3 Apr 13

Taunton pupils tackle energy challenge day

Students from the four Taunton schools that attended the challenge day

Sixty Taunton pupils took part recently in a series of educational challenges in a ‘low-carbon learning day’ organised by EDF Energy.

The year 9 students, from four schools in the area, were helped by enthusiastic graduates from EDF Energy who designed and deployed the day’s testing challenges. Activities included the manufacture of mini hydroelectric turbines and pipe-work to safely transfer water.

The day forms part of EDF Energy’s wider education programme in Somerset which aims to stimulate local pupils’ interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) as well as communicate career opportunities.

Lorraine Taplin, EDF Energy’s Local Education Coordinator said: “The activities were designed to help students learn in a fun way and to raise awareness of low-carbon energy generation. Our 14 graduates also had a great time designing testing puzzles for the pupils to solve.”

The morning began with presentations to expand students’ knowledge of energy production and issues affecting the energy supply in the UK. Pupils then split into groups and rolled up their sleeves to figure out the challenges.

Students worked in teams to build mini-turbines from magnets and wire employing similar working practices to those used on power stations. The water transfer challenge required students to transfer a litre of water across an area using only plastic piping, card and lollipop sticks. Marks were awarded to students who managed to spill the least.

Jania Allnutt of Heathfield School in Taunton said: "Attending the day was a fantastic opportunity for our students. EDF Energy's graduates designed some really fun challenges for pupils which definitely helped bring the subjects of electricity generation, safety and teamwork to life. It was a very well organised day which will be remembered by our pupils."