Schools

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We are a key provider and coordinator of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education activities and support in Essex. These are for students at school and home, undergraduates and recent graduates, and are designed to both stimulate an interest in STEM and to open possible career paths.

Get involved

We offer an annual programme of events to promote STEM subjects. Our main education activities are:

  • Schools' Competition: an annual event at which students from local schools showcase their work and compete for prizes awarded by the judges.
  • My Smarter Essex: an initiative to engage citizens in the design of a smarter future Essex, with the opportunity to meet with local companies.
  • Imagine! STEM Club: out-of-school clubs and masterclasses to enhance the science curriculum with fun, practical activities.

Click here to see upcoming CSES events for schools and families.

Support for STEM activities

CSES actively promotes, enables and supports the provision of STEM in education, in partnership with other local and national organisations.

To this end, we have made available a bursary to support the start-up and growth of STEM clubs within schools.

Click here to find out more about the STEM Club Bursary.

In addition, our website is packed full of ideas and resources for STEM activities, as well as your stories for inspiration.

If you would like to discuss STEM support in your school or at home, please contact our Education Lead.

A Sixth-Former's View by Ollie

CSES Schools' Engineering and Technology Competition by Ollie, year 12 from KEGS

This competition is a great way to show off a science or engineering project that you have been working on. This could be Design and Technology coursework (for example I entered my year 11 electronics coursework), a project from a school club, or something you’ve been working on at home. There are many categories to suit all different kinds of work. During the day, you spend time explaining and demonstrating your project to the judges (usually various engineering professionals) as well as your fellow students at the event. You also get a chance to see what other people have done. This can be great if you are looking for inspiration for future projects, especially if you look at what students older than you have done. You can enter alone or as a team, and if you’re good enough, there are significant prizes to be won. If you think you have a relevant project, I would encourage you to enter.

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A Year 10 Student's View by Joe

CSES Schools' Engineering and Technology Competition by Joe, year 10 from KEGS

I'm Joe, and I took part in the 2011 CSES Schools' Engineering and Technology Competition. I entered a project I had done at an after school science and engineering club at my school. We were required to design and build a mode of transport for less than £10, and produce a project folder fully evaluating the steps we took to build our vehicle, and analyse the final product. I also put this forward for a silver CREST Award. My friend Dan and I looked at several types of transport to build, but decided on a hovercraft. Designing this hovercraft was a good way of developing our design skills, both on CAD and on paper. After building several prototypes, we decided on the one below.

Joe and Dan at the CSES schools' competition

Being able to build and test these prototypes was a great, practical way of learning vital Technology and Engineering skills such as problem solving. Completing the project folder also taught us a lot about evaluation and presentation, and about the harsh reality of deadlines! It was very fun building and painting our vehicle, and the sense that we'd really achieved something was brilliant.

We took our vehicle and the 30-page project folder to the judging event at Anglia Ruskin University, organised by CSES, and talked at great lengths to several of the judges about what we had built, how we had built it and what we had learned along the way. It was great being able to tell people about what we had done, and to meet and talk to engineers and learn about the opportunities that are available to us. It was an added bonus to the day that we won our category! We really enjoyed taking part in this competition, and feel like we'd really achieved something. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Engineering or thinks that it's something they'd maybe like to do as a career, as you can learn a lot, and I'd like to thank CSES for the opportunity.

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Benefits of Arkwright

By Richard, Year 13, sponsored by BT

Just applying to be an Arkwright Scholar gave me skills that would be useful for a career in Engineering. Drafting my application, sitting the scholarship exam and going for interview were all good experience for a future career and for the university application process. Actually being a Arkwright Scholar has allowed me to pay for a Smallpeice course on Mobile Communications, as well as opening up opportunities to visit companies and institutions that have links with the Arkwright Trust. These opportunities, along with the prestige of the scheme, will mean that being an Arkwright Scholar will continue to be an asset even after I have completed my 6th form Studies.

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Applying for an Arkwright Scholarship

By Jonah, Year 11, Great Baddow High School 

This is the first year that my school has entered anyone for an Arkwright Scholarship, and it's been challenging as it was all new to us, and we had GCSE exams at the same time, but it's also been really enjoyable.

When I first read about it, it appealed to me because it was a chance to take my interest in design and technology beyond school. It's a highly regarded achievement which makes it something to aim for, and whether or not you succeed it is good practice for exams, applications and interviews in the future.

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Having an Arkwright Scholarship

By Dayann, Year 13

Being an Arkwright Scholar has been very advantageous and has given me various opportunities to experience topics and sectors of engineering that I wouldn't otherwise be able to get involved with. Furthermore, I have had the added advantage of being sponsored by CSES, which has allowed me to become a member of the society and attend the lectures they hold.

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