Burton and South Derbyshire College, supported by BE Together, is bringing an innovative and creative approach to teaching science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) subjects with the launch of a new LEGO Education Innovation Studio.

The studio will give students the opportunity to take part in innovative learning techniques, combining LEGO with STEAM related group activities and challenges. It will also give local school pupils the chance to take part in activity days where they can discover more about STEAM subjects and careers. The former science laboratory was transformed by BSDC Construction students who used their carpentry skills to set up the storage surrounding the studio.

Meanwhile, the bright signage was fitted by our installation team at Hardy Signs, assisted by Graphic Design students of BDSC who were able to gain an insight into sign making.

Over 40 square metres of digitally printed wallpaper was installed.

The LEGO Education Innovation Studio was opened in memory of the late Garry Phillips, a former Vice Principal of Burton and South Derbyshire College, and a passionate advocate of innovative, entrepreneurial education. The LEGO Education and Innovation Studio align perfectly to Garry’s ethos, helping BSDC secure a local passion for STEAM subjects through exciting, learner-focused activities.

LEGO Education Innovation Studios are based on a hands-on learning approach that actively involves students in their own learning process. The LEGO Studio will become a hub for the local community, encouraging and inspiring tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. Sessions are focused on supporting computing, science, technology, engineering and maths, but can also be used across other areas of the curriculum.


Cole Clarke, the first alumni of BDSC hired on a F/T basis from Hardy Signs upon completion of the Hardy Signs Sign & Print Academy at BDSC.

Speaking about the launch of the LEGO Education Innovation Studio, Dawn Ward CBE, Chief Executive and Principal of BSDC said: “The LEGO Studio allows us to lift STEAM subjects from the pages of a textbook and transform them into interactive activities and challenges. It’s a great way to promote these exciting subjects and engage underrepresented groups in these areas. The Studio will also provide opportunities for community engagement, team building, family fun and adult learners.”

She added: “This is an exciting development for BSDC as it provides a fun and vibrant place for us to reach out to local secondary and primary schools and show them the real benefits of following technical career paths that are needed in the UK whilst also utilising the studio to teach existing BSDC learners studying STEAM subjects. I am thrilled we are able to commemorate our respected friend and colleague Garry in this way and know that, through the studio, his legacy and passion for technical and vocational Education will continue to inspire young people for many years to come.”

Nik Hardy, Managing Director at Hardy Signs concluded “It has been a pleasure to be involved with the launch of the Innovation Studio, it proves to be yet another remarkable asset to the college and the young learners who will be benefiting from the facility. The college is home to the Hardy Signs Sign and Print Academy which also illustrates our passion for developing young talent from the community in which we operate. It’s pleasing also that we could carry out the installation of graphics within the studio, aided by learners from the academy. This is another success story from Hardy Signs’ relationship with Burton and South Derbyshire College”.

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