Power house

It would be impossible to find a more suitable home for Enginuity - the new national Design and Technology Education Centre - than Coalbrookdale, in Shropshire. It is situated in a complex of renovated industrial buildings, just a few hundred metres from where Abraham Darby smelted iron, using coke for the first time in 1709.

This new centre is the latest addition to the exciting spread of nine museums in the Ironbridge Gorge area - the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.

Paul Clewes, Shropshire's adviser for Damp;T, has been closely involved in planning the new centre. He says: "It will be a venue for various agencies to run courses. We hope it will be attractive to pupils at all key stages. There will also be a chance to develop food technology workshops, in partnership with the firm next door at Coalbrookdale, Aga Rayburn."

In the huge old sheds that house Enginuity, there are separate zones for materials and structures, systems and control, power and transmission, and design. One of the special features is Scan-it, which enables visitors - using a modified zapper - to target objects with infra-red beams to call up video footage, text or games, as well as putting the targeted objects in a broader Damp;T context. Other delights at Enginuity include a flume, in the power and transmission section, where a nine-metre long valley is fed by water from a reservoir. The water flows down to the valley floor and on the way visitors can harness it by putting water wheels and turbines in place to make electricity. Sluices can be added, but at the expense of flooding parts of the valley.

Michael Ive of the Office for Standards in Education, who is a national adviser for Damp;T, says: "A national centre like this will help Damp;T to build on its foundations and continue to do what other subjects cannot - combine science, skills and innovation in producing useful objects."

Enginuity will open in mid-July. Schools will be able to visit from September and courses and workshops for teachers will begin in the autumn. There will be a clean-hands workshop, an IT suite and a resources library on site.

For further information: Tel: Michael Vanns on 01952 433 970Email: education@ironbridge.org.uk or Tel: Paul Clewes on 01743 254 535; Email: paul.clewes@shropshire-cc.gov.uk

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