Sofia supports teachers to champion offshore wind

Sofia supports teachers to champion offshore wind

Encouraging Teesside 12 to 18 year olds to learn more about offshore wind energy and the myriad of career opportunities it offers is the aim behind our recently launched ‘Sofia Champions for Wind’ education programme.

Five schools have put forward teachers who will develop curriculum materials for their own use as well as for wider dissemination across their schools and those neighbouring them.

The schools involved are located close to Sofia’s onshore infrastructure near Redcar and include: Outwood Academy Bydales, Sacred Heart Catholic School, St Peter’s Catholic College, Redcar and Cleveland College and Archways Educational Service.

Five enthusiastic teacher ‘champions’, are onboard and have had preliminary online sessions to introduce offshore wind. As of the January 2021 term they will start to develop their own curriculum materials in subjects ranging from engineering, science, English and careers.

Concepts for their projects range from the hands-on building of wind-powered appliances and in-depth studies of the technology to running intensive careers programmes and renewables writing workshops to create campaigns to attract people to the sector.

Vicky Wills from Sacred Heart Catholic School said she hopes to: “Raise aspirations and challenge stereotyping in this sector, particularly to encourage our female students to consider offshore wind as a career path.”

"Sofia Champions for Wind" is supported by education professionals who will provide virtual training sessions and access to existing information and resources to enhance the curriculum materials.

Gary Keys from Redcar and Cleveland College said: “I want to help our young people to gain a better understanding of renewable technologies, their applications, and benefits.”

While Antony Foster from St Peter’s Catholic College said: “Through taking part I want to strengthen the connections between industry and education and increase pupils’ knowledge on renewables”.

The programme will be assessed by a team from Teesside University who will manage entrance and exit research of both the teachers and their students, to gauge changes in awareness and attitudes and measure the effectiveness of the scheme.

The five teachers (pictured from left to right below) and their schools are:

  • Chloe Pressley who teaches English and Drama at Outwood Academy Bydales
  • Vicky Willis who works with Careers at Sacred Heart Catholic College
  • Anthony Foster, Science teacher at St Peter’s Catholic College
  • Gary Keeys who teaches Engineering at Redcar and Cleveland College
  • Louise Allison, looking after Careers at Archway Educational Service


January 2021