Students got to see more than £1m worth of engineering equipment when they were taken on their first tour of Newcastle’s new Discovery School.
The teenagers, who are due to attend the school when it opens in September, were shown around the £9m campus, which will house the latest industry equipment and technology.
They and their parents also got to tour the state-of-the-art workshops and learning bases where GCSEs and A Levels will be taught, with STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and maths - being at the heart of the curriculum.
Discovery School, which is based on Blandford Street, aims to prepare 14 to 19-year-olds from Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham for highly-skilled jobs in engineering, manufacturing and science.
All areas of the building are multi-functional, so workshops, for example, can be transformed into classrooms.
Even the lighting system is innovative, the lights getting brighter the further away from the windows they are.
Student Aidan Thomson, 14, from Gosforth, who is hoping to become an engineer, said: “I don’t know what type of engineering I want to do, so I’m looking forward to coming to Discovery School to find out what each one involves and where I would like to specialise.
“Coming here has really got me excited.”
Valerie Ender, from Gateshead, whose two sons, Ewan and Harrison Spry, will be attending the school, said: “Discovery School is a huge deal to me.
“The equipment and building are just staggering – the school will have everything they need.
“It’s just wonderful to see my sons excited about school for the first time in years.”
The school will be working with a number of North East companies to ensure the curriculum is relevant and project-based. Those involved include Siemens, Dyer Engineering, Pirimal Healthcare, Egger, Ryder Architecture, Cundall, Liebherr, PDL Solutions, Ubisoft Reflections and domnick hunter Filtration and Separation Division.
Paul Milner, from Ryder Architecture, who also got a look inside the building for the first time recently, said: “Discovery School will offer young people a fantastic opportunity to get practical experience in an environment not too dissimilar to the workplace.
“The incredible facilities place great emphasis on the importance of investigative and experimental learning, which is excellent.”
To find out more, visit www.discoveryschool.org.uk or attend one of the school’s open evenings, held every Wednesday in the Discovery Room on Palace Street, off George Street, Newcastle, from 5.30pm.