NASA astronauts to lead unique week-long course of space-themed activities and education
Barton Science Centre
A world-class hub for teaching, learning, innovation and discovery
Tonbridge’s state-of-the-art Barton Science Centre, which opened in January 2019, puts science and technology at the very heart of the school.
One of the most ambitious developments to happen on the campus since the first science building was constructed in 1887, the three-storey centre combines new classrooms and latest technology with many original architectural features.
Named after British organic chemist Sir Derek Barton, an Old Tonbridgian who won the Nobel Prize 50 years ago in 1969, the centre places Tonbridge at the cutting edge of school science. It will also help the school to realise its ambitions of stimulating future generations in their studies and inspiring many to embark on scientific careers.
Bill Burnett, Tonbridge’s Head of Science, describes the centre as “innovative, fun and inspirational”. “Science will be at the heart of the school, and our teaching and learning will be pioneering within our new space. This is an exciting new chapter,” he says.
We believe very strongly in two things. Firstly, that in an increasingly technological society facing all sorts of urgent global challenges, every young person needs to be equipped with a good understanding of science. Secondly, to meet those global challenges, we need new technologies based on a new generation of young scientific minds. Tonbridge, as an institution, wants to help inspire that new generation.
The Barton Science Centre will also have a wider public benefit as a regional hub and centre of excellence. Tonbridge plans, for instance, to expand its popular programme of ‘Science for Schools’ days for local primary and secondary pupils, and will also be staging public lectures and a variety of other events.
The official opening on Saturday 23 March 2019 will include the chance to meet NASA astronauts, as Tonbridge becomes the first school in the UK to host ‘Mission Discovery’, a course in which young people design an experiment to be carried out on the International Space Station. An international student science conference, an art show and a schools’ competition for Year 9 pupils are also being planned.
The Departments of Chemistry, Biology and Physics will enjoy expanded facilities, including new laboratories and classrooms. The Barton Science Centre includes an interactive periodic table, a TV wall, its own bee hive, a roof garden, a greenhouse and a library, to name just a few of its features.
The Final Elements
There is still time to get involved and be part of this iconic facility. The school is making a final push to raise the remaining £250,000 to complete its campaign: all gifts, no matter their size, will help us reach the final campaign target.
If you walk around you are more likely to see teachers and students building a Heath Robinson machine side-by-side, than you are to see a teacher lecturing at the front of a class laid out in rows. It is an extremely exciting time for science at Tonbridge.
Head of Physics
The new building’s ‘mega lab’ has enough space to dedicate six benches to extended investigative practical work outside of lesson time, in which boys will learn the sorts of skills that will help them as scientists beyond school.
Head of Biology
We have a wide variety of teaching spaces with a flexible layout, so that different learning activities can take place in a room designed for that purpose. The addition of two new 360º fume cupboards allows for the most exciting demonstrations to reach more students than ever before.
Head of Chemistry
Concert to celebrate the opening of the Barton Science Centre
School's new facility is a 'world-class' teaching and learning environment