Hundreds of Highland pupils to explore energy challenges

Hundreds of Highland pupils to explore energy challenges

The energy challenges we face now and in the future will be explored by hundreds of school pupils from across the Highlands next week.

Innovative developments in renewable energy and digital technology which are helping tackle those challenges will be highlighted by the University of Aberdeen in a new science show launching on Monday (August 23).

S1 — 6 pupils from Kinlochbervie, Ullapool, Gairloch, Plockton and Portree high schools, will take part in sessions investigating energy, technology and the environment during this year’s Techfest Highland Tour.

The chance to generate electricity using pedal power and explore the way technology could help tackle floods will be just some of the activities on offer.

The Techfest Highland Tour is presented by the University’s Public Engagement with Science Unit and the University’s UK Research Councils’ dot.rural Digital Economy Research Hub which is investigating how digital technologies could transform rural communities, society and business in the UK.

It takes place as part of Techfest In September 2010, Aberdeen’s annual festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Dr Ken Skeldon, Head of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Aberdeen said: “The aim of this year’s Techfest Highland Tour is to highlight the innovative and creative solutions which are helping tackle the global energy challenges we face.

“Pupils can experience being a human power station and get a chance to try our pedal-powered teacher trap.

“We’ll also be looking at the energy locked within clean fuels and investigating the ways in which wind, solar and tidal energy are helping provide alternative energy solutions.”

Dr Claire Thorne from dot.rural will co-present the roadshows alongside Dr Skeldon.

She said: “Digital technologies are playing an increasing important role in providing innovative solutions to tackling energy-related issues across the globe.

“We will examine this in the roadshows, looking in particular at the technology which is helping in the management of flooding, and the key role sensors play in numerous points of the energy chain — from finding oil to providing power in the home.”

The schools will also be invited to enter a competition, where they will be challenged to calculate the carbon footprint of the Techfest Highland Tour, to be in with the chance to win £250 of vouchers towards an energy-related prize.

The schools will enter the contest by visiting www.dotrural.ac.uk/highland  where they will also be able to monitor the progress of the Techfest Highland Tour through its various locations, and catch up with blog posts from Dr Skeldon and Dr Thorne.

Sam Cordiner, Director of Techfest In September 2010, said: “The Highland Tour is a fantastic way to kick off the host of exciting events taking place as part of Techfest In September 2010, providing the schools involved with the unique opportunity to discover more about renewable energy in a fun and informative way.”

The Techfest Highland Tour takes place from Monday August 23 — Friday August 27:

     Monday August 23        Kinlochbervie High School

     Tuesday August 24        Ullapool High School

     Wednesday August 25   Gairloch High School

     Thursday August 26       Plockton High School

     Friday August 27           Portree High School

The Techfest Highland Tour is presented by the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement with Science Unit and dot.rural research hub and takes place as part of Techfest in September 2010.

It is funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the University of Aberdeen.

For more information on the Techfest Highland Tour, and to follow its progress, visit www.dotrural.ac.uk/highland .

TechFest In September 2010 runs from September 10 to 27.

Book tickets online at http://www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/  or call Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122. For more information on TechFest In September 2010, visit http://www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk/tis or follow TechFest In September on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Notes to Editors

About TechFest in September:

  • TechFest In September is run by TechFest-SetPoint, a registered charity based at and hosted by the University of Aberdeen.
  • Through a programme of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities - of which TechFest In September is the main event – the aim is to engage, challenge, inform and inspire young people and encourage them to choose a career which utilises these skills.
  • TechFest In September 2010 runs from September 10 to 27.
  • The festival is being supported by joint principal funders BP and Shell, with additional funding from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, the University of Aberdeen, the Scottish Government and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.


About dot.rural:

The University was awarded £11.8 million of funding by Research Councils UK, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in 2009 to create the dot.rural Research Hub.

The Hub is conducting research and development into digital technologies to enhance the delivery of crucial services such as healthcare and transport in rural areas across the UK.

It is also investigating how new technologies can benefit rural economies and communities by promoting new forms of enterprise in areas such as tourism and nature conservation.

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