British Science Festival Program Launched

British Science Festival

The full program for the British Science Festival 2021 has been launched and will transform the city of Chelmsford into a celebration of science and culture.

The British Science Association (BSA) has unveiled the full programme and opened bookings for the British Science Festival 2021. The rescheduled event is set to be one of the most ambitious science festivals in the UK since the start of the pandemic, with over 100 free events taking place during the five days of the Festival. 

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Centenary Photographic Competition 2021

Centenary Photographic Competition 2021

STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, MathematicsAfter our very successful 2020 photographic competition, which received some outstanding photographs depicting important aspects of the history of science and technology in Essex, we are pleased to open again for entries in 2021.

The competition is open to anyone in full time or part time education in Essex and again explores the key link between the creative arts and STEM. As part of a bigger project, which we will be running later this year, the theme of this year's competition is:

Fresh Air, Fresh Thinking

While pollution is a multifaceted global problem, from agricultural pollutants such as nitrates and ammonia to mercury and lead contamination and of course our worrying reliance on single-use plastics, air pollution is often less noticeable but is increasingly harming both our health and our environment.

We want you to take photographs that express what air pollution means to you, or how it impacts our health or our environment, and the negative or positive roles that technology can play. Each photograph should be accompanied with a short explanation (not more than 50 words) of the story or thoughts behind it.

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Spring 2021 Imagine! STEAM Competition winners announced

Spring 2021 Imagine! STEAM Competition winners announced

Environmental Challenge | Plastic – friend or foe? | Trust Science: Make Essex Covid-Safe

A BIG thank you and well done to everyone who entered our spring 2021 Imagine! STEAM competitions on the themes of sustainability and Covid vaccination. We were pleased to receive so many entries, which you can see on our web gallery, and enjoyed picking the winners. Congratulations to everyone who received a prize, listed below.

Visit our web gallery to see all the posters and videos entered.

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Fresh Air – Fresh Thinking

Fresh Air – Fresh Thinking

A project for Primary and Secondary School Students: September 2021 to June 2022

We are launching a major new science, technology and computing project for primary and secondary schools.

We are looking for participating schools across Essex to become CSES School Affiliate Members where student teams will:

  • Collect weather and air quality information (equipment will be supplied).
  • Interpret, publish and share data in real-time with other schools – opportunity for coding and web development.
  • Undertake a survey of student, staff or parent perceptions of air pollution.
  • Design and carry out a scientific investigation into clean air, nitrous oxides or particulate matter. Or you can discuss your own idea with your CSES School Champion to develop your own unique study.

To maximise the success of these student-led projects, additional competitive funding may be available from our CSES STEM Club Bursary.

There will be PRIZES for the most innovative, best data and greatest impact entry in each age group, presented at our annual awards ceremony at Anglia Ruskin University in July. In consultation with your CSES Champion, teams may be funded to enter their project for an appropriate level National CREST Award.

We are now looking for schools across Essex (including the unitary authorities) to become CSES School Affiliate Members and discuss how they would like to be involved in this exciting project.

Please contact our Vice President for Education, Professor David Humber, for further information (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Optimising the new normal: the central enabler of TRUST

Optimising the new normal: the central enabler of TRUST

Report from CSES Spotlight Event, 15 April 2021

In April 2021, CSES held a 'spotlight' meeting to discuss the role that trust plays in stimulating and enabling new partnerships between users and providers. Specifically, the event explored the role of trust in the context of emerging trends in the four sectors of focus: healthcare, planning, digital economy and education. This follows directly from the Covid recovery roundtable hosted by CSES and Essex County Council in October 2020.

The event concluded that:

  • There is a clear case for multidisciplinary collaboration, and there is appetite among the group to establish a more formal model for this.
  • Each sector's issues are connected and cannot be considered in isolation. Any collaborative initiative must adopt a "whole system" approach.
  • Diversity and inclusion are not simply "nice to haves"; they are essential to getting things right. Whilst the existing stakeholder group is relatively diverse, the model that we adopt to bring about action must be fully inclusive.
  • To achieve the necessary levels of system integration, inclusion, diversity and participation, trust among the parties is essential.

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IET Engineering Stories Podcast

IET Engineering Stories Podcast

Listen to the stories of those working in engineering, including CSES President Adam Wood

In association with Silver Fox, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) have launched a series of podcasts called Engineering Stories. These are an excellent opportunity for young engineers to hear the tales of those who have been there and done that.

In Episode 3, hosts Alex and Connor welcome Systems Engineer, Adam Wood to the show. Adam has had an interesting career working in the rail, defence and healthcare sectors, currently working at Teledyne e2v. Adam shares some interesting insight on the similarities and differences between them, as well as talks about the work he is doing for the Chelmsford Science & Engineering Society.

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The Buildings that Fought Hitler - Featuring Baddow Tower

The Buildings that Fought Hitler - Featuring Baddow Tower

UKTV's Specialist factual channel Yesterday is airing an eight part series on the buildings that helped fight Hitler. CSES's Chris Neale tells the series about Baddow Tower.

Airing every Monday from April 19th, The Buildings that Fought Hitler is an eight part series exploring the range of buildings, structures and engineering that would help defend Britain in the case of Nazi invasion.

Chris Neale, CSES's Programme Manager, helps present a segment describing the role that Baddow Tower, one of the original Chain Home Radar Towers, played in the defence of the country.

You can see Chris in episode 4, broadcast on Monday 10 May at 8pm. Catch up on UKTV Play.

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A Great British Railway Journey... to Sandford Mill?

A Great British Railway Journey... to Sandford Mill?

By Tim Wander

Episode to be shown at 6:30 on Tuesday 4 May 2021 on BBC 2. Catch up on iPlayer.

A strange title in strange times. Many readers will know that the Museum's Sandford Mill site sits as one of 13 mills on the 13.8 mile-long Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation canal. This was opened in 1797, and connects Chelmsford with the tidal estuary of the River Blackwater at Heybridge Basin.

But it is a long way from the main Chelmsford railway station located on the Great Eastern Main Line that runs across the East of England. Westbound trains terminate at Liverpool Street and eastbound trains run to a number of destinations including Braintree, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester Town, Ipswich and Norwich.

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CSES Needs You!

CSES Needs You!

Career development and volunteering opportunities with CSES

As it enters its centenary season, CSES (Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society) is looking for new volunteers to grow the core team and drive forward its recently launched strategy.

Are you looking for an opportunity to develop your career beyond the immediate day job? Perhaps you have some time to spare and would like to spend it supporting a local charity? Or do you enjoy volunteering for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and would like to be more involved?

This is an excellent chance to make a real difference to our community. CSES volunteers actively contribute to, and influence, what goes on locally by representing a respected body and working with a wide range of other organisations, including local government, the education sector and businesses. It is also a chance to grow your network, whether personal or professional.

Remember: any time spent volunteering for CSES counts as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and is a perfect complement – or coda (we know plenty of retired people enjoy this sort of thing!) – to a career in the STEAM or education sectors. We are already affiliated in some way with many local employers – and want to build relationships with more – working with us is good for your progression and employment prospects.

There are three specific areas where we are looking for more people:

Strategic development group

  • Seeking excellent career progression opportunity?
  • Passionate about the ‘big issues’ such as net-zero carbon and use of data / AI?
  • Help us to map out the major issues and bring the right private and public sector partners together to drive change within Essex.

Community partnerships and network

  • Want to make a difference to your local community at grassroots level?
  • Enjoy working with others and/or looking to make new connections?
  • Help us to build a network of similar organisations across Essex to share our resources and give the public wider visibility of events and activities.

Public engagement and educational events

  • Enjoy making things happen and running with new ideas?
  • Can you, for example, put together events, run projects and workshops, produce videos or come up with innovative ways of engaging online?
  • Help us to expand and diversify our programme for schools and for the public to bring science and technology to all.

Read on to find out more about each of these. We are also always looking for people who can help in a more ad hoc capacity with specific projects and events.

If you are at all interested or would like further information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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