Leading independent school, Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, in Elstree, has invested £11million in a new state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) building to boost its outstanding IT and science provision.
Having seen an steady increase in the number of girls choosing science A Levels, the school celebrated the opening of its new purpose-built facility this week with a special virtual event attended by the whole school, alongside headline speaker, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, presenter of BBC 4’s The Sky at Night.
She is passionate about diversity in science and delivered an inspiring lecture entitled: Reaching for the stars – when will we make it out there?
With a sleek and contemporary style, the building contains 15 labs and a large multi-purpose space for housing lectures and experimental demonstrations.
The enhanced facilities have also increased the school’s capacity to host longer-term STEM projects in Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as the creation and development of robots.
Nicola Percy, director of STEM at Habs’ Girls School, explained: “We have invested in additional robotics kits to increase the number of students that are able to participate in these projects. We have also purchased extra science equipment so that one of our labs can now be used for community outreach work with our partnership primary schools, which is something we are very passionate about.”
The layout and interior of the building has been carefully designed, allowing plenty of natural light to provide an exceptional workspace environment and to give students the space to fully explore their ideas.
Ms Percy added: “Real-world problems are complex and inherently multidisciplinary. The new STEM space provides an area where students can explore creative problem solving in a collaborative environment and also work on long term projects such as VEX Robotics, F1 in Schools and GoForSET.”
The new STEM building would not have been possible without the generous bequest of Dr Luena Hatcher, class of 1944 alumna, who has devoted her life to medicine and to helping people in need of special care.
Rose Hardy, headmistress at Habs’ Girls School, concluded: “This is an exciting and historic moment for our school and none of it would have been possible without the generosity of Dr Luena Hatcher to whom we are eternally grateful. Our thanks also go to Dr Pocock for delivering a motivational and truly thought-provoking speech.
“It is fantastic to see more girls choosing to study sciences at a higher level and our new STEM building will give them and future generations the scope and the facilities they need to excel in their endeavours.”