13 Aug 14

Science in the summer holidays at Sizewell B

School's out for the summer and the bookings at the Sizewell B visitor centre are on the rise with parents looking for educational activities for the kids.

The visitor centre at the power station has recorded an increase in the number of family trips to the site since schools broke up with over 550 visits booked over the summer break and more expected as parents look for educational activities in the last few weeks of the school holidays.

Parents looking for something to do with the children, come rain or shine, have poured through the visitor centre doors looking for activitities that stimulate young active brains.

Annabel Bell and her 11 year old son Joe visited the power station whilst on holiday in Walberswick this week. Joe is studying science at school and wanted to see a power station for his energy studies.

Whilst on the tour Joe got an insight into how Sizewell B safely generates power for over 2million homes whilst he explored the impressive turbine hall, home to some of the largest pieces of electrical kit on the site, Joe said: “Visiting the turbine hall was a real highlight for me.” Mum Annabel likened the station to a ‘James Bond’ set and said that as her husband missed out on the visit this time whilst he was at the Leiston Long Shop Museum with their younger children, he would be keen make the tour on another trip to Suffolk.

Joe was joined by his young brother, Ned and sister Kitty on a tour of the visitor centre after Joe completed his tour of the power station. The family finished the visit with their own special science pack so they can take part in EDF Energy’s new nationwide mass participation citizen science experiment - The Big Bumblebee Discovery. The initiative is designed to address real scientific questions and inspire a new generation of science enthusiasts.

The Big Bumblebee Discovery, which EDF Energy is running in partnership with the British Science Association, will see students across the country act as real-life scientific researchers.

The experiment utilises a citizen science approach – the method of using a large number of public researchers, in this case school children, to each collect a sample of data. The hope is that by encouraging large number of individuals to pool their knowledge and efforts, data can be collected quickly and efficiently to help answer scientific questions.

Results will be used by researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology to map bumblebee numbers across Britain and what impact changing population numbers have on crop pollination.

Numbers visiting Sizewell B since the new visitor centre launched in December 2012 broke the 5,000 mark last month with tour by a group of up and coming nuclear leaders from across the globe the World Nuclear University.

The visitor centre has recently recruited three new guides to deal with the increase in bookings for tours of the station. There is now a team of ten guides based at the Sizewell B visitor centre ready to meet schools and the general public keen to know more about how Sizewell B safely generates enough low carbon generation for over 2million homes.

The Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre will normally be open Monday-Friday from 9-4pm and every Saturday until (and including) 13th September 9am-4pm. The majority of the tours will be organised for schools and educational groups however, members of the public are welcome too. You don't need to pre-book to visit the visitors centre but do need to make an appointment for a tour of the power station.
Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, before being given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant. To find out more and to enquire about booking a visit, contact sizewellbtours@edf-energy.com.