Somerset students tackle low carbon challenges
BUDDING young scientists and engineers gave up some of their Easter holidays to take part in a low carbon residential at EDF Energy’s Cannington Court training centre.
Some 50 Year Nine students from schools across Somerset spent four days tackling a range of scientific and construction challenges through the Hinkley Point C Inspire education programme.
Challenges ranged from designing a water-powered turbine to generate electricity to working together to try and fix a leaking pipe hidden under a sealed box using nothing more than a torch, a spanner and an endoscope.
They were also given an insight into how EDF Energy uses social media to promote low carbon energy generation by taking control of the company’s @edfehinkleyc Twitter account.
They used #studenttakeover to shout about their work during the residential with Tweets including their own ideas for producing low carbon electricity and a photo of their wind powered car.
The pupils came from Chilton Trinity School, Haygrove School, Robert Blake Science College all in Bridgwater, Bishop Fox’s School in Taunton, Wellington School, Huish Episcopi Academy, Kingsmead School in Wiveliscombe, St Dunstan’s School in Glastonbury, The Blue School in Wells, the Kings of Wessex Academy in Cheddar and Wadham School in Yeovil.
Since it was launched in 2011, the Inspire programme has made 104,000 connections with the next generation of engineers and scientists.
The programme aims to prepare young people to take advantage of the huge opportunities the Hinkley Point C project will bring by inspiring them to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – known as STEM.
Somerset schools were each invited to put forward five students for the residential which was delivered in partnership with STEMworks and Bridgwater College.
The pupils were split into eight groups for the three days, with each group mentored by EDF Energy graduates.
Darren Towers, EDF Energy’s Head of Education and Skills, said: “All the young people who took part had volunteered to be there during their school holidays which showed real commitment on their behalf.
“The UK faces a major skills gap so it’s vital for our business and the country that we encourage this kind of interest and enable even more young people to gain hands-on experience of STEM through programmes like Inspire.
“The low carbon residential is particularly effective as our graduates help run the workshops and mentor the students taking part. That means the pupils can meet young people who are already in our company and get some real-life guidance about what we do and the opportunities available to them.”
The students enjoyed a games evening, sports, a low ropes challenge and a visit to Hinkley Point B power station during the four days.
The event culminated with an evening presentation and an exhibition of work for parents, guardians and teachers.
Simon Kettle of STEMworks said: “By the end of the residential we want each student to realise that not all jobs with EDF Energy are for engineers – there is a huge breadth of skills needed, including physicists, supply chain, project planners and environmental scientists.
“We make sure they have fun as well as finding their stay educational and it’s a great opportunity for young people to come and meet EDF Energy and see what the company and the world of STEM is all about.”
Photos: schools from Bridgwater, Wellington, Wiveliscombe, Taunton, Yeovil, Huish Episcopi, Wells, Cheddar and Glastonbury took part. Pupils from every area are included in at least one of the attached photos.
Students from across Somerset spent four days exploring the world of science, technology and maths at EDF Energy’s Cannington Court training centre.
Trying to fix a leaking pipe with the use of a torch, a spanner and an endoscope, from left, are Emma Canavan of Bishop Fox’s School, Joe Shoesmith of the Kings of Wessex Academy, EDF Energy graduate Emma Betts-Gray, Christopher Bown of Chilton Trinity School, Megan Newbury of Robert Blake Science College and Max Lamprill of Wadham School.
Testing their bridge building techniques, from left, are Olivia Fursland of Chilton Trinity School, Filip Bos of Robert Blake Science College, Adam Rowley of the Kings of Wessex Academy, Megan Andrews of St Dunstan’s School, Eleanor Croker of Huish Episcopi Academy and Glenn Keates of Bishop Fox’s School.
Turning water into energy watched by EDF Energy graduate Usman Khan, from left, are Ewart Jackson-Voyzey of the Kings of Wessex Academy, Catherine Kellow of Bishop Fox’s School, Christina Jasper of Wellington School, Helen Mirfin of St Dunstan’s School, Korey West of Chilton Trinity School and Callum Ward of Chilton Trinity School.
Putting the finishes touches to their water turbine, from left, are Adam Goodwin of Huish Episcopi Academy, Tom Fry of Wadham School, Korben Trunks of Chilton Trinity School, Simon Toogood of the Kings of Wessex Academy, Amy Heath of the Blue School and Nadine Nikala of Chilton Trinity School.
EDF Energy graduate Hannah Boyes helps, from left, Elliot Risely of Kingsmead School, Florence Human of the Kings of Wessex Academy, Amber Grindon of Huish Episcopi Academy, Callum Newton of Wadham School, Marianne Baly of Wellington School and Jacob Girdler of Chilton Trinity School.
Wellington School pupil Marianne Baly turns water into electricity with the help of her team mates and their mini water turbine.
Wadham School pupil Max Lamprill uses an endoscope to find a leaking pipe hidden under a cardboard box watched by EDF Energy graduates.
For more information contact:Annelise Cowie
External Communications Manager, Hinkley Point
EDF Energy in the South West
In the South West EDF Energy employs around 4,000 people across three key sites; at Hinkley Point in Somerset, at Barnwood, near Gloucester, and at Exeter. We operate Hinkley Point B power station, which employs around 550 staff and 220 contract partners. A new nuclear power station, capable of supplying around 5 million homes, is planned at Hinkley Point, subject to a final investment decision. We have an operational support centre at Barnwood, while Exeter is home to one of EDF Energy’s three UK-based call centres. As well as currently generating enough power for some 1.5 million homes in this region, EDF Energy also provides gas and electricity to 610,000 customers with over 20% of those opting for one of the company’s Blue+ products backed by low-carbon generation. We make sure we buy enough electricity generated from a low-carbon nuclear source to match every unit of electricity we estimate our Blue customers use. EDF Energy is proud to power some of the largest companies in the UK, including sites for the Ministry of Defence, Tesco Stores Limited, Morrisons and Everything Everywhere, right here in the South West.