Mike Serridge of S+B UK Limited was asked to present at the latest ECN (Education Construction Network) breakfast event which took place at The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors HQ in Westminster.
The theme of this event was “STEM, Collaboration not Co Location” and the presenters were asked, based on their own experience if various initiatives such as the City Technology College Programme, Project Faraday and UTC`s which have seen STEM teaching spaces located near each other in new builds, has resulted in more cross-fertilization and integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Views were mixed but there was a consensus that there is still some way to go before we achieve the desired level of collaboration that the initiatives were designed to promote.
The drive towards collaboration is based on recognition of the need to increase and indeed to halt the decline in the number of students leaving school and going on to take higher education in STEM and ultimately to pursue a career in STEM occupations.
The presentations and subsequent discussion were broadened to consider what is causing the decline and what else can be done to attract more students to these subjects. S+B feel that as designers, we can make a contribution by helping to change the negative image and perceptions that many students have of STEM, through more contemporary and innovative learning space design. These beliefs and subsequent development of new furniture and room layout designs are based on feedback from the many thousands of fit outs we have completed over the years. We are left in no doubt that students overwhelmingly favor the new less formal designs and that this popularity can help attract more students to the subjects.
Anybody wishing to know more about our thoughts, our experiences, our designs and our case studies is more than welcome to contact us at any time.
To watch our product videos included in the presentation please click here.