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Vertex inspiring future scientists in Learning Lab at Milton Park

Published on 18 November 2021

Vertex inspiring future scientists in learning lab at Milton Park

Biotech firm Vertex has launched several new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) education programmes and a dedicated space called the ‘Learning Lab’ at their research site at Milton Park.

The idea behind the Learning Lab is to inspire the next generation to love science, encourage girls and under-resourced students into STEAM fields; partner with local educators and give a hands-on experience in a lab-based environment. The education programmes assign young people mentors from Vertex and gives them hands-on lab-based experience to boost confidence in a potential STEAM career path.

A recent survey completed by Vertex in the UK found that 38% of students are more likely to study STEAM subjects now than they were before the pandemic, however boys are still more likely to show an interest and less than 10% of girls wanted to study IT, computer science, economics or engineering.

The study also showed a big contrast between private and state school participation in STEAM subjects at A Level with 90% from private schools saying they will study a STEAM subject compared with only 70% from state schools.  To help close this gap in diversity and inclusion, Vertex has pledged £36.5 million of investment globally up to 2028 to build on the successful educational programmes at their other Learning Lab sites in Boston and San Diego.

David Price, Vice President at Vertex commented. “We’re delighted to have recently launched our Learning Lab in Milton Park where we seek to inspire a new generation of scientists and support young people from the local community at this crucial stage of their education.

“At Vertex, we’re investing in the development of future STEAM leaders and collaborating with students and teachers to provide an invaluable hands-on STEAM learning experience both virtually and in person. This is important as we continue to see the impact of the pandemic across society and education, particularly for those from underserved groups.”

Vertex recently completed a round of work experience for students whose education had been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, working virtually with students from the Oxford and London areas via online courses and mentorship.

Work on the Learning Lab was completed in early 2021 and they hope to be welcoming students into the lab in person soon.

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