Budding young engineers take on renewable energy challenge - The Rugby Observer

Budding young engineers take on renewable energy challenge

Rugby Editorial 28th Nov, 2023   0

BUDDING engineers at a Rugby primary school took on a renewable energy challenge.

Children from Northlands Primary School joined staff from the Rugby-based Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) to experiment with renewable energy solutions.

The challenge – to try and discover which design of wind turbine blade produces energy most efficiently – was designed to develop students’ engineering skills, help them understand more about the UK’s need for clean energy, and inspire them to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

IChemE volunteers talked to students about the rising demand for energy in recent decades, and explained how today’s familiar electronic devices like gaming consoles and tablets first started to become available to children in the 1980s.

Students learned about the importance of using renewable resources to supply the UK’s increasing energy needs, before splitting into groups to solve the wind power engineering problem.

They invited Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, who sits on the Select Committee for Energy Security and Net Zero in Parliament, and Warwickshire County Councillor Yousef Dahmash to join in with the challenge.

Northlands Primary headteacher Julian Davoile said: “Our students enjoyed finding out more about the sort of items that use electricity, and the need to utilise clean renewable resources like wind power.

“The IChemE volunteers were brilliant at encouraging students to engineer efficient miniature turbine models and were also inspiring engineering career role models.”

IChemE CEO Yvonne Baker said: “A key focus for the IChemE is enabling all young people to understand more about what engineers do, and helping them develop their own problem solving and creativity skills.

“IChemE’s DiscoverChemEng initiative helps students from primary school to sixth form understand more about what chemical and process engineering is, how it impacts daily life, and how to follow a chemical engineering career.”

Mr Pawsey said: “Delivering reliable and affordable green energy is a complex challenge which will require us to train the next generation talented engineers, and it’s important for young people to have early opportunities to develop the strong STEM skills required in modern engineering.

“I was delighted to be able to join IChemE and all the students at Northlands Primary School to see how they were producing brilliant efficient working models of wind turbines. Bringing this kind of creativity and skill to the classroom is how we will inspire tomorrow’s engineers.”

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