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15 March 2012

Built environment experts PLACED are to offer town and city design workshops to secondary schools pupils in Ellesmere Port as part of the upcoming Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Festival. The town’s Boost Education Partnership is organising the STEM festival – the first of its kind 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.
PLACED delivers activities and workshops to young people exploring the towns and cities in which they live, why design is important, and helping to develop an understanding of how places are created.
Director of PLACED, Jo Harrop, said “We are thrilled to have been invited to participate in the Ellesmere Port STEM Festival this spring.
“PLACED will be using the built environment to support creative teaching of STEM-based subjects in four secondary schools both during the festival itself and continuing into the summer term.”
The festival seeks to promote wider awareness of science, technology, engineering and maths within Ellesmere Port schools and college communities and a range of activities and projects are planned throughout March and beyond.
Boost Education Partnership has recruited PLACED to include the built environment in its STEM offering to schools to represent the changing built environment in Ellesmere Port, with significant developments ongoing in the town including the new college campus, Academy and Marks & Spencer store.
Pupils will be able to create their own high-quality projects based on the local area, as well as visit local sites and be included in the changes taking place in their town. Teachers will also enjoy training opportunities linked with local developments.
PLACED will deliver 15 tailor-made workshops that will engage pupils through creative, hands-on activities. Sessions will include considerations of scale, proportion, working to briefs, developing creative solutions for client needs and the use of materials.
Projects include the design of an eco-garden in the school grounds designed to support the school and local community in becoming more sustainable and the design of shelters and a new cultural space for Ellesmere Port.
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.
Martin Nield, Chair of Boost Education Partnership, said: “We are delighted to have the support of the Area Partnership Board and the Ellesmere Port Development Board to help us to facilitate the STEM festival.
“We have linked the local positive changes in the town to the development of STEM skills and this has enabled businesses to participate as well.
“The number of local businesses and partners involved in the project continues to grow and each is offering visit opportunities and work-based skills with high schools.
“I have no doubt these relationships will continue after the festival for years to come.”
Schools participating in the project are the University Church of England Academy, Whitby High School, Capenhurst Grange School and Ellesmere Port Catholic High School.
Chair of Ellesmere Port Development Board, Robert Mee, who helped fund the festival, said: “The board is supporting our education partners and it’s great to see so many businesses in the town partner up with schools and get involved with this local, home grown festival.
“Building relationships between local young people and companies will really help to ensure that industry continues to grow and develop with the town at its heart.”
Details of other STEM activities being delivered during the festival can be found at If you want to be involved in the STEM festival contact Sharon Vernon at
For more details on how the built environment can support STEM learning in your schools please email