A pioneering public sector planning and development consultancy has thrown its weight behind the campaign to inspire the young engineers and scientists of the future.

Telford-based apT – part of Telford & Wrekin Council – was one of the headline sponsors of a STEM challenge day for primary school children across Shropshire.

The day aimed to fire up the youngsters’ passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and included a special innovation challenge set by apT to design and build a wildlife centre open to visitors all year round.

The youngsters, from nine schools, were given a £1million budget for the challenge and warned they could not spend a penny more.

Siobhan Martin, apT’s business manager, said the event – organised by the Shropshire Star at Coalbrookdale’s Enginuity attraction – had captured the youngsters’ imaginations.

“Fran Lancaster, one of our ecology and green infrastructure specialists, talked the youngsters through our challenge and helped answer their questions as they got to work putting their plans into practice.

“The children quickly got hold of the idea and let their imaginations run wild, with their designs including a spinning observation turret, lots of sustainable technologies such as rainwater harvesting, solar panels and green roofs, and even a cable car designed to run slowly so as not to scare the animals.

“All the mentors were very impressed with the enthusiasm of the groups and the volume of ideas they came up with, planned out, and built during the sessions.

“It’s really important that we inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists and innovators and we were delighted to both sponsor and support this terrific event.”

Telford & Wrekin Council and apT’s sister organisation biT – the council’s property development consultancy – also sponsored the event.

apT is the Midlands’ first public sector commercial planning, development and environmental consultancy.