27 Jan 16

Sizewell B physicist teaches our teachers about nuclear energy

A nuclear physicist from Sizewell B power station in Suffolk is supporting the next generation of physics teachers at science lectures organised by the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI). 

Colin Tucker, A nuclear safety engineer at EDF Energy’s Sizewell B power station, was asked to give new teachers in physics an introduction to nuclear energy. 

The special sessions were organised in London and Birmingham by the PTI to enthuse and engage newly qualified physics teachers so they can bring the curriculum to life for their students and encourage the engineers of the future.

Colin is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador for EDF Energy and regularly gives talks to students and teachers on the wonders of science.  This passion led him to develop models of power stations and online tutorials of how the electricity grid works which have been used by Cambridge University.  Colin’s latest invention is a science game accessible for primary schools students.  

Speaking about the opportunity, Colin Tucker, Sizewell B nuclear safety engineer, said:  "I know that science teachers work really hard to try to inspire their students. For some parts of the curriculum this can be difficult as they only have textbooks, pictures and the internet to draw on. Giving these talks is so enjoyable for me because it's a way of connecting one-to-one with interested teachers, giving them insight into a real power station, and the chance to fill in the gaps in their knowledge and understanding by answering their questions. I hope I've also inspired some of them to come and visit us here at Sizewell B."

Chris Pope, Co-Director of the Prince’s Teaching Institute, said: “Once again, we are thrilled with the enthusiasm of those new to the profession to bring their subject to life.  Our New Teacher Subject Days are an essential lifeline of support for newly qualified teachers, encouraging them as they do to engage with fresh ideas and a network of like-minded teachers. It is essential that all teachers, whether experienced or new, be given ways to inspire their pupils to have real passion for their subjects, and we are grateful to Colin and EDF Energy for sharing their expertise and time with the teachers.”

Notes to editors

The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) is an organisation run by teachers for teachers. It aims to inspire teachers in their subject disciplines, to develop subject expertise, and to give them the confidence to introduce their pupils to challenging material.  

Working in primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, the PTI has activities for all levels in schools. For headteachers and senior leadership teams, it has a Schools Leadership Programme and Headteachers’ Residentials to explore ‘what works in schools’, sharing good practice in promoting effective teaching and learning and good school curriculum design. The Schools Programme and Summer Schools are for subject leaders and include a membership scheme which enriches a department’s subject provision both inside and outside the classroom. The one-day courses are subject-based Continuing Professional Development courses for all teachers. The New Teachers’ Subject Days courses are for teacher trainees, newly qualified teachers and second - and third-year teachers.

HRH The Prince of Wales established his first Education Summer School in 2002, with the aim of bringing together teachers of English and History from secondary state schools and giving them the opportunity to discuss why their subjects were important, what should be taught and how. The success of that Summer School led to the formation of The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) of which The Prince of Wales is President.

Media enquiries regarding the PTI to Charlotte Cornwell on 020 7932 1599 or charlottec@blj.co.uk See www.princes-ti.org.uk

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/