Energising local school children with Cannon House visit

Published: 19 December 2016

Two local schools recently visited the headquarters of the Energy Systems Catapult in Birmingham.

More than 30 pupils from Woodhouse Primary Academy in Quinton, Birmingham and; Parkside Middle School in Bromsgrove visited Cannon House as part of an ongoing relationship with the Catapult.

The purpose of the visit on December 8th was to enable the children to see the two rooms that have been named after their schools and for the pupils to present their time-capsules to the Catapult. The Woodhouse and Parkside rooms have been named after the schools as they helped the Catapult to develop its working practices and the technology requirements for Cannon House, specifically focusing on creative and joint working. The schools were also tasked with developing a time-capsule to remember 2016.

On the day the pupils presented their time-capsules to the Catapult which included items related to the Olympics, Euro 2016 and the death of several well-known celebrities. During their presentations, the children also talked about the ‘bottle-flipping’ craze, ‘the dab, dance move and the relegation of Aston Villa from the Premier League- which got some boos and cheers from the group.

Marc Stone, Chief Financial Officer of the Catapult said:

“The work the children have done from both schools is fantastic. They were all well-behaved on the visit and are a credit to their schools. We are looking to do more work with both Parkside Middle and Woodhouse Primary Academy, and also with the University of Birmingham Free School. It is important that we tap into the untainted imagination of young people and that they have an understanding of energy and how it works if we are to realise our vision of a clean, intelligent, energy system that works for people, communities and businesses.”

Natalie Mancini from Parkside Middle School commented:

“The pupils and staff had a fantastic day and really got a lot out of the whole experience. They were very excited and enthusiastic about energy and all of the modern technology at Cannon House! I am delighted that we will be continuing our work with the Catapult.”

The pupils all received a certificate and a goody bag each, which included a pencil, a note pad, a copy of The Week Junior and seeds to attract bees to their gardens, which was met with approval by the children, as Richard Parslow, from Woodhouse Primary Academy, also stated:

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the Energy Systems Catapult for a wonderful morning. The children have been totally inspired. One comment from a young lady from my school was: ‘I feel like a VIP!’

Mr Stone continued:

“We have set up a little competition at the schools focusing on the future of energy with the aim of stimulating their creativity and helping them develop their knowledge. During the visit one pupil asked: ‘why can’t energy come through the wifi signal?’, and the honest answer is that maybe one day it could, but we need young creative minds to think of these possibilities and then to bring them to life.”

The time-capsules will be stored at the Catapult and in time will be transferred to the roof garden at Cannon House.

Pupils from Parkside Middle School receiving their visitor badges.

Catapult Chief Financial Officer, Marc Stone and pupils from Parkside Middle School.

Headteacher, Mr Parslow, and children from Woodhouse Primary Academy testing out the technology at Cannon House.

Pupils from Parkside Middle School talking about the contents of their time-capsules.

Pupils from Woodhouse Primary Academy talking about the contents of their time-capsules.