The next generation of engineers and scientists have been inspired by the wonder of wind power in a series of hands-on workshops.
Over the last two weeks, ScottishPower Renewables has been investing in schoolchildren with Mad Science workshops and careers talks to promote a career in science and engineering.
Pupils learnt about the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy, and the effects of high and low air pressure.
Careers talks were also given by ScottishPower Renewables’ personnel, including an electrical engineer and environment manager, to raise awareness of the range of opportunities within the offshore wind sector.
ScottishPower Renewables is committed to inspiring the future generation of engineers and scientists to work in the offshore wind industry and these workshops form part of its East Anglia ONE Skills Strategy. The developer has commenced onshore pre-construction work for its East Anglia ONE offshore windfarm. This 102 turbine windfarm, approximately 30 miles off the coast of Suffolk, is planned to meet the electricity demands of up to the equivalent of 500,000 homes* and should be fully operational during 2020.
Mad Science, which provides hands-on, educational experiences for children, visited twelve primary and secondary schools across the East Anglia region, giving assemblies and workshops packed with ‘windy’ science experiments, such as testing the optimum number of blades and blade angles on a turbine.
Matthew Green, teacher at Bucklesham Primary School, Suffolk, said: “The children were really engaged by Mad Science’s assembly and workshops; that sort of hands on learning is invaluable. The activities were great fun for the pupils, with experiments and predictions. This type of activity really inspires them to investigate a world full of science.”
Becky Hall, a work-related learning coach at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, said: “This was a very valuable careers talk, providing students with knowledge about upcoming opportunities which made them question and think about future choices. It was really inspiring.”
Charlie Jordan, project director for East Anglia ONE, said: “East Anglia ONE is the first of four offshore projects we are planning off the coast of Suffolk and we’re keen to develop a skilled, local work force that can access the jobs these projects will bring to the region. Inspiring children to consider a career in science or engineering and supporting young adults through career decisions is an important part of our skills strategy and commitment to East Anglia.”
Helium Helen, Mad Scientist at Mad Science, said: “I was thrilled to see the children’s enthusiasm and captivation by the topic. Whilst a few children already had knowledge on the subject, most attended the workshops and assemblies with little understanding of renewable and non-renewable energy. However, they left genuinely inspired by the investigations and with a clear vision of the importance of alternative energy sources. The feedback from school staff across the board has been terrific.”