Youngsters taken to ‘infinity and beyond’ at Newton Abbot’s pioneering technical college

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Authored by janeabsolutepr
Posted Friday, October 18, 2019 - 10:31am

Primary school students celebrated World Space Week (4-10 Oct) in style as the youngsters explored galaxies, and even viewed real samples from the moon, at South Devon University Technical College (UTC).

The pioneering college on Kingsteignton Road invited students from Hennock Primary School, Newton Abbot, to take part in a range of interactive space themed activities ahead of South Devon UTC’s Open Evening.

Year 5 got the chance to go inside a 7.5m dome provided by Space Odyssey. The multi-sensory, 360-degree experience whisked the pupils away to another galaxy with the help of sophisticated computer simulations. The fascinating presentation was led by Simon Ould, an experienced science teacher and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Simon helped the young explorers understand the complexities of our solar system in an immersive 360-degree setting. Year 5 pupil Stan commented: “We are all very excited to know that we are made of stars!”

Prospective Sixth Form and Year 10 students looking to start at the college in September 2020 also had the chance to enter the impressive dome at the college’s Open Evening, as well as viewing real moon samples.

Visitors admired moon rock including Anorthosite, Breccia and Basalt as well as Mare Soil, Highlands Soil and Orange Soil.

The special open evening gave prospective students the opportunity to look around South Devon UTC’s state-of-the-art facilities and talk to current students, staff members and employer partners about life at the specialist STEM school.  

Claire Plumb, Principal of South Devon UTC, said: “We were delighted to welcome pupils from Hennock Primary School to the college to celebrate World Space Week. You just had to look at their faces when they entered the space dome to know that they had a great day! We were also thrilled to welcome so many prospective students and their parents through our doors in the evening. Many were commenting on how fascinating the moon samples were and it was a great opportunity for our students and staff to let visitors know more about what we do here at South Devon UTC. It’s no secret that there’s a shortage in STEM skills in this country so it’s important that we encourage more young people into this sector.”

South Devon UTC offers an innovative model of learning for students that provides professional academic and technical education aimed to ‘develop a new generation of engineers, scientists and environmentalists’. Unlike many other colleges, South Devon UTC have a higher proportion of their students studying triple science compared to the national average.

The curriculum also includes all year-round work experience opportunities and employability skills development. This is a key focus for students at South Devon UTC which results in an extremely high success rate for students achieving their further destination placements in higher level apprenticeships with local employers, University or with the Armed Forces.

The college has recently celebrated a set of impressive exam results. In summer 2019, 100% of post-16 Scientists achieved at least one distinction star in their BTEC Applied Science with 80% of these achieving the highest qualification of triple distinction star. Furthermore, 71% of Engineering students achieved at least one distinction star with over two thirds of those achieving either two or three distinction stars, the highest grade in these qualifications.

South Devon UTC is currently recruiting students for the 2020/21 academic year. Young people with a flair for science, engineering, technology and the environment due to start Y10 or Y12 in September 2020 should contact the college as soon as possible for more information. The next South Devon UTC Open Evening will take place on Thursday 28th November 2019, between 5pm-7pm; register your interest to attend the event by calling 01626 240201 or visit https://southdevonutc.org/open-evenings/