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‘Real life science brought to life:’ Hundreds of students inspired by interactive workshops

PUBLISHED: 10:19 07 November 2018

Workshop co-ordinator Emily Fisk shows an Ormiston Denes Academy student how wind turbines generate power. Picture: ScottishPower Renewables

Workshop co-ordinator Emily Fisk shows an Ormiston Denes Academy student how wind turbines generate power. Picture: ScottishPower Renewables

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Interactive workshops have helped to inspire the “next generation of engineers and scientists.”

Dr Diogo Gomes, from Cambridge Science Centre, gives a demonstration. Picture: ScottishPower RenewablesDr Diogo Gomes, from Cambridge Science Centre, gives a demonstration. Picture: ScottishPower Renewables

A “hands-on science roadshow” has rolled into Lowestoft as a series of wind power and engineering workshops take centre stage.

Using coding to make traffic lights turn green, assembling an arch bridge, looking at how energy is generated and hearing about what decisions are needed when embarking on the construction of a windfarm are just some of the activities inspiring more than 650 children from Lowestoft all this week.

With students from seven primary schools being welcomed to Ormiston Denes Academy between November 5 and November 9, educational charity Cambridge Science Centre are delivering the workshops, which have been funded by ScottishPower Renewables.

Workshop co-ordinator Emily Fisk shows students how wind turbines generate energy. Picture: ScottishPower RenewablesWorkshop co-ordinator Emily Fisk shows students how wind turbines generate energy. Picture: ScottishPower Renewables

The COSMOS hands-on science roadshows have highlighted the career opportunities available within the engineering and science sectors while also engaging the young students’ interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects with interactive activities.

As part of the week pupils in year 5 and 6 from Corton Church of England Primary School, Oulton Broad Primary School, Roman Hill Primary School, Somerleyton Primary School, Poplars Primary School, Woods Loke Primary School and Blundeston Primary School were all able to participate in the workshops centred around renewable energy and electricity.

About 160 year 7 students from Ormiston Denes Academy also took part, with the workshops representing a key element of the investment being made by ScottishPower Renewables – developer of East Anglia ONE windfarm – as it forms part of its skills strategy to inspire future generations to take advantage of the booming offshore energy industry evolving off the East Anglian coast.

Ormiston Denes Academy students engage with the workshops. Picture: ScottishPower RenewablesOrmiston Denes Academy students engage with the workshops. Picture: ScottishPower Renewables

Victoria Sinclair, supply chain strategy manager at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We believe in inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists.

“Through hosting workshops, such as these, we are able to give back to the communities where we work, while developing a skilled, local workforce who can access the increasing jobs available on windfarms such as East Anglia ONE and lead the region’s flourishing energy industry in years to come.”

Luca, a year 7 student at Ormiston Denes Academy, said: “We’ve learnt all about electrical energy, how it’s produced and how it travels to power objects we use every day.

Nikki Berry, of ScottishPower Renewables, alongside Emily Fisk, Dr Andrew Farrer and Dr Diogo Gomes of Cambridge Science Centre. Picture: ScottishPower RenewablesNikki Berry, of ScottishPower Renewables, alongside Emily Fisk, Dr Andrew Farrer and Dr Diogo Gomes of Cambridge Science Centre. Picture: ScottishPower Renewables

“The workshops have been great and have taught me a lot of things about renewable energy that I didn’t know before.”

Students engaged ‘with science’

Dr Diogo Gomes, team leader at educational charity Cambridge Science Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be working with ScottishPower Renewables to bring our COSMOS roadshows to schools and the community.

“We are passionate about making STEM accessible to people of all ages; encouraging creativity, investigation and discovery.

“In Lowestoft we are combining the best of our previous exhibitions with fantastic hands-on activities, sparking imaginations and inspiring young minds.

“We have been showing the importance of wind power energy and the important work being done in the region as well as showcasing the different opportunities to have a career with ScottishPower Renewables.

“It is important to engage the young people with science as there is such a shortage of STEM professionals – and it is really vital to highlight all the careers available here, as there is going to be a lot of opportunities for young people in the region.”

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Catherine Ludbrook, director of STEM at Ormiston Denes Academy, said: “The COSMOS hands-on science roadshow, sponsored by ScottishPower Renewables, has allowed students in years 5, 6 and 7 to see real life science brought to life.

“Future generations of scientists are seeing how science affects them every day having important concepts explained and being inspired to be our scientists of the future.”

Julie Mayo, transition and co-curriculum projects manager at Ormiston Denes Academy, added: “For a second year we have been very lucky to have COSMOS hands-on science in our Academy.

“We are extremely grateful to ScottishPower Renewables for funding this year’s programme, which has allowed the event to take place. This has given 160 of our own year 7 students, and more than 550 students in years 5 and 6 from seven of our local primary schools, the opportunity to find out more about electricity, wind power and renewables, in an interactive and hands on way.

“Opportunities such as these enhance the classroom curriculum and are always really well received and appreciated by students and staff alike.

“The after school community session has also allowed students from other year groups, schools and the community to be able to come along and experience the hands-on exhibits.”

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