Virtual link-up joins geography students from UK and Germany
Although located almost 1000 kilometres apart, geography students from Outwood Academy Bydales in Teesside and Gustav-Heinemann-Gymnasium in Dinslaken, Germany linked up to take part in an inaugural joint renewable energy challenge this summer.
Organised by the partner schools' respective geography teachers - Alecia Cotterell and Ms. Reckzügel - the virtual challenge tasked the students with researching the impacts of wind farms in their local area and preparing and delivering presentations on their findings.
Around 20 Year 10 students were involved in the half-day challenge over the digital platform.
Introductions by the teachers were followed by a presentation and renewable energy quiz from Sofia's education consultant Rich Hurst and an overview from NRW.Energy4Climate, the state agency for energy and climate protection in North Rhine-Westphalia.
This overview compared the energy mix and carbon emissions of both the UK and Germany and the respective national aspirations, looking at opportunities in terms of careers and potential local investment in the renewable energy and low carbon sectors.
Following the information sessions, students broke into groups to undertake the challenge which was to create powerpoint presentations on renewable energy and then return to present their efforts to the other students, teachers and external organisation representatives.
Sofia's Rich Hurst said: "The feedback from the students and staff was really positive. It was the first time we delivered a live lesson simultaneously to pupils in classrooms in different countries, and the technology proved reliable so we can look forward to future collaborations".
Outwood Academy Bydale's Alecia Cotterell added: "This was a fantastic opportunity to develop knowledge of sustainability, career pathways and student cultural capital."
As a footnote, the students from the winning Bydales team will be treated to a ride in a Tesla for their efforts.
Students taking part in the challenge: from Outwood Academy Bydales (left) and Gustav-Heinemann-Gymnasium (right).