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There was a “green feel” to the Lancaster & Morecambe College (LMC) campus last week, with the official launch of the new, state-of-the-art, Sustainable Energy Hub. Guests from Eden Project North, Lancaster City Council, CITB, Lancaster University and UCLan, joined representative from local businesses, partner colleges and schools to attend a series of talks and take a tour of the new facilities, which have been funded through the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) and the Walney Extension Community Fund.
Following a warm welcome from LMC Principal, Wes Johnson, and a short talk from Eden Project North’s Tim Narey, visitors were were shown around the new Hub, which features a fully-immersive Virtual Reality (VR) learning zone, a Cybersecurity lab, Computer Aided Design (CAD) suite and a Renewable Energy Demonstration Centre.
Maggie Cawthorn, Sustainability Project Lead said
“It was wonderful to see so many people attend the launch and to hear their feedback about the new facilities, which will bring practical benefits to all of our learners. The VR suite will allow them to experience a range of work-related scenarios, such as working at height training for wind-turbine engineering and investigating the impact of global warming on our local landscape.”
Ryann Williams, Programme Area Manager for the Energy, Engineering and Construction (EEC) department, gave a tour of campus and explained how LMC have embedded sustainable and green skills across the wider curriculum, with the development of new courses including; Environment Responsibility in the Workplace, Electric Vehicle Charging, Domestic Retrofit and Heat Pump System Installation. Alongside the Sustainable Energy Hub, new learning spaces have been developed with a robotics and electronics lab, hydrogen-ready plumbing workshop and an electric vehicle charging centre.
The highlight for many on the day was the opportunity to stand inside the immersive VR Igloo and witness the specially commissioned film, ‘Rising Tides’, in 360-degree vision. This powerful film, which highlights the impact climate change and rising sea levels will have on our local coastline and communities, has been developed in collaboration with the creative team at Sairo and is narrated by Jon Carter from the RSPB.
Sarah Turner, Head of Business Development ETA Awards, was impressed with the new resources and the commitment from LMC to embed and promote green skills across the whole curriculum;
“The new facilities and equipment are amazing and I was absolutely blown away by the immersive viewing experience, which shows the impact of climate change and what the local area is going to look like by 2035. It really is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen!”
Earlier in the week, Year 7 pupils from local schools had been invited to have a sneak preview of some of the resources and spent the day attending a range of workshops promoting green careers, sustainable food and renewable energy. More sessions will be offered to year 6 pupils in the new year and the College will continue to work with schools across the whole district to support their STEM curriculum and careers provision.
Prospective students, parents and employers will be able to visit the Sustainable Energy Hub and watch the ‘Rising Tides’ film at upcoming Open Days and events throughout the year.