Specifier Review
New labs are a scientific breakthrough for Penwortham

New labs are a scientific breakthrough for Penwortham

Penwortham Priory Academy is a school with innovation at its heart. It’s here that 13 year old Jamie Edwards became the youngest person in the world to create nuclear fusion in 2014.

To enable all students to make their own personal scientific breakthroughs, the school wanted to turn their existing labs into cutting edge learning spaces as part of a £750,000 investment project.

Briefed with creating an open plan learning environment to facilitate collaborative teaching styles and fire students’ enthusiasm for STEM subjects, education interior specialists Innova Design Solutions have designed, manufactured and installed a space that truly inspires.

Labs dating from the 1950s have been replaced by an ultra modern environment including wet and dry labs, preparation areas and a research space.

The facilities centre on a vibrant, space age style collaboration and research area with flexible tables to encourage group and independent study. Colourful armchairs and coffee tables provide a space for ‘breakout’ sessions, whilst bright storage walls and futuristic orb display units provides the facility to display students’ work.

Mobile glass screens which double as writing boards allow staff and students to reconfigure the space to meet their needs, whilst an ICT area with spacious sawtooth desking provides space for online research.

New labs are a scientific breakthrough for Penwortham

Wet and dry labs for practical and theory studies border the research area. Designed using Innova’s unique Hot Corners concept, the wet lab provides a working classroom and practical laboratory within the same space. With services located on the front face of the units, the layout maximises desk space, allowing sufficient room for both practical and theory lessons and reducing student distraction.

In the dry lab movable pod units allow the desks to be reconfigured to suit a range of different teaching and learning styles, providing maximum flexibility.

Tough, durable Trespa Toplab work surfaces, resistant to damage from chemical spills have been installed throughout the labs, guaranteeing them a lifespan that will endure the experimentation and innovation of generations of students.

New labs are a scientific breakthrough for Penwortham

A large open plan prep room offers a spacious environment for lesson preparation and storage. A central preparation desk gives technicians a clutter-free space to set up practical sessions, whilst perimeter units offer a safe, secure storage solution for chemicals and equipment.

To support biology studies and encourage students to develop a sense of responsibility for animals a pet zone was created, housing insects, hamsters and fish. Perforated perspex cabinets were fitted into a wall of stylish black storage units to house the animals cages, giving the Penwortham pets a new home perfectly in keeping with their cutting edge surroundings.

Matt Eastham, headteacher at Penwortham Priory said ‘Working with Innova on our new state of the art science block was painless from beginning to end. Right from design through to install, Innova made us feel part of the entire process, allowing us to work closely with the team so that the end result is a facility that is great for Priory, great for our pupils and great for the way we want our pupils to learn. We now have a learning environment in Science that is exciting, innovative and engaging, a facility we are very proud of, thanks in no small part to the team at Innova.’

For more information please visit www.innova-solutions.co.uk or call 0161 477 5300.