Beds, Herts & Bucks

University of Bedfordshire's £40m Luton Stem building will 'change the way' it teaches

Stem building Image copyright University of Bedfordshire
Image caption The four-floor Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) building will "capture students' imaginations"

A university has said a brand new £40m centre will "change the way" it teaches science and technology.

The Stem building will open on Tuesday evening at the University of Bedfordshire's Luton campus.

The "icon for the town", which will also teach engineering, maths, nutrition and biochemistry, in a "cutting edge facility" has been in development since 2016.

Dr Maria Simon said it will "capture students imaginations".

Image caption The university said the new building will harness the latest virtual reality technology for teaching
Image caption Dr Maria Simon said the new facility will capture students imaginations

The 6,000-sq-m (65,000 sq ft) building, over four floors, will also teach pharmaceutical and chemical science, nutrition, biochemistry, and mechanical engineering.

The university said the use of virtual reality and simulation technology would play a larger role in teaching.

Dr Simon, technical manager at the university, said: "It's going to really change the way we teach, it's going to allow us new and innovate ways of capturing students imaginations.

"Every student's got a phone, every student's got a screen, this taps into that and encourages them to use the technologies they are already using and already developing."

Image caption The university said the new Stem building would become an "icon" for Luton

There are four computer laboratories and workshops for subjects such as automotive engineering, cyber-security and robotics.

It also has a Science and Engineering Outreach Centre "to promote the value of science and engineering to local schools and the wider Bedfordshire community" the university said.

Bill Rammell, vice chancellor, hopes it will "inspire men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds to learn, imagine and discover".

It will "serve as an icon for the town" he said.

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