Dad launches appeal to inspire a million UK pupils in memory of his mother

A primary school was turned into a virtual base on the planet Mars this week for the launch of a national campaign to inspire young people.


Children at St Lawrence Primary School in Church Stretton had a school day like no other when STEAM Co. visited to both help launch Science Week and a nationwide campaign to Raise a Million Quids to Inspire a Million Kids.

It is the brainchild of Ludlow-born and bred Nick Corston, who has a deeply personal reason for wanting to pass on the inspiration of his well-known mother Di Corston, who died of a terminal illness on Tuesday.

STEAM Co OurMillion22 launch day at St Lawrence Primary - The cardboard Mars base camp virtual set from drone cam

Mr Corston, who runs STEAM Co, said: "My mum didn't see herself as an artist or a creative but was the best example of what we all have in us to be the change we want to see and how we can all collaborate with and support our schools via things like STEAM Co. days to inspire children to aim higher than high in life."

Mr Corston said his mum was part of his inspiration to start STEAM Co. 10 years ago as she ran a summer arts and crafts play scheme in Ludlow for more than 20 years. His dad Peter Corston was also a town, district and county councillor.

He wants part of his mum's legacy to be the location of a STEAM Co. Drop Truck in the county. The plan is for it to send inspiration to young people across the region.

STEAM Co OurMillion22 launch day at St Lawrence Primary Darcy Edgerton and Holly Myatt coding BBC MicroBits

"We're looking for creative carers, people and organisations who will chip in a quid to help us get up to 22 of our Pop Up Creativity Day Drop Trucks on the road this year to run sessions both in schools and communities as part of STEAM Co.'s grass roots #Ignite22 Festival of School Creativity," said Mr Corston.

Children at St Lawrence Primary were shown the truck in action with a Mission To Mars day.

An all school assembly was live streamed to classes and family homes as if on a cardboard Mars base camp in the school playground.

Classes made and fired paper air rockets more than 200 feet in the air, coded BBC Micro:bit computers, made a cardboard planet Mars model and designed #ILoveArt logos to be printed onto t-shirts and posters as part of a million portrait display later in the year.

Mr Alan Brannen headteacher at St Lawrence Primary, said: “STEAM Co’s Mission to Mars session today connected with the whole school community.

STEAM Co OurMillion22 launch day at St Lawrence Primary Florence Reeve with I Love Art logo

"The children were inspired by some amazing role models in art and science, the teachers enjoyed leading the range of creative activities on offer and our parents/carers loved seeing and being part of the assembly”

Inspired by Elon Musk's vision to take a million children to Mars in 30 years, as part of the #Ignite22 Festival, Nick wants to bring Mars to Shropshire and has been offered a site for a weekend creativity festival which he wants to build around the 1:1,000,000 scale 'Mars' art work itself created by artist Luke Jerram.

To see more photos and a video of the day at St Lawrence Primary and to donate to STEAM Co.'s #OurMillion22 appeal visit

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