North Ayrshire pupils give science a sporting chance

Scotland’s women’s curling captain, Eve Muirhead, visited Stanley Primary in Ardrossan as part of EDF Energy’s education outreach work to talk to them about the links between sport and science. 

After hearing about her career in curling and the ways that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are used in her sport the pupils took part in a hands-on experiment to explore friction, momentum and distance. 

The pupils were given different materials and had to experiment to find out which ones had an effect on how far a toy car would travel. 

A study commissioned earlier this year by EDF Energy, which operates Hunterston B power station, found that there will be 142,000 new jobs in science, research, engineering and technology between now to 2023 but current figures show there will be a shortfall in the number of graduates and apprentices available to fill these roles. For example there will be a 40% shortfall in engineering.

 Eve Muirhead, who recently won a gold medal at the European Curling Championships, said: “It was great to be able to talk to the pupils about my experiences and explain to them how science touches almost every part of my sport. Curlers use geometry and physics every time we take to the ice. We rely on doctors, physiotherapists, sports scientists and nutritionists to keep us fit for competition and design engineers ensure we have the right kit and equipment that will help us perform at our best”.   

Acting Hunterston B Station Director, Paul Forrest, said: “We are delighted to be working with Eve Muirhead to help children make the connections between STEM and sport and consider the variety of careers that are available to them by studying STEM subjects at school. EDF Energy is investing in the next generation of Scottish minds because we know that if Scotland is to address the energy challenges of the future it needs to have a workforce with strong skills in STEM.”

Kirsty Bryson, Principal Teacher at Stanley Primary, said: “We would like to thank Eve Muirhead and EDF Energy for visiting our school.  It was an inspiring experience for all of our pupils and helped them to learn about the links sport has with science, technology, engineering and maths. They loved getting the opportunity to meet a real Olympic medallist.”

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