Pupils at Peterhead Academy are embarking on a four-year renewable energy project, where they will learn about the technologies and skills used in the sector within the school’s state-of-the-art STEM hub.

In partnership with Aberdeenshire Council and Equinor, TechFest will deliver a series of workshops as part of the Hywind STEM Hub Project to S1 and S2 pupils, reaching around 2,000 pupils throughout the next four years.

The workshops will focus on wind energy with students challenged to build wind turbines using desktop fans.

Pupils will need to alter the number, shape and angle of the blades to ensure their turbine is effective.

All workshops will be completed in Peterhead Academy’s Hywind STEM Hub facility which features interactive renewables technology in a previously disused classroom.

The facility opened in November 2018 following a collaboration between Equinor’s Hywind Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and Peterhead Academy. It’s hoped it will encourage and inspire pupils to take up careers in the renewable energy sector.

Sarah Chew, managing director of TechFest, said: “It’s so important that school pupils are given the opportunity to learn about key sectors like renewable energy, which will continue to be a major employer by the time they leave education.

“In this project, students will use the STEM skills they have been developing in the classroom to build model turbines, so it’s a great opportunity for them to take on an industry challenge and consider whether this is the kind of job they’d like in the future.”

More than 470 pupils will take part in the first round of workshops delivered by TechFest from May 1-2 and May 7-9 and May 22.

Hedda Felin, senior vice president, UK and Ireland Offshore, Equinor said: “Science, technology, engineering and maths disciplines are crucial to providing the world with the energy it needs in a sustainable way.

“We are proud to play our part in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers through this collaborative effort with our partners in the Hywind STEM Hub.”

Cllr Norman Smith, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan area committee, said: “We are very pleased to be working with our partners on this tailored project which will give pupils valuable experience and knowledge over the next four years.

“To have this taking place in Peterhead is a real boost to the community and the thousands of pupils who will benefit.”

Cllr Gillian Owen, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services committee, said: “This is a very exciting partnership that will be able to make use of the fantastic resources in the STEM Hub. Renewable energy is such an important theme to explore and I am sure it will encourage some of our pupils to consider careers in the industry.”

TechFest is an Aberdeen-based charity which aims to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities to young people and the wider community.

Each year, TechFest runs the highly popular TechFest Science Festival which attracts tens of thousands of children and adults to a series of STEM-based events in and around Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, as well as a year-round programme of educational events for schools and young people.

For more information, visit www.techfest.org.uk