Powerful Ideas

Year 9 join forces with E.ON to build replica biomass-fired power stations as part of the energy company’s interactive Energy Experience education programme.

"40 pupils were encouraged to think like engineers and work in teams as they undertook Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) challenges through workshops held at the school. 

Working to a strict budget and deadline, tasks included designing a silo for storing the biomass fuel and building a hub and turbine blades to generate the power.

Michelle Ives, Maths Teacher at UCC, said:  “We appreciate being able to offer our pupils alternative ways to learn and E.ON’s STEM workshop covered the topic of biomass and power stations in a really interactive way.

Getting the pupils to design and build elements of the power station was a great way for them to learn and has encouraged our pupils to link the classroom elements of science, design and technology to what actually happens in the real world.“ 

Billie-Jean Poole, senior community relations officer at E.ON, said: “Since it isn’t always possible to take a year group into one of our power stations, we developed the STEM workshop to take into schools instead. 

It forms part of E.ON’s Energy Experience educational programme and has been designed to support the National Science Curriculum, with practical elements intended to enable young people to learn about energy in a hands-on and fun way.” 

The STEM challenge days are delivered in the classroom on behalf of E.ON by the educational charity The Smallpiece Trust and introduce pupils to the sorts of skills required to work in the energy sector.

Josh Payne, education officer for The Smallpeice Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be working with E.ON to deliver these educat-ional activities for school pupils.

We all rely on the next generation of engineers to solve the 21st century’s toughest engineering challenges and that’s why events like these are so important, giving young people a valuable insight into the professions that will be vital for the future.”

Article from Rutland & Stamford Mercury