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, and are designed to both stimulate an interest in STEM and to open possible career paths.

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Including our flagship annual TEXPO for schools, projects and online competitions throughout the year.

Imagine! STEM Club

Out-of-school clubs, masterclasses and projects to enhance learning with fun, practical activities.

My Smarter Essex

Interactive conferences attended by students, industry partners and the public sector.

STEM Club Bursary

Financial and in-kind support for your STEM Club, project or activity at school.


Careers guidance, STE(A)M activities, ideas and other material for all ages both in school and at home.

Your stories

Take inspiration from what others have been getting up to.

Save the date: Schools' TEXPO 2022

Schools' TEXPO: Fri 17 June 2022, Anglia Ruskin University

We are pleased to announce the return of our refreshed annual schools' competition: the CSES Schools' Technology Exhibition (TEXPO).

The dates will be as follows:

  • The TEXPO will take place on Friday 17 June 2022
  • The awards evening will take place on an evening of 5-7 July (TBC).

Find out more about the competition, and how to enter, here.

We will announce when the TEXPO is open for entries in the coming weeks, and look forward to seeing you in June!

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Centenary Photographic Competition 2022

Centenary Photographic Competition 2022: Controlling the Climate Crisis

Our second annual photographic competition in 2021 received a wealth of entries, with a wide range of interpretations of around the theme of Fresh Air Fresh Thinking, and we were particularly impressed with the large number submitted by primary school students.

We are pleased to again invite entries for 2022. Exploring the key link between the creative arts and STEM, the competition is, as usual, to encourage primary and secondary school students to use their imagination and creative skills. On this basis, it is open to anyone in full time or part time education in Essex. However, this year we will also have an adult category open to any Essex resident or worker.

Climate change and global warming should be on everybody's agenda. From simple things like walking to school/work and planting trees to technological solutions like green power and carbon capture, we can begin to reduce greenhouse gases and our carbon footprint. Changes in lifestyles, technology, food, farming etc all provide a wealth of inspiration as to how we can help ensure a better world for future generations, so continuing last year’s environmental theme, this year's competition is:

Controlling the Climate Crisis

We want you to take photographs that express what you think are the ways in which we are starting to mitigate the climate crisis. 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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CSES competition winner speaks with PM

CSES competition winner speaks with PM

November 2021 — we were delighted to be informed that Sarah Mirkin (Year 2/3), one of the winners of our Imagine! STEAM online competitions earlier in the year, was recently invited to Downing Street for an audience with the Prime Minister ahead of his attendance at COP26.

There is more information here:

She was also lucky enough to be interviewed for Sky News, along with other children:

Our congratulations and thanks to Sarah and her mother, who very kindly told us that "initiatives such as yours ... help the children feel part of something important and feel heard contribute in many surprising ways".

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Centenary Photo Competition winners announced

Photographic Competition 2021 winners announced

Images on the theme of Fresh Air, Fresh Thinking

We were absolutely delighted to receive such incredibly high-quality – and clever! – entries to our second Photographic Competition, this year on the theme of Fresh Air, Fresh Thinking to accompany our Affiliate Schools Project. As you will see below, these convey some very powerful messages, and should give us all pause for thought.

You can see all of the photographs at our web gallery here.

Congratulations to our winners, whose entries are shown below. They have received Amazon vouchers to the value of £60 (first prize), £30 (second prize) and £20 (third prize). We look forward to running another competition this year.

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Solomon's Story: Nuffield Placement

Solomon's Story: Nuffield Placement

Following a careers talk from CSES, Solomon Malih (Year 12/13) completed a successful Nuffield Research Placement over the 2021 summer holidays. He has kindly told us his story here...

Over the summer, I had the privilege of completing a Nuffield Research Placement. The Nuffield Research Placements are an excellent opportunity to spend two weeks with a subject specialist or industry expert working on a live research topic. As for what you do on this two-week placement, that can vary. I know one placement which was centred around artificial intelligence, whilst another was more practical and involved designing a solution to a real-world engineering problem. Some will be more research-based than others, but they will all likely involve reading academic literature, collecting primary and secondary data, and working with the software used in academia and industry.

I spent two weeks investigating the use of quantum computation for particle physics with a research fellow at the University of Cambridge. Some of the theory and mathematics involved was at an undergraduate or even post-graduate standard, but my supervisor was very patient with me and willing to explain things multiple times if needed. My supervisor's work involved testing a quantum physics concept known as a gauge theory using quantum computation. The particles involved in testing the gauge theory can be modelled as quantum gates, which I implemented in a quantum circuit and simulated using Qiskit, an open-source SDK (software development kit) that provides tools for working with quantum machines.

At the end of the placement, I had to produce a 10-20 page research report outlining my project's aim, findings, methodology, and more.

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