Putting wind in their sails: Seagreen launches STEM education programme for schools
Pupils from Monifieth High show off their work
9 December 2020: A £73,000 education programme which will give over 3,000 children in Dundee and Angus the opportunity to learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects has been launched by Seagreen Wind Energy – the company jointly owned by SSE Renewables and Total and responsible for delivering the £3bn Seagreen offshore wind farm development located 27km off the coast of Angus.
The programme will use fun and educational activities, delivered by the charity Engineering Development Trust (EDT), to teach young people about the renewable energy sector and the STEM careers open to them in the industry when they are older.
Employees from Seagreen and SSE Renewables are to also support the programme as STEM ambassadors to help bring STEM and wind energy careers to life for young people.
John Hill, Project Director for Seagreen explained why it is so important for the project to invest in STEM education:
“We want to maximise the opportunities that local school pupils have to access the growing jobs market that Seagreen and other renewable energy projects throughout Scotland have to offer.
“That’s why we’re committed to the development of young people in Dundee and Angus and we want to ignite their interest in STEM Subjects and a wind energy career. By helping give them access to the knowledge and skills we’re increasing the skills-base which would allow them to pursue related study options, including apprenticeships, when they leave school.
“Through this education programme, pupils, their families and their teachers will see the benefits of future careers in wind and renewable energy and the contribution these roles will undoubtedly make in building the strong, skilled and sustainable and green Scottish communities of the future.”
Chief Executive of EDT, Julie Feest said: “The Covid pandemic will have the greatest impact on those leaving or still in education, with a widening social divide and attainment gap created over last summer.
“It is so important for young people in the Angus and Dundee area to have hope for their future, to see how exciting a career could be in this area of environment that they care about so much, and that there is local employment they can consider for their future.”
The pupils learn about renewable energy sources and the benefits of wind energy through discussion, researching and designing their own wind turbine for the future. Pupils also take part in a Q&A session with SSE Renewables employees to learn what it is like to work in a large energy company and the career paths available. All pupils are presented with an award when their projects are complete.
One of the first schools to take part in the programme is Monifieth High. Angela Barclay, Principal Teacher of Technologies at the school said that pupils had enjoyed doing their projects.
“This has been a brilliant project which has really captured what Seagreen and the renewable energy sector means for the Dundee and Angus area.
“Our kids have really enjoyed learning about Seagreen and about wind energy and we’ve been very impressed by the hard work that they have put in.
“I have no doubt that a number of our pupils will want to pursue STEM careers in the future, and it is projects like this that make such a future a reality.
The first phase of the Seagreen education programme will continued to be delivered in 2021, with more news on other STEM skills development projects being developed by the project expected later next year.
Schools in the Dundee and Angus area wishing to get involved should contact email@example.com.