Promoting STEM subjects at Catapult education day

Published: 11 May 2018

The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC), set up by the government to help innovators transform the energy system, has hosted a challenge day with home-schooled pupils from across the Midlands.

Committed to promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects as part of its drive to unleash the energy revolution, the Catapult opened its doors last week to 18 students aged 7-14, with the aim of raising awareness of how we use energy and exploring how we can provide and use energy in the future.

The pupils engaged in a day packed full of activities, including an exercise designed to look at how much power people use in their day to day lives, before tackling the ‘Energy Challenge’ an exercise that inspires students to find solutions to fill the gap between energy supply and demand with clean, reliable and inexpensive energy

Students were also able to polish up on their debating and creative thinking skills in the ‘Powering the Future’ session, which explored how we will get our power in the future, what it might look like, what will be different and how people’s day to day energy use may change as a result of new innovations.

Gail Hatfield, Head of HR at the Catapult and coordinator of ESC’s outreach projects, said:
“At Energy Systems Catapult, we place huge value on our outreach activities and are committed to engaging with local schools and education centres to promote STEM subjects – especially supporting girls’ access to further information about STEM careers. This latest open day is the latest in a line of events we have hosted with various local schools and provides students with a platform to explore a career in the energy industry.

“The event provided a supportive forum for home-schooled students to develop their debating and group-working skills, which will be invaluable once they enter the world of work.”

Matthew Byrne, a home-schooled student who attended the open day, said:
“The open day gave me a great opportunity to think about energy and the areas I have learned in my studies and apply these to real-life situations, such as how much electricity we use at home and what it’s spent on.

“It definitely opened up my eyes to how interesting and important our energy system is to our everyday lives and has made me more interested in looking at jobs in science and engineering in the future.”

Andrew Guest, project coordinator, added:
“We are incredibly grateful to businesses such as the Energy Systems Catapult for giving their time and resources to hosting events that provide a window into the working world, as well as the challenges the UK faces as we seek to decarbonise our energy system.

“The activities really engaged the students and certainly gave them a lot to think about – I think we could have a few aspiring young engineers in our midst following today’s event!”

Since its launch in 2015, the Catapult has been helping businesses accelerate the transformation of the energy sector through the development of new products, services and business models that will support the transformation of UK and global energy systems.

Taking an independent, whole energy systems view, we bridge the gap between industry, academia, and government to help innovators to deliver the products, services and value chains required to transform the energy system and achieve the UK’s economic ambitions.