British Science Week 2024

Sofia delivers hands-on science exhibition for hundreds of Tees Valley pupils.

Sofia delivers hands-on science exhibition for hundreds of Tees Valley pupils.

Members of the Sofia project team have spent two days talking to hundreds of school children from the Tees Valley area about offshore wind, as part of British Science Week.

Held this year between 8 and 17 March, British Science Week is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Teachers, academics and professionals from across a broad range of industries come together each week to promote the importance of these subjects.

STEMfest 2024 was a practical, hands-on event in which primary and secondary school children from the Darlington area met and engaged with around 40 STEM-related businesses. Spread over four zones at Darlington Arena, each business provided its own activity for the children, showcasing the wide range of careers and job roles available in the Tees Valley area.

STEM ambassadors Mike Cargill, Rich Hurst, Neil Elliott and Jonny Brownsteen attended STEMfest 2024 on behalf of Sofia. Pupils were met with an interactive challenge: to add blades to a small model turbine, in order to generate wind power. Students chose from between 1 and 6 blades, and experimented together, guided by our staff, to find out the best way to position the blades in order to generate maximum power from a fan positioned in front of the model.

Over the two days, the team engaged with approximately 750 pupils, who learned about how the position of the blades affects the speed and direction of rotation.

Elsewhere in the region, the Sofia team also exhibited at a careers event at Redcar College, engaging those students on potential career options in offshore wind.

Supporting initiatives like this is part of the project's Supply Chain Plan. By strengthening partnerships with schools, colleges and universities, Sofia can develop and deliver education programmes for pupils of all ages.

This in turn is part of RWE's broader Skills Engagement Strategy. Teaching younger people about renewable energy helps to ensure that we have the skilled workforce we need in the future. With increasing need for renewable energy, and many offshore wind projects in pipeline, at RWE we are doing our part to strengthen the talent pipeline into the future.