From education to employment

Crawley signage specialists bring to life STEM Centre at London Gatwick

Stem Gatwick logo

A Crawley-based signage specialist has played a pivotal role in bringing to life a state-of-the-art STEM Centre at London Gatwick, aimed at inspiring school children to pursue careers within science, technology and engineering.

Just in time for British Science Week (8 – 17 March), FASTSIGNS Crawley, part of a network of 25 centres around the UK, is sharing details of its project with one of the country’s biggest – and busiest – airports, where it provided signage solutions that will complement its new facilities.

The new centre, equipped with interactive exercises, classrooms, quiet areas and dedicated facilities for students with special education needs, has been opened to combat the widening skills STEM gap and to encourage young people, between the ages of four and 18, to pursue STEM-related studies that will help to fuel the economy.

News of its launch comes at a crucial time, as experts predict that by 2030, the UK could have as many as seven million jobs requiring STEM skills. Key to the future labour market, the centre is being treated as a one-year pilot to test demand and inform the Airport’s own engagement and development plans.

According to experts though, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to STEM uptake is that children reportedly do not feel encouraged or inspired to choose a career in the field, under the current education model. FASTSIGNS Crawley’s team were excited to take on the challenge of bringing the centre to life with signage that would help inspire young people to consider a career in the field.

FASTSIGNS’ team of signage experts were briefed with creating inviting, educational and stimulating signage for a series of rooms, including an Archimedes room, each designed to teach young people about the intricate operations of the airport, and the technology and engineering capabilities behind the scenes.

To educate visitors on one of history’s most famous mathematicians, Archimedes, the West Sussex-based signage team were tasked with creating vibrant wall graphics that highlighted the complex engineering behind the Archimedes Screw principle – a system that allows airport runway teams to drain water up to a higher channel away from the airfield.

As well as providing tailored colour-changing lighting solutions to showcase the main feature wall, FASTSIGNS also delivered a variety of other signage. This included printed window frosting, full wall graphics, some of which were separate signs mounted on the graphic, creating a multidimensional finish. There were also light boxes and a series of inspirational pillar quotes created, including quotes from London Gatwick employees that spread across each room, bringing each design together seamlessly.

Commenting on its partnership with London Gatwick Melanie Martinez, director at FASTSIGNS Crawley, said:

“We relish projects that give us the opportunity to combine our knowledge of practical and informative signage, with fun and educational content – and our partnership with London Gatwick enabled us to deliver just that. No matter what industry or environment you are in, signage can play an important role in educating us and this mindset was at the very heart of this project.

“To capture the attention of today’s distracted audiences, signage needs to be both eye-catching and engaging, as much as it needs to be informative, fuelling their minds while getting them excited about the possibilities of STEM.

“Working with the amazing team at the STEM centre enabled all of us at FASTSIGNS Crawley to utilise not only our practical skills but also stretched our creative muscles. The finished project is a testament to the fact that, with the right signage solutions, anything is possible”

Darren Hollis, senior engineering manager at London Gatwick, added:

“It was fantastic to work with FASTSIGNS Crawley on the visuals for our brand new STEM centre. The space is a bespoke, hands-on experience which aims to engage and teach school children across the region about STEM and aviation, so the space must be visually engaging for everyone who visits.

“FASTSIGNS captured our brief perfectly and the designs have had positive feedback from pupils, teachers and partners who visit the STEM centre.”

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