Fresh from the success of the first campaign in 2016, NuGen’s Bright Sparks has returned for 2017 – bigger and better with another two West Cumbrian schools getting involved.
At the launch of this year’s programme, 150 year-eight and year-nine students from Millom School, St Benedict’s, Whitehaven Academy, Workington Academy, and St Joseph’s visited NuGen’s Moorside Information Centre at Whitehaven Civic Hall for an interactive day of discovery about low-carbon electricity, how it’s made, how it’s used and its vital role in combatting climate change.
During three days of science-filled activities, students from all five schools joined science presenter Ross Exton, who brought the history and the future of electricity to life. The students took part in an assortment of hands-on experiments and engineering challenges – including an immersive 3D interactive tour of NuGen’s proposed Moorside Power Station.
Throughout the rest of the academic year, students will be taking part in field visits and special lessons supported by NuGen, exploring the different ways of producing electricity, looking at how electricity is used, and the importance of reducing carbon emissions to protect the future of the planet.
The students will work on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related project and will present their results the end of the year, during the Bright Sparks Schools’ Energy Conference. Participating students could also attain a prestigious CREST Silver award for their efforts.
John Male, NuGen’s Head of Training and Development, was delighted with the launch of the 2017 programme and is looking forward to another successful year for Bright Sparks. “The schools have been very supportive of our programme, and the students definitely followed suit. We were absolutely delighted with their enthusiasm and attitude to learning.”
Steve Scally, Head of Technology at St Benedict’s Catholic High School in Whitehaven said: “We’ve come back for a second year because the students that were involved last year got so much out of it – in terms of team work and developing a greater understanding of the subject. The students get a chance to spend longer focussing on one specific issue and learning about in much more depth, and the chance to learn outside of the classroom is a really good experience.”
Tim Bradbury, Head of Science at Whitehaven Academy, said: “We had 30-40 students take part in last year’s programme and they learned an awful lot about low carbon electricity production. Bright Sparks is relevant to their education and it’s an opportunity for the students to learn in a slightly different environment, and to learn some fantastic skills, including presentation skills, project management, time management and budgeting as well. It’s really important for companies like NuGen to get involved within the communities in which they are working.”
John Male added: “NuGen wants to support what the schools already do, providing relevant and enriching experiences for their students and complementing the schools’ delivery of the national curriculum. For NuGen, Bright Sparks helps us to forge a strong link with the schools close to Moorside, which will be really important when we start to build our West Cumbrian workforce with as much home-grown talent as possible.”