On Friday 25 September, Dame Mary Archer officially opened the new Science Hub at St Mary’s School, Cambridge, further cementing the school’s commitment to providing a first-class setting to inspire innovative learning for all subjects, including Science.
The school’s continued development and investment across its sites has resulted in five new laboratories; two for Biology, one for Chemistry, one for Physics and one for Sixth Form Science. The Hub also includes two previously upgraded Chemistry and Physics laboratories.
The school community has raised just over £105,000 towards the development with activities including filling boiling tubes with loose change and organising a popular Onesie Day. The remainder of the cost has been met with previously allocated school funds.
The event’s guest of honour, Dame Mary Archer, is an inspirational ambassador for women in science so was the clear choice to unveil the Hub at the only all-girls school in Cambridgeshire. She started her career reading Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, went on to be Chair of Addenbrooke’s, and is now Chair of the Science Museum Group. Unveiling the Hub, Dame Mary Archer said: “What a triumph of design, of aesthetic, of feel, of coherence; it says something very powerful about the importance of science in education that you have made such an investment in facilities that are not only first class technically, but first class aesthetically. That’s important, I think, because when people are choosing how to go in to their careers, they think about the comfort, they think about the working environment. So, I do congratulate you on what has been achieved.”
Following the ceremonial ribbon-cutting the guests, including parents, governors and friends of the school, were invited to visit the individual laboratories and speak to the Science department’s staff.
Charlotte Avery, Headmistress at St Mary’s School, Cambridge commented: “We were delighted to welcome Dame Mary to officially open the Science Hub; her career has illuminated a path less trodden for women in science and she serves as an inspiring role model for our students. Our girls’ interest in STEM starts at the beginning of their school careers and we do all we can to nurture this interest, through the environment in which they learn and through our impressive and inspirational team of Science teachers. We are confident that our new Science Hub will provide the perfect platform to nurture female scientists of tomorrow.”