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STEM events for north-east young people backed by renewable energy developer

By Kyle Ritchie

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Renewable energy developer Vattenfall has partnered with north-east charity TechFest to sponsor learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects for children in Aberdeenshire.

The 12-month partnership will see Vattenfall fund primary outreach workshops expected to engage 2400 pupils aged 5-12 years old in schools and communities in the north-east of Scotland, that could ultimately lead to careers in the renewables sector.

Sponsoring a dynamic workshop entitled ‘Forces of Nature: Energy and the Environment’, Vattenfall will enable students to explore the fascinating world of weather.

The TechFest School Science Festival was held at Robert Gorden University.
The TechFest School Science Festival was held at Robert Gorden University.

Hands-on activities will see students from P2-P4 delve into wind dynamics and the causes of rainfall.

Guided discussion and demonstrations will explore greenhouse gases and global warming and what can be done to tackle the climate crisis.

The delivery of this workshop has already begun as part of TechFest’s week-long school science festival at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, which ran last week.

This flagship event encourages all primary schools from across the region to visit and learn about science subjects taught in school in a new and engaging way.

Local liaison officer for Vattenfall’s Clashindarroch wind farm, Kerry Birse, volunteered her expertise during the workshop at the festival.

The schools’ festival was followed by an activity weekend, which Vattenfall also sponsored this year.

Across the weekend, an altered version of the ‘Forces of Nature’ workshop was adapted for the public and visiting families.

Children were able to build mini wind turbines, learn how to make a tornado using coloured water and bottles, and craft wind snakes.

The workshop will be run by TechFest, who aim to provide learning opportunities for young people and the wider community in the area.

TechFest work with educational institutions and partner organisations to deliver quality learning opportunities and make STEM accessible to everyone, particularly children and young people.

Kerry Birse, Local Liaison Officer for Clashindarroch II from Vattenfall said: “In order to successfully drive the transition to low carbon energy solutions, we recognise the importance of inspiring the future workforce and showcasing the opportunities that the transition will bring to those who follow a career path in STEM.

“We are proud to be working alongside TechFest to facilitate activities in the north-east of Scotland that excite, and potentially develop extended interest from, the next generation of the STEM workforce.”

Martha Gavan, deputy managing director of TechFest, said: “The annual TechFest’s Schools Festival is the ultimate STEM extravaganza, and the activity weekend is one of our most popular events for families to take part in.

“We’re pleased that Vattenfall can enable us to offer the ‘Forces of Nature’ workshop to thousands of local children, allowing the next generation to learn new things and hear from many talented science communicators.”

With 40 years of experience, TechFest is an institution in the north-east of Scotland, and is well-known for their eagerly anticipated science festivals.

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