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Boost Education Partnership Launches Festival

Boost education partnership launches science, technology engineering and maths festival in Ellesmere Port.

Ellesmere Port schools are getting busy with a bonanza of exciting activities in preparation for the first ever science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) festival this spring.
The town’s Boost Education Partnership is now promoting the STEM festival – the first event of its kind ever to be held in the town – which will see schools working with each other and their communities, as well as sharing skills and learning with industry partners.
The Whitby High Technology College has offered primary schools a STEM-based Junior High school programme of after-school activities, and a range of outreach lessons as well as a community learning offer in a range of STEM activities.
Projects on the Built Environment will be going live in all high schools in the coming weeks with unique projects for pupils and training for teachers.
All year 6 pupils in the town have enjoyed an early transition visit to a high school with maths as a focus. These have been delivered by Year 9 pupils, in their very ownBig Maths’ project facilitated by the Maths Outreach Team at the University of Liverpool and funded by Big Lottery.
A week-long programme of activities for over a thousand Key Stage 2 children in Ellesmere Port is planned at the Waterways Museum from 19 March with class visits to a range of exciting STEM workshops.
Individual schools have also planned their own exciting projects working with industry and education partners, neighbouring schools and their own communities. For primary schools these include visits from University of York’s sun dome, as well as some very mysterious visitors from outer space.
Martin Nield, Chair of the Boost Education Partnership said “The response by schools, partners and businesses to the town’s first ever STEM Festival has been amazing.
“They have created a buzz of energy and excitement around STEM activities that has been infectious. From the programme of events already in place and the number of local businesses involved we can truly say STEM rocks in Ellesmere Port.”
Secondary schools projects include Visits to the University of Liverpool’s Dairy Farm and the BIG BANG in Birmingham and a range of in school activities.  Visit opportunities have also been created at Innospec, EA Technology, Cheshire West and Chester Housing Maintenance, the Plus Dane Group and Kier Construction.
High schools have also taken part in trialling outstanding science films from TWIG a Becta Award Winner for on line films.
The Council’s Executive Member for Children and Education, 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.”

Schools have their own STEM lead teachers who are learning from each other as well as from external partners. The festival has generated much enthusiasm and opportunity to share teacher training opportunities and projects across schools in the future.
Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee said, “This is a wonderful initiative as science, maths, technology and engineering are crucial to continued progress in, and growth of, local and national research and development.  “The young people of today will be Britain’s future scientific and technological leaders and they need to experience both the excitement and satisfaction of undertaking real scientific experiments and learning about the world around them.”
Martin Nield added: “We do not envisage the focus on the development of STEM skills to stop after the spring festival – in fact it is only the beginning of a journey to promote these skills more widely in the whole community.
“This in turn will contribute to the success and further development of Ellesmere Port as a vibrant place to work, live, learn and grow. We are pleased to be working altogether with Cheshire West and Chester Council, The Ellesmere Port Development Board, Ellesmere Port Area Partnership Board, and our wider partners.”
Local member and shadow spokesman for Children and Education, Councillor Pat Merrick, said: “This is the first time an event such as this will take place in Ellesmere Port and I am delighted to see so many schools and businesses getting involved and helping to prepare pupils for the future.”