The Keighley College STAR Centre
17 October 2005The STAR Centre is a new and innovative science, technology and engineering education facility based at Keighley College in West Yorkshire, UK. By using space science as its theme, the centre aims to motivate young people to develop an interest in these important subjects which are declining in popularity as secondary school and university undergraduate choices.
One of the key objectives of the project is to forge a closer link between the young people visiting the centre and the space industry. This in turn gives accompanying teachers new resources and added confidence to deliver stimulating science lessons when they return to school.
Ray Barber, Director of the STAR Centre, is delighted with the response. "So far, we have been working with local primary and secondary school students, girlguides, scouts, and science teachers, and the response has been astonishing. The Yorkshire Forward funding for this project gives us the flexibility to develop new curriculum delivery ideas which can be used as a model for other similar centres or school-based projects. Our links with industry, with ESA and with space make this project stand out in the minds of our visitors."
The STAR Centre contains a number of themed areas based around ESA programmes and activities including:
- Mars Floor with rovers and robotic equipment
- Fully equipped Mission Control room capable of running simulated space missions, controlling the rovers and running extended interactive missions with external sites via the Internet
- Science and engineering lab
- Teaching lab
- Communication centre which is capable of providing live voice communication with the International Space Station and downlinking weather satellite images
- Science dome for teaching astronomy and other science subjects
Senior Regeneration Manager for Skills at Yorkshire Forward, Martyn Chesters commented: "Yorkshire and the Humber has a rich heritage in science and engineering industry. By bringing together this partnership of industry and education using space as the motivator we are inspiring a new generation of young people to engage with these much needed subjects."