunities that the Pod creates for students to develop their own businesses.

The Jisc RSC London team wishes the very best of success to Cathy and her team.