E.ON STEM Event at Steven’s Croft Biomass Power Station

Overview

Learn by Design in-school educators had the pleasure of travelling up to bonnie Scotland for a fun-filled E.ON science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) event at Steven’s Croft Biomass Power Station back in February of this year (2018).

Taking place over 2 days, our team welcomed nearly 200 students from Langholm Academy, Lockerbie Academy, Moffat Academy and Dumfries High School on a journey of renewable energy with 2 STEM-based workshops on site.

STEMployment

To kick off the fun, students took part in a competitive Qwizdom workshop which encouraged them to question their understanding of STEM and STEM careers, whilst working effectively in teams. Their creativity and imagination was then put to the test as they were tasked with devising an innovative and original idea to help solve the world’s energy crisis. This session put students logical and practical skills to the test, using the ‘out of the box’ thinking that is essential to STEM-based careers.

Wind Turbines and Renewable Energy

Their second challenge was to build their own working miniature wind turbines using complete kits, basic tools and diagrammatic instructions. This provided first hand insight into the mechanics of wind technology, whilst facilitating discussion around climate and renewables (including biomass), as well as building teamwork, problem solving and determination skills. Students then got the chance of putting their models to the test using a fan and visual voltmeter to measure the electricity output, aiming to have the highest voltage to show which turbines were most efficient. The session ended with a discussion exploring alternative renewable energy solutions and ways in which reductions of energy consumption, especially for heating needs, can be achieved.

Learn by Design’s Power Station Tour

After all of the fun of delivering renewable energy workshops, Learn by Design’s in-school educators Jill and Cristina were treated to a tour of Steven’s Croft Biomass Power Station. Cristina said, “After much quizzing and wind turbine building in aid of E.ON’s community awareness, we got to don hard hats and scale the dizzy heights of the power station! E.ON are always great to work with and this particular job was no disappointment.”

Fantastic Feedback 

E.ON’s Chemistry and Environmental Engineer, Kerry McCole and Senior Community Relations Officer, Billie Jean Poole also took part in the event. Kerry said, “I just wanted to take the opportunity to say a massive thank you again to Cristina and Jill for the fantastic job they did here at Steven’s Croft. It was a fantastic day and the most professional engagement sessions we have ever had with local schools in our 11 years of existence here at Lockerbie. I’m thrilled with how the day went – both girls are amazing at what they do, really inspiring for the kids and lovely people to boot! The whole experience couldn’t have been easier for the site team.”

Kerry then added, “We’re delighted to have made these connections (both internally and with Learn by Design) and I’m sure it’s something we will definitely look to continue.”

We also received high praise from a 13 year old girl whose Dad works at the Power Station, and has sent a summary of what she said when she got home after the event, “It was really great – I learned loads and enjoyed building the turbine. Your job isn’t as boring as I thought it was Dad! The workshop was loads more fun than a morning in school!”