Northlands Primary School students invited local MP Mark Pawsey to take part in their renewable energy engineering challenge, provided by Rugby-based professional engineering institution, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).
The challenge was designed to develop students’ engineering skills, help them understand more about the UK’s need for clean energy, and inspire them to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
During Mark’s visit to the Rugby primary school on Friday 17 November, IChemE volunteers talked to students about the rising demand for energy in recent decades, and explained how today’s familiar electronic devices like gaming consoles and tablets first started to become available to children in the 1980s. Students learned about the importance of using renewable resources to supply the UK’s increasing energy needs, before splitting into groups to solve a wind power engineering problem.
Mark, who sits on the Select Committee for Energy Security and Net Zero in Parliament, was joined by local County Councillor Yousef Dahmash. Together they supported students with their challenge to try and discover which design of turbine blade produces energy most efficiently.
Speaking after seeing the pupils take on the energy challenge, Mark said:
“Delivering reliable and affordable green energy, as well as meeting the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target, is a complex challenge – but one vital for a sustainable future. Creating that future will require us to train the next generation talented engineers, and it’s important for young people to have early opportunities to develop the strong STEM skills required modern engineering. I was delighted to be able to join IChemE and all the students at Northlands Primary School to see how they were producing brilliant efficient working models of wind turbines. Bringing this kind of creativity and skill to the classroom is how we will inspire tomorrow’s engineers.”
Julian Davoile, headteacher at Northlands Primary, commented:
“Our students enjoyed finding out more about the sort of items that use electricity, and the need to utilise clean renewable resources like wind power. The IChemE volunteers were brilliant at encouraging students to engineer efficient miniature turbine models and were also inspiring engineering career role models!”
IChemE CEO Yvonne Baker added:
“A key focus for the Institution of Chemical Engineers is enabling all young people to understand more about what engineers do, and helping them develop their own problem solving and creativity skills. IChemE’s DiscoverChemEng initiative helps students from primary school to sixth form understand more about what chemical and process engineering is, how it impacts daily life, and how to follow a chemical engineering career.”