Professor Lord Winston Officially Opens UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park Campus

Leading scientist Professor Lord Winston has officially opened Sheffield’s second University Technical College (UTC) this week.

Lord Winston met students, staff, governors and employers at UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park on Old Hall Road, Attercliffe Common, on Tuesday, May 23rd.

During the visit Lord Winston toured the new facilities, saw students demonstrating technical tasks, took part in a student-led question and answer session, and unveiled a commemorative plaque.

The £10 million campus on the Olympic Legacy Park specialises in computing, health sciences and sport science and opened to students, aged 14 to 19, in September 2016.

Computing students showcased their robotics and Raspberry Pi skills; health sciences students explored the quality and quantity of sex cells under the microscope; and science students demonstrated extracting DNA from kiwi fruit.

Staff from one of the UTC’s employer partners, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who are based at the Jessop Fertility Assisted Conception Unit, also spoke with Lord Winston. Lord Baker, of the Baker Dearing Trust, and the founding father of UTCs, also attended.

Lord Winston is Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London. Lord Winston’s other roles include being the Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University and a television presenter.

Dr Sarah Clark, Principal, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, commented:We are so proud that Lord Winston, who is one of the country’s leading scientists and whom one of our four student learning companies is named after, has officially opened our fantastic building.”

She added: “Students and staff have worked very hard to make our first year successful, and I would like to thank parents and carers, our sponsors and all the other organisations and employers that have backed us, for their fantastic support.”

There are currently 129 students based at UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, which is sponsored by The Sheffield College, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. Recruitment is phased over three years

Student Daisy Parker, 15, is completing the health sciences specialism as well as GCSEs, and wants to become a forensic scientist. She said: “To have someone so famous come to open our UTC just shows how great it is. I really like studying here because of the practical projects and the facilities, such as the open ward set up with hospital beds and other medical equipment.  In one project recently, we put on an ageing suit that makes your legs and arms feel heavy. It’s difficult to move with the suit on, which helped us to understand what it’s like for people as they get older.”

Student Lewis Hardy, 17, is completing the computing specialism, as well as A Levels, and wants to go on to university to study robotics.  He said: “It was great to see such a well known scientist visit the UTC. It’s a great place to study. I really enjoy the practical in-depth technical learning at the UTC and working on real projects.”

UTCs specialise in the technical skills needed by employers, are fitted with the latest industry standard equipment and have capacity for up to 600 students. At the UTC, employers support the curriculum by setting curriculum projects and providing work experience and placements.

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Healthcare is evolving at a tremendous pace and demand is only going to increase given our ageing population. It is therefore so important that we are at the forefront of not just training the next generation of healthcare professionals but exciting them about the opportunities ahead and encouraging them to be the innovators of the future. I am so pleased that Professor Winston was able to join us to officially open our second University Technical College in Sheffield. “

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