Teesside based global manufacturing company Venator hosted hundreds of pupils at its STEM Fest 2019 to inspire innovation, stimulate learning in science, technology, engineering and maths and demonstrate the career opportunities available in STEM.

Earlier this month, Venator hosted 170 pupils from secondary schools from across the North East, including All Saints Academy in Stockton, St Aidens in Darlington, Rye Hills of Redcar and many more, to its first-ever STEM Fest at the manufacturer’s global HQ at Wynyard Park on Teesside.

The school children visited Titanium House to find out more about the diverse range of career opportunities available in STEM subjects. Pupils were welcomed by Site Director, Karen Fenwick and heard from Dr. Rob Portsmouth, Senior Vice President EHS, Innovation and Technology on ‘The Science behind Venator’ before taking part in STEM activities.

These included a virtual tour of Venator’s Innovation Centre, hands-on engineering and maths challenges, and a demonstration of the scope of technology at the manufacturing company.

In the Engineering Zone, students took part in an interactive session entitled ‘the Titanium Tower Challenge’ in which they were given construction packs and tasked with building the tallest and strongest tower that can hold a pot of titanium dioxide on top. A specially designed Finance Zone also got the pupils focused on hidden maths and why it matters.

Family and friends of Venator employees were also invited to an evening Careers in STEM event on the same day.

Rob Portsmouth, Senior Vice President EHS, Innovation and Technology at Venator, said: “Innovation is at the heart of everything that we do, and as a major employer in the North East of England, we believe it is so important to inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, technologists and engineers.

“We created our STEM Fest to showcase the wide variety of roles that we have here at Venator and why STEM subjects matter. Through the talks, interactive sessions and tour of our Innovation Centre, we hope the students had a fascinating insight into the science behind Venator and how important STEM subjects can be in everyday careers.

“We’re committed to supporting and inspiring the next generation of future engineers, scientists and technologists. STEM Fest 2019 was such a success we’re hoping it will become a regular event.” 

Janine Armstrong, Careers Coordinator at Tees Valley Combined Authority, said: “It was a pleasure to support the Venator STEM Fest and see the students so engaged with the activities.

“Venator not only explained what they do but were able to link the processes and products to what students were actually learning in the curriculum which helps to reinforce the importance of STEM subjects to their future careers.”

Venator’s commitment to STEM also reaches local communities through its £10,000 Bright Ideas Fund, which aims to inspire innovation and stimulate learning in STEM subjects across the region. The fund re-opens early 2020. To find out more please visit www.venatorcommunity.com or follow on Twitter @VenatorFund.