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PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN ELLESMERE PORT TO EXPERIENCE BONANZA OF ACTIVITIES IN WEEK-LONG ‘BIG BANG’ FESTIVAL
17 March 2014 – Ellesmere Port primary schools are getting geared up for a bonanza of exciting activities as the town’s second science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) festival comes to town.
Sponsored by Essar Oil UK, the week-long event will see more than 1300 primary-aged pupils from 20 schools in the town experience a range of interactive learning activities including scientific testing, design in the built environment, digital technology, physics, wind energy and engineering.
Organised by the town’s Boost Education Partnership and taking place at the National Waterways Museum from Monday March 24, the festival is designed to inspire the next generation and motivate pupils with exciting ways of learning that they can take back to the classroom.
Chair of the Boost Education Partnership, Martin Nield, said: “We are delighted to be working with so many partners from industry and education who have come together with one aim – to inspire excellence in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and secure the very best learning opportunities for pupils in Ellesmere Port.
“The response by schools, partners and businesses to the town’s second STEM Festival has again been amazing and our visitor numbers and the impact of the event will be reported through the ‘BIG BANG’ network direct to government.”
Activities and sessions will be put on by a range of locally-based industry partners including Essar Oil UK, Plus Dane Housing, Vauxhalls, MerseySTEM, University of Liverpool, West Cheshire College, Cheshire Police, PLACED, The National Waterways Museum, The Canal and River Trust, Daresbury Laboratories, FABLAB, Chester Zoo, Science Made Simple, Art in the Place amongst others.
Sessions include balloon buggies to harness the wind, a slime lab and how to make bath bombs, with talks on endangered species and tribal communities, avalanches under the sea and how to recognise the stars in the galaxy.
Executive Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Mark Stocks, said: “Ellesmere Port has a vast range of specialist businesses and organisations and the STEM Festival will help to partner schools with local companies and share their skills and knowledge with the next generation.
“Continuing to build relationships between schools and businesses can be incredibly productive to both parties – hopefully the festival will help lead some of Ellesmere Port’s young people on to their future career path. Together we are aiming to create the workforce of the future.”
The festival seeks to promote wider awareness of science, technology, engineering and maths within Ellesmere Port primary schools. Pupils participating in the programme develop new skills and abilities, and the workshops will be designed to meet the specific needs of each school to encourage practical application of knowledge gained in the classroom.
Ian Cotton, Head of Communications and Community at Essar Oil UK, the festival’s lead sponsor, said: “It’s great to see so many schools and pupils from across Ellesmere Port involved in the festival.
“We’re delighted to support the event which hopefully will encourage younger pupils to be curious about STEM subjects and also realise they can be a lot of fun too.”
The Big Bang is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK aimed at showing young people just how many exciting and rewarding opportunities there are out there for them with the right experience and qualifications.
The Big Bang Fair is now delivered by over 200 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Led by Engineering UK in partnership with the British Science Association, the Science Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Young Engineers, the event is supported by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as well as numerous sponsors from industry.
Michelle Dow, Managing Director of MerseySTEM said: “It is essential to enthuse young people from an early age about the exciting careers that are available to them.
“The Big Bang events are about raising awareness and the aspirations of our young people. We can demonstrate the jobs of tomorrow, today.
Local member and Chairperson of Children and Education Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Nicole Meardon, said: “I’m delighted to see the STEM festival return to Ellesmere Port – it was a tremendous success last time and I’m sure this year won’t disappoint.
“So many schools and businesses are getting involved and helping to prepare pupils for the future. Volunteers from local high schools are helping to steward the event and the collaborations within our local schools is getting stronger and stronger.”
Follow progress of Ellesmere Port’s second STEM festival event on Twitter @Boost_EP