20th October 2020

Listen to the science: St Laurence School lab named

Last year the Town Council agreed to assist St Laurence School’s plight to raise funds for a new science block, donating £10,000 towards the project. The build is now complete and although Covid-19 restrictions mean an official opening will have to be delayed, students are already benefiting from the new facility, which replaced a very outdated ‘temporary’ block with limited facilities.

The School’s headteacher, Fergus Stewart, recently sent a letter of gratitude to the Town Council noting that:

“The new facilities are really excellent, a splendid addition to our campus which provides state of the art accommodation for our students and teachers.”

Leader of the Council, Cllr Dom Newton also observed that the donation was important as:

“Modern and well-equipped facilities are critical to making sure that young people have positive experiences of science in school, and can grow the skills they need to help develop new technologies and ideas.

The Town Council providing funds for the new science block at St. Laurence represents an investment in the future of young people in the town, and highlights the importance of science in addressing so many of the challenges we face today, and into the future.”

As a ‘thank you’ from the school for it’s donation, the Town Council was granted the opportunity to name a lab, a task which it chose to open out to the community in the form of a competition last year, under the theme of ‘Ecology’ in recognition of the Climate Emergency Declaration made in March 2019, which has recently been upgraded to a Climate & Ecological Emergency.

Upon hearing that the build was complete, at the Environment & Planning Committee meeting on 2nd September 2020, Councillors chose the name ‘Thunberg‘, which had been submitted by two separate local residents.

Cllr Alex Kay, Chair of the E&P Committee and Deputy Mayor said the name was selected because;

“Councillors felt that Greta Thunberg represents the fearless tenacity of youth in challenging us to build a better world, and that she inspires young people to learn and to lead.

Climate change is a scientific challenge, needing new generations of scientists to address it; to restore and protect the precious ecology of this planet for the future wellbeing of all it’s occupants. We hope that the Thunberg lab will nurture and inspire budding scientists in our community for many years to come.”

“Greta Thunberg tells US Congress to ‘listen to the scientists’ and take real action on climate change. The teenage climate change campaigner submitted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on rising temperatures as her testimony, pointing out it was not ‘political opinion’ but simply ‘science’.” The Guardian News

The competition entrants will receive prizes from the Town Council in due course, though due to the pandemic, the school is currently unable to hold an official opening ceremony at which these might have been given. Updates will follow on social media as and when we receive them.

Joint winner Andy Parsons suggested the name because:

“Ecology is the study of living ecosystems. Due to the climate crisis, virtually all ecosystems on this planet are currently under threat. We need to inspire young people to protect the ecosytems of this planet. Currently there is arguably no better inspiration than Greta Thunberg who has single handedly done more to bring the climate crisis to world attention than anyone.”

This view was reiterated by our second winner, Rachel Ferguson:

Greta Thunberg has raised global awareness of the risks posed by global warming/climate change, and has acted to hold politicians to account for lack of action. The name reminds us that ‘no one is too small to make a difference’ and can inspire young people to take action for causes they believe in.”

Bradford on Avon Town Council has declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency. To find out what we’ve been doing to address these issues at a local level, go to our Climate & Ecological Emergency News Category HERE