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Building Plymouth launches a MAMMOTH mission for local school children

Construction professionals have set an imaginary mammoth challenge this summer for local primary school children to help design a new ‘Mammoth House’ to accommodate and reunite the well-loved Mildred the mammoth who is currently living in The Box, with her mammoth friend George who is coming to live in Plymouth.

Hosted at The Box and Arts University Plymouth, Mission Mammoth STEAMFest is designed to offer the children an exciting experience of hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities. This new week-long programme aims to inspire the future generation, raise the children’s aspirations and greatly improve their skills and passion for STEAM subjects.

Taking place from 11– 15 July 2022, the children's STEAM skills will be challenged through a variety of workshops and activities covering design, architecture, green skills and sustainability, engineering and surveying; all delivered and supported by industry experts from construction and the built environment, The Box and Arts University Plymouth. After their exciting day at The Box, the children will then be supported back in the classroom by representatives from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) who will assist the children in further developing their Mammoth House design ideas ahead of entering a competition to bring their creative ideas to life, followed by an awards ceremony after the summer holidays.

Emma Hewitt, Skills Lead at Plymouth City Council said: “Our Building Plymouth partnership is working together to inspire and raise awareness about the breadth of career opportunities in construction and the built environment. By delivering STEAMFest, we will be able to positively influence over 500 children about the wide range of jobs and skills needed across design, engineering, surveying, sustainability and management. As a city we have significant skills shortages, particularly in STEM sectors which account for nearly 60% of all jobs in Plymouth so it is critical that we engage positively with our children to increase their interest and take-up of these subjects throughout their education journey. I extend a huge thanks to construction friends who have committed time and funding to help plan our activities and also for hosting our hands-on activity sessions across what will be a fantastic week.”

Adam Murray, Learning Officer at The Box said: We are really excited to host STEAMFEST this year. Throughout the week students from local schools will be able to explore their local heritage, enrich their STEM skills and enjoy an inspiring and fun day of activities. Learning is at the heart of our organisation and it’s a great opportunity for local students to engage with the collections here. We’re really looking forward to this fantastic event!”

Dr Stephen Felmingham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Arts University Plymouth said: "We’re proud to have collaborated with Building Plymouth on this creative project and to be able to support children from across the city. The collaboration within this project between architectural and construction companies, artists and other organisations is an excellent example of STEAM in action and why it’s so important to ensure that students have opportunities to develop complementary skills in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics."

The organisation of Mission Mammoth STEAMFest has also presented student engagement opportunities through Arts University Plymouth including the cute mammoth illustration of Mildred and George. Jack Viant, Lecturer BA (Hons) Illustration, Arts University Plymouth explained: Our Illustration students were excited at the opportunity to work with Building Plymouth on a live brief, it was good industry practice for them and to have one of our 1st years' artwork selected is something to be celebrated. As one of their tutors, I had the pleasure of seeing the early stages of their ideas generation and thought process. All submissions were excellent and the Illustration team are proud that our students are getting out there and putting their creative stamp on the world, amazing! We are also really lucky to have The Box right on our doorstep and are always happy to collaborate with an establishment that is built on creativity and discovery."

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