10 Jun 14

Kids shun the sun for screens this summer

Over a quarter (26%) of children will shun traditional summer holiday activities to spend time indoors surfing the internet, playing video games and glued to iPads, according to a new poll commissioned by EDF Energy.

The survey of 2,000 parents and kids across the UK unveils a new ‘generation gadget’, with kids choosing screens over sunshine during their summer holidays. As a result, over a quarter of parents (26%) expect their child to spend less than two hours a day outside during the summer, with almost two fifths (39%) saying they think their children spend too much time indoors.

When asked what they thought would encourage their kids to enjoy the great outdoors, almost two thirds (60%) of parents suggested getting them involved in an outdoor educational activity or experiment and over half (52%) said getting them involved in outdoor activity with their family.

EDF Energy and the British Science Association are urging parents, teachers and children to sign- up to the ‘The Great EDF Energy Experiment’, a five year initiative, which is designed to challenge over 100,000 children to think differently about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

The first experiment - The Big Bumblebee Discovery - will seek to 'recruit' thousands of children to act as scientific researchers this summer. They will be asked to count the number and different types of bumblebees they spot in their garden, school playground or local park. The results will be used by scientific researchers from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology to explore whether the diversity of bumblebees is affected by their surrounding landscape.

EDF Energy is encouraging parents and teachers across the UK to sign up by logging on to www.beediscovery.org

Campaign ambassador, science broadcaster and TV presenter Dallas Campbell said: “It’s clear that kids need a bit of encouragement when it comes to learning about nature and making the most of the great outdoors. The ‘Big Bumblebee Discovery’ is the perfect summer activity to help them do both. It not only gives kids a unique and exciting opportunity to get involved in a real-life outdoor science experiment, but they can do this with friends and family, whilst enjoying the sunshine in their back garden or local park.”

Katherine Mathieson, Director of Programmes at the British Science Association commented: “We know that getting kids inspired in science at a young age is really important – and the summer holidays are a great time for families to get involved in something like The Big Bumblebee Discovery. It’s a fun and easy way to show kids just what it means to be a scientist, as well as getting everyone outdoors to make the most of the fresh air and sunshine!”

Over the last five years, EDF Energy has implemented and operated a successful learning and teaching tool with an online resource, ‘The Pod’ which has reached over 10 million school children.

Paul Spence, Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs, EDF Energy said, “At EDF Energy we are committed to inspiring the next generation of scientists to help us build a sustainable future. The Great EDF Energy Experiment’ was launched to help engage young people in science and show them just how accessible and exciting, it can be. We are calling on parents and teachers to sign-up to ‘The Big Bumblebee Discovery’ this summer and see first-hand just how many opportunities science can bring.”

The first 3,000 schools to sign up to the experiment will receive a free lavender plant and engagement pack containing a range of fantastic resources to help them along the way – but anyone who signs up to The Pod to register interest in participating will be able to get their hands on a range of great tools to help them with the experiment.

To sign up to the Big Bumblebee Discovery and find out more about ‘The Great EDF Energy experiment’, log onto www.beediscovery.org.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact:

EDF Energy Press Office

T: 020 7025 6692

E: edfenergyteam@redconsultancy.com

About the research

:: The survey of 1002 UK kids aged 5-16 and 1,012 parents of kids aged 5016 was carried out by Opinion Matters between: 20/05/14 and 27/05/14.

Notes to editors:

About EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/

The Pod, EDF Energy’s environmental education programme, launched in September 2008. The Pod sits at the heart of EDF Energy’s programme for greener schools. It was developed to help EDF Energy meet its Sustainability Commitment of engaging with 2.5 million children by 2012 in learning about the sustainable use of energy. The Pod now has some 18,000 registered schools and community groups, and seeks to engage young people on energy, science and sustainability. It aims to make real and measurable difference to the energy usage and carbon output of schools across the UK and to provide practical support, activities and materials for teachers.

www.jointhepod.org is an interactive website for teachers providing free lesson plans, activities, games and information all with cross curricular links. The content is currently aimed at key stages 1, 2 and 3. The ethos of the Pod is ‘Share your ideas and inspire each other’, which is why the site also encourages pupils and teachers to blog about their activities and to post photos and videos to showcase their green projects.

About The British Science Association

The British Science Association is the UK's nationwide, open membership organisation that exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering. Established in 1831, the British Science Association organises major initiatives across the UK, including National Science and Engineering Week, the annual British Science Festival, programmes of regional and local events, and an extensive programme for young people in schools and colleges. For more information please visit www.britishscienceassociation.org.

About the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) is the UK's Centre of Excellence for integrated research in the land and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere. CEH is part of the Natural Environment Research Council, employs more than 450 people at four major sites in England, Scotland and Wales, hosts over 150 PhD students, and has an overall budget of about £35m. CEH tackles complex environmental challenges to deliver practicable solutions so that future generations can benefit from a rich and healthy environment. www.ceh.ac.uk You can follow the latest developments in CEH research via www.twitter.com/CEHScienceNews and our rss news feed http://www.ceh.ac.uk/rss/rss.xml