Elaine Maslin, 30th April 2012
A north-east school is leading the way on re-thinking our future energy needs – and is hoping to spread the word to schools in Germany, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands in the process.
Bucksburn Academy is hoping to join forces with schools from the four countries as well as Arbroath High School as part of a Comenius project, a scheme which brings together schools across Europe.
If given the go-ahead by the North Sea Commission in July, the Re-thinking Energy project would start in August 2012 and last until June 2014.
It would see the young people involved investigate renewable forms of energy in their countries and share this knowledge and expertise with their Continental peers.
Bucksburn, which hopes to lead the scheme, has already made a head start by holding a Re-thinking Energy conference at the school.
The event, on March 27, saw more than 130 people gather to hear six pupils and four adult speakers give talks and host networking sessions on the need to “Re-think Energy”.
It was hosted by pupils in the Re-thinking Energy team – David Adams, Ewan Bremner, Ryan Cadenhead, Stuart Close, Alex Christides and Ross Yule. The final member of the team, Charlie Innes, missed the event due to a broken leg.
The students drew up a delegate list from industry, education, environmental groups, community and local government for the event.
Morag Watson, senior education officer for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, spoke about what Re-thinking Energy meant for young people and education and was joined by the students who outlined their views.
Dave McGrath, managing director of Richard Irvine Renewables, outlined what Re-thinking Energy meant for the business sector and for parents.
The students then explained work they had done around sustainability and talked about the need to draw from experts in the energy industry. Finally, teachers Thomas Simpson and Roseleen Shanley outlined how the Re-thinking Energy Project linked to the curriculum for excellence.
A key part of project, and part of a model Bucksburn has been creating, has been showing how partnerships could be driven and led by the young people at the school and this would be incorporated into the Comenius project.
As a result of the success of the project so far, it is already expanding with more pupils joining the team.
This resulted in Rachel Brechin, Shona Doyle and Aimee MacDonald joining Ms Shanley on May 3 to attend a conference on Women in Renewables at the Scottish Parliament.
o Members of the Re-thinking Energy team attended a United Nation’s (UNITAR) and Scottish Government Conference in Inverness on March 14.
The event, Education for a Low Carbon Future, saw the team learn about renewable energy technology through a series of talks and a workshop delivered by Dr Peter Dennis of the SEAM Centre who took them through different renewable technologies and their pros and cons.