Hands-on look at renewable energy sources

E.On Micro Mix facilitator Simon Kettle
E.On Micro Mix facilitator Simon Kettle

Students at Silverstone UTC were among the first in the country to take part in a new workshop from E.ON that helps pupils investigate renewable energy sources.

During the Micro Mix workshop, Year 10 pupils designed and built working micro-models that generated electricity using wind, solar or hydro power. Teams used their problem-solving skills and creativity to build, test and improve their designs before finalising them.

Students were then asked to recommend the ideal mix of renewable technologies to meet the energy needs of the fictional Brightford City.

This meant finding the best balance between the city’s climate, geography, size and natural resources and its available budget, as well as allowing for environmental and technological factors.

Head of science and technology at Silverstone UTC, Dr Zoe Spavold, said: “It’s good for our students to have spent this time thinking about where their electricity comes from now and where it might come from in the future. Designing and building their own micro-models really helped with their understanding of the technologies involved. They were then able to consolidate this knowledge by working through their recommendations for Brightford City.”

E.ON spokesman Suzanne Doxey said: “Our Micro Mix workshop is all about showing secondary school pupils that energy can be generated in unexpected ways.

“Our hope is that, by completing the workshop, they come to understand more about the different renewable energy technologies that exist, and the conditions under which they work best. There’s an important message here around how we as a society meet future energy demand, and we hope our Micro Mix workshops will help to bring it to life for students.”