Gaia at Chelmsford Cathedral: Volunteers needed!

Gaia at Chelmsford Cathedral: Volunteers needed!

Gaia at Chelmsford Cathedral: 12-30 October 2022

Chelmsford Cathedral is delighted to be hosting Gaia, the immersive art installation of the earth, for the first time in Essex.

Created by artist Luke Jerram, Gaia measures six metres in diameter and was created from 120 dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth's surface. Visitors to Gaia get to see the Earth as if from space; an incredibly beautiful, fragile and precious place. At night the artwork is lit up and accompanied with a specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones. Connected to the Cathedral's mission and achievements as an A Rocha Gold Eco Church Award holder, this awe-inspiring art installation will be complemented with an exciting programme built around two key themes: Environment and Engagement.

How can I be involved?

To help us deliver this exciting project, we are looking for enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. As a Gaia Volunteer you will meet and greet visitors, share information about the artwork, help direct people through the building and ensure everyone has a great experience encountering Gaia. Each day will be split into morning, afternoon and evening sessions and we hope that volunteers will complete at least three sessions over the course of the installation. All volunteers will receive full training and support from the Cathedral events team.

If you wish to volunteer, please read the job description, and complete an application form by 12th August.

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Website technical issues

Website technical issues

Update 3 July: Functionality for online registration is restored. There is still an issue with the generation of links in some automated emails (especially event reminders), which we are continuing to investigate with the software developers. A fix should be in place for the start of the 2022-2023 events programme.

Update 15 July: We have had to migrate the server on an emergency basis to a new facility. Users should notice no change, and everything appears to be working as normal, but please advise if there are any issues.

If you experience any issues using the website, please Contact the Webmaster (technical support) with any relevant screenshots and the exact date/time that the problem occurred.

Thank you for your patience.

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Call for entries: TEXPO 2022

TEXPO 2022 and Photo Competition – ONE WEEK left to enter!

TEXPO: Friday 17 June 2022, ARU Chelmsford

CSES welcomes entries to the 2022 TEXPO: Schools’ Technology Exhibition.

Open to Y5-13 | All STE(A)M projects welcome | Show your work to scientists and engineers | Cash prizes to be won

Are you in a STEM club at primary or secondary school? Have you made something fantastic in technology or science lessons or for your coursework? Have you created some great software? Have you been doing interesting technical projects at home? (Or have your students?)

Or do you have some STE(A)M work you'd like to share with others – including real scientists and engineers – such as a poster, report, presentation or video?

If your answer to any of these questions is YES, then exhibit at the annual CSES TEXPO. There is prize money to be won! All STE(A)M projects are very welcome – whether practical or theoretical. The TEXPO now includes a dedicated 'poster session' for science, maths and non-practical projects.

This is also an excellent opportunity to develop your interview and presentation skills, as you explain your project to our judges, many of whom are from local industry. You won't just get professional feedback and tips from real engineers and scientists, you'll also get to talk about careers – this is great exposure and looks good on your CV or university application!

Register online quickly and easily here.

Find out more about TEXPO here.

Centenary Photographic Competition: Controlling the Climate Crisis

Also a reminder that our Centenary Photographic Competition is still open for entries.

Open to anyone living, working or attending education in Essex, our photographic competition explores the key link between the creative arts and STEM. The theme 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. So take out your camera or your phone and snap some photos that encapsulate the essence of climate change and the role of science and technology! We will be looking for photos that are creative in their approach, with an innovative angle on the subject, or have a creative interpretation of the themes.

Enter online quickly and easily here.

Find out more about the competition here.

The entry deadline for both competitions is Friday 10 June 2022.

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CSES Summer 2022 Programme

For the whole family

CSES is pleased to announce a packed season of family-friendly activities for Summer 2022, in partnership with Chelmsford Festival, ARU and others.

TEXPO and Photographic Competition still open

Firstly, a reminder that our TEXPO 2022 (17 June) and Centenary Photographic Competition are both still open for entries until Fri 10 June. Please do consider entering these – there are cash prizes available!


Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 June: Do and Discover

Do and Discover Weekend

During the Chelmsford Festival, join CSES and its partners for a full weekend of FREE hands-on discovery across the city of Chelmsford. Taking place in the high street, at the university and at KEGS, we invite you to Do some experimenting and creating, and Discover the wonders of science, technology and opportunities in Chelmsford.

With fun and interesting things to Do and Discover from CSES, ARU, Make Happen, Teledyne e2v / Women@Teledyne, Essex Steamettes, Essex Young Engineers and more, there truly is something for everyone. See our events pages (linked above) for full details. All activities are completely FREE and open to all.

Make HappenIOP PhysicsFestWomen@Teledyne


Wednesday 29 June: Café Scientifique

Café Scientifique: Star Wars Revisited

Star Wars revisited... A FREE talk and informal discussion led by Mr Steven Cutts, doctor, writer and familiar face to CSES members.

Café Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Steven's talks are always fun, informative and really get the discussion going!

Book your FREE place via our website.


Thursday 9 June: CSES Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit

CSES Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit

Following the success of our 2021 Ask Me Anything (AMA) event on Reddit, we will be hosting another one this year. If you are not familiar with the AMA format, it is where notable groups and individuals invite the community to ask them any question, which they will do their best to answer in near real-time. Read our invitation here.


Wednesday 22 June – Friday 15 July: Chelmsford Innovation: Marconi and Beyond

Chelmsford Innovation: Marconi and Beyond

Chelmsford has been a world-renowned centre of scientific and technological innovation for well over 100 years, and still is today. This exhibition at ARU will tell a part of that story, revealing how household names such as Marconi are echoed in the modern age.

The exhibition is free and open to all. There will be fun themed activities for children too, including over Do and Discover weekend on 25 and 26 June with a family day and tours of the campus.

Book your FREE slot via Eventbrite.

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Chelmsford Innovation: Marconi and Beyond

Volunteers sought for summer 2022 exhibition

Chelmsford Innovation: Marconi and Beyond

When: Wednesday 22 June 2022 – Friday 15 July (see specific dates below)

Where: Marconi Building, Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 1SQ

Hours: 11:00 to 16:00 on each day the exhibition is open

This special exhibition will showcase artefacts of scientific and technological innovation from the last 100 years. This is not just about the past – there will also be forward looking displays sponsored by Leonardo and Teledyne e2v. Today, companies in Chelmsford continue to build the technology of the future, with high-tech developments in fields as diverse as space, medicine, communications, and defence. The impact of industry in Chelmsford on all of our lives is incredible. This exhibition will tell at least a part of that story, revealing how household names such as Marconi are echoed in the modern age.

The Chelmsford Civic Society (CCS) is looking for help on each of the days listed below. Your main duty will be to act as an exhibition ambassador and assist visitors with basis information about the content and location of the various exhibits. You may also be asked to assist with specific exhibits should the need arise (information will be provided).

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CSES Curry Evening to celebrate 2MT/BBC Centenary

CSES Curry Evening to celebrate 2MT/BBC Centenary

Monday 23 May 2022, Pakwaan Indian Punjabi Cuisine, Writtle

Click here to book your place(s).

Members and guests are invited to join us to celebrate 100 years since radio broadcasting first began in Writtle.

Did you know that the world's first radio station started in Writtle in 1922? Called 2MT ("Two Emma Toc"), this humble – and somewhat experimental – enterprise operating from a small hut ultimately became the BBC as we know it today.

Exactly 100 years ago, Marconi Company engineers sat in the snug of the old Cock and Bell Inn – now the site of the Pakwaan – and planned the first ever scheduled radio broadcasts in the form of concerts to be aired by 2MT. The success of this station, under Captain Peter Eckersley, led directly to the start of the BBC.

We invite you to join us for a special one-off evening to celebrate this significant milestone. Like those Marconi engineers 100 years ago, this is an opportunity to eat, drink, and maybe even change the world...

5pm – History Walk of significant Writtle sites with historians Alan Pamphilon and Tim Wander (meet in the restaurant car park)

7pm – Dinner followed by speech and presentation of commemorative plaque

Click here to see the menu – 1920s dress encouraged!

The restaurant is all ours for the evening with an excellent set menu with all the trimmings to choose from. The after-dinner speaker will be Writtle 2MT and Marconi historian Tim Wander, and a plaque will be presented to the restaurant owners.

Spaces are limited and must be pre-booked by Monday 16 May. Click here to book.

We look forward to seeing you there! Read on for a little more of the story...

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Chelmsford Innovation: Marconi and Beyond

Chelmsford Innovation: Marconi and Beyond

A special exhibition showcasing innovation from the last 100 years to the present day

Chelmsford has been a world-renowned centre of scientific and technological innovation for well over 100 years, and still is today. Among other things, Chelmsford is home to the world's first wireless (later radio) factory, the world's first river water treatment plant and the world's first colour digital camera – and that's just from within the last century. Today, companies in Chelmsford continue to build the technology of the future, with high-tech developments in fields as diverse as space, medicine, communications and defence. The impact of industry in Chelmsford on all of our lives is incredible.

A collaboration between ARU, CSES, Chelmsford Civic Society and the Marconi Veterans' Association, this exhibition will tell a part of that story, revealing how household names such as Marconi are echoed in the modern age. It will take place in ARU's Marconi building, which was opened by Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli, the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, in 2010, on ARU's Chelmsford campus.

The exhibition will open on Wednesday, 22 June and will run on specific days until Friday, 15 July. Attendees need to book their place – more information and full details of times can be found at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/chelmsford-innovation-marconi-and-beyond-tickets-324804377637.

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CSES Spring 2022 Programme: Talks, dinner and new book

We know that many of our members would like to know when we will be returning to 'in-person' activities. The short answer is: now.

We are delighted to announce three talks (one accompanied by a new book!) and our 2022 annual dinner, all coming up in the next few weeks.

We have several school and family activities planned for summer and then intend to return to a full programme in the autumn (restrictions permitting). Read on for more details...


Wednesday 11 May: The 2023 World Solar Challenge

Wednesday 11 May: The 2023 World Solar Challenge

An exciting free evening talk, to be held at Anglia Ruskin University, with the Cambridge University Eco-Racing Team. Book now via our website.

Tuesday 17 May: The Centenary of British Radio Broadcasting

Tuesday 17 May: The Centenary of British Radio Broadcasting

An illustrated lecture by Tim Wander to be held in Writtle, celebrating 100 years since radio broadcasting first began there. Book now via Eventbrite.

Accompanied by a new, limited edition book – only 300 copies – published in in the centenary year of the 2MT radio station (and the BBC!). Each book signed and numbered by the author – 208 Pages Full Colour A4.

With many new, previously published and colourised photographs (see full article for example).

The complete story of Britain's first regular scheduled radio station that changed the world.

Visit 2mtwrittle100.co.uk to order your copy.

Monday 23 May: The Centenary CSES Curry Evening

Monday 23 May: The Centenary CSES Curry Evening

Our annual dinner for 2022 takes the form of a celebratory curry at Pakwaan Indian Punjabi Cuisine in Writtle to mark the centenary of radio broadcasting. Book now via our website.

Wednesday 25 May: Soft Robotics

Wednesday 25 May: Soft Robotics

Also at Anglia Ruskin University. Book now via our website.


Looking forward to the summer, we will be holding the CSES TEXPO (formerly the Schools' Engineering and Technology Competition) and announcing the winners of our photographic competition. Both are open now – enter via our website.

We will also be holding a full weekend of fun experimental activities for all the family (Do and Discover) as part of the Chelmsford Festival in June.

Assuming all remains well with Covid restrictions, we expect to return to a full calendar of talks and regular socials in the autumn. We look forward to seeing you there!

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