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Press release: EMEC STEM Ambassadors educate the next generation

ETV Manager, Dave Wakefield and Hydrogen Development Manager, Jon Clipsham speaking with St. Andrew’s pupils. (Credit St. Andrew’s School)

ETV Manager, Dave Wakefield and Hydrogen Development Manager, Jon Clipsham speaking with St. Andrew’s pupils. (Credit St. Andrew’s School)

STEM Ambassadors from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) are on a mission to raise the profile of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) amongst Orkney’s school pupils.

STEM Ambassadors are volunteers from a wide range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs and disciplines across the UK. They offer their time to support schools with their STEM education as well as demonstrating the value of pursuing careers in these areas. STEM Ambassadors not only have the opportunity to enrich and enhance the learning experience for children, but individuals who volunteer as STEM Ambassadors can also develop new skills and gain increased work satisfaction.

EMEC has a significant resource in STEM subjects, covering chemistry, environmental science, marine engineering and renewable energy and 25% of EMEC’s staff have received training to become STEM Ambassadors.

EMEC’s STEM Ambassadors’ first assignment was during Orkney School’s Japan Week, having been invited to attend St Andrew’s Primary School to discuss the connection between Orkney and Japan in renewable energy.

EMEC’s Hydrogen Development Manager, Jon Clipsham and ETV Manager, Dave Wakefield, spoke to 80 Primary 5, 6 and 7 pupils on the different types of renewable energy and the effects of climate change on the modern world. They discussed the role of nuclear power in Japan and how EMEC and Japan are collaborating to find innovative ways to harness natural resources to generate power and reduce carbon emissions.

EMEC are developing a schedule of STEM activities through 2018 including involvement in the Orkney Schools 2018 science project on hydrogen, which concludes at the Science Festival in September.

Jon Clipsham, Hydrogen Development Manager at EMEC said:

“With so much attention currently focussed on Orkney’s ground-breaking work with green hydrogen, generated from local renewables, it’s fantastic to be able to share the success story with the next generation, and encourage them to take an active part in shaping the future.”

Neil Kermode, Managing Director at EMEC added:

“I am proud that so many of EMEC’s staff are motivated to educate the future generation on the importance of STEM subjects and show how studying these subjects can result in rewarding careers. By visiting schools and sharing their stories, EMEC’s STEM Ambassadors can play an essential role in helping to bring a new and inspiring perspective to STEM lessons. Working with the school can help to head off future skills shortages and prepare pupils for worthwhile technical careers in Orkney.”

Mrs Moar, Class Teacher at St. Andrew’s Primary School enthused:

“Our children thoroughly enjoyed the recent visit from the EMEC STEM Ambassadors. They delivered a talk about renewables in an interesting and imaginative way, holding the attention of over 80 children. They answered the children’s questions at an appropriate level and valued each question asked.

“With Orkney playing a key role in producing sustainable energy it is essential that young people are made aware of the renewables industry, as each one of them is a potential scientist, technician, engineer or mathematician of the future.”

If you are a school, STEM club or youth and community group and you would like to arrange a visit from one of EMEC’s STEM Ambassadors, please contact STEM@emec.org.uk.

For more information on STEM visit www.stem.org.uk/.










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