The aim of the day was for the pupils to work in project development teams, selecting a site and working within specified constraints and rules regarding the placement of wind turbines. They then needed to connect their virtual wind farms to the national grid by planning an underground cable route sensitive to the environment. Working together using 3D technology the pupils had the opportunity to design and visualise their proposed wind farms and cable routes.
Once the farms were finalised the teams had to calculate the revenue and expenditure associated with their design to ensure it was financially viable and would make a profit. The final part of the day involved the teams pitching their project against the other teams in the class, with the best design group winning a prize.
The goal of this project was to provide a fun, interactive and engaging educational experience in which young people were able to explore the diversity of STEM related careers whilst building on their personal and academic skills. Through participating in this workshop, the pupils were able to access the following:
● Working in a project team to develop employability skills such as collaboration, leadership, problem-solving, organisation, self-motivation, communication, presentation and public speaking whilst boosting their confidence.
● Gaining more of an understanding of the diverse jobs and career opportunities with STEM related industries and the onshore wind industry through hands on experience and discussion.
● Development of computer literacy skills using 3DW’s bespoke software, Powerpoint and Excel and numeracy skills to work out the financial viability of their wind farms. Also, an insight into the different uses of virtual reality technology other than for entertainment purposes.
● Creating connections between the subjects and skills they are learning at school and their uses within different job industries and other potential life projects.
● A more inclusive space for young women to explore their interests in STEM subjects whilst being in the presence of women who work in technical jobs in the technology industry.
We were delighted to be able to support these events and very much hope SSE Renewables will have the ability to offer this again next year, as the benefit for our pupils learning about the sector, gaining transferable skills and putting these skills into practice is invaluable. The opportunity for our young people to have access to a wide range of employers within and out with Shetland will bring forward knowledge and opportunities that will help them as they explore potential career paths.
A huge thank you to SSE Renewables, 3DW and UHI Shetland for making this Workshop possible in Shetland.