Schoolchildren inspired by aviation experience

Children from schools local to Essar’s Stanlow refinery recently participated in a special visit to Cheshire College South and West (CCSW) in Ellesmere Port. The visit was organised through Essar’s partnership with Passion for Learning, a local charitable organisation working to support primary school age children.

The aim of the visit was to help children develop their understanding of industry in the local area and the science on which it is founded. Passion for Learning also want children to discover more about the world around them, using fun and exciting learning opportunities as a way of helping them to explore their own future ambitions and aspirations.

One of the highlights for the children was meeting up with the College Travel and Tourism students, who treated them to a VIP experience on board the aeroplane body which they use as part of their studies. The children relished the onboard aircraft experience, aided by audio effects to make it close to a real flying adventure.

With the support of the staff from Essar, the children also took part in a number of interactive games and activities behind the science of Stanlow, helping to explain how aviation fuel is produced and supplied from the refinery. The children had fun trying on safety suits and lifejackets, carrying out scientific experiments, and taking part in quizzes.

Darryl Pickering, Headteacher at Cambridge Road Primary commented: “We were delighted by the opportunity to send a group of children on this visit, which was totally unique and unlike anything they had experienced before.”

Kevin Manning, Headteacher at Elton Primary added: ‘We value the support we have from Passion for Learning volunteers, who make a positive difference to the children they come into school to support on a regular basis.’

Essar sponsors Passion for Learning’s volunteers at both Cambridge Road and Elton Primary schools. The programme helps the children to develop some of the knowledge around the STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and maths) which are necessary to work in the energy industry.

Managing Director of Passion for Learning Diane Clark commented: “We value the partnership we have with Essar in being able to provide the kind of enriching and inspiring learning opportunities for as many children in our communities as possible. The College have also been amazing in hosting this visit for us – we are sure many of the children will have been inspired by the students they met. We hope to repeat this experience for more children who we help with our 1:1 volunteers and our Enrichment Clubs and are very grateful to everyone involved.”