A STATE of the art technology studio worth £8,000 will put New College pupils at the “cutting edge”, say teachers.

The college landed the new kit - which includes a 3D printer and virtual reality headset - after it was among six winners in a national competition by HP last year.

The creative learning studio prize rewards their entry explaining how the technology would benefit students’ science and technology projects.

Ian Hole, head of ICT, told the Advertiser: “For us it’s a massive step up, it’s allowing us to be at the cutting edge of technology.

“They are getting access to stuff they wouldn’t have access to at home, and even the Swindon Maker’s Space don’t have the level of kit that we now have.”

The Swindon Makers Space is a not-for-profit group that meets weekly to experiment with design and technology on the Cheney Manor Estate.

The suite includes a virtual reality HP MR Headset VR1000-100nn, HP 800 Series VR Ready Desktop PC and a 3D printer, Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 for Education.

As well the new studio the American computer giant has kitted out the college’s cyber lab with new HP machines.

Dan Hazelton, course leader for design and technology, said: “It’s fantastic, being able to have this equipment accessible allows us to take something quite technical and make it really fun and engaging.”

The 3D printer will give students the chance to design and print new products, or they can explore the world in Google Earth using the virtual reality headset.

“Having one here in the classroom really does help take away borders,” added Dan, “and it gives students the confidence to try out things.

“Imagine the geography field trips while using this - one person can experience it but the whole class can also be watching. I can’t wait to play with it!”

Carole Kitching, New College principal and CEO, said: “New College prides itself on being a centre for digital excellence, offering free access to a wide range of cutting-edge technology which is helping to transform teaching and learning.

“We give our learners every opportunity to achieve their full potential and prepare for a career in this ever-evolving digital landscape.”