Birmingham school wins design prize

Futuristic Science Lab design wins pupils £20,000.

A talented group of pupils from Birmingham have won £20,000 worth of new science lab furniture for their school in a nationwide competition to design the school science lab of the future.

The students, from King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls in Kings Heath took first prize in the Lab of the Future competition after coming up with an entry so creative and detailed that the judges compared it to a professional design submission.

Year 10 pupils Simi Bhamra, Phoebe Thomas, Kate Pham and Chloe Taylor also won £250 of gift vouchers each for their futuristic design, which included an interactive LED solar system ceiling, a sensory floor and an ‘intelligent’ desk giving teachers control over every aspect of the classroom.

Melanie Laing, Director of education interiors specialists Innova Design Solutions, who organised the competition said: “We launched the Lab of the Future competition to find out what 11 to 16 year olds thought school science labs would look like in 20 years’ time, and we were overwhelmed by the high standard of entries we received, but the design submitted by King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls really stood out.

“The girls came up with an exceptionally creative, detailed and well-thought through idea and they clearly put a huge amount of effort into their design.”

Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Thomas, the team’s project manager said: “It was a huge surprise when they announced we’d won in assembly!

“As soon as we heard about the competition, we all wanted to take part. We spent a lot of late nights brainstorming the ideas for the final design, but it’s been really enjoyable and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Assistant Headteacher Dr Janet Rose, who teaches Chemistry said: “We’re really proud of the girls. So many of the students wanted to enter the Lab of the Future competition that we had to hold a Dragon’s Den style presentation to decide which design to submit on behalf of the school.

“The amount of work they’ve put in really is incredible. It’s wonderful to think their creativity will help us to furnish a new science lab with up to date facilities and who knows, maybe in 20 years’ time they could be the architects and designers creating futuristic classrooms for real.”

The new lab furniture will form part of the development of a brand new £2 million STEM facility on the King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls site, which is due to be in use from September 2016.