Left to Right: Simon Loosley, Treviglas Community College, Louise Jarrett Newquay Tretherras School, Emma Fordham Truro College. Photo: Helen Field, Cornwall Education Business Partnership

Cornwall’s teachers ride the wave of marine renewable energy

Cornwall’s teachers learned how the South West is set to become a hub for marine renewable energy at an event on the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus. Teachers from across the county, from Bodmin to Penzance, attended Harnessing the Power of the Ocean, which was run by Cornwall Education Business Partnership and the University of Exeter.

The event focused on the South West RDA’s (Regional Development Agency) Wave Hub project, which will create the world’s largest wave energy farm off the north coast of Cornwall. Science, physics, mathematics, technology and engineering teachers got the latest news about Wave Hub from Nick Harrington, head of marine energy at the RDA.

Teachers heard about developments from PRIMaRE (the Peninsula Research Institute for Marine Renewable Energy), a joint £15 million institute for research into harnessing the energy from the sea bringing together the technology and marine expertise of the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. University of Exeter academic Dr Lars Johanning and his postgraduate students explained the research into marine renewable technologies that the University of Exeter is undertaking in Cornwall.

Representatives from some of the region’s renewable energy companies, including Orecon from Bodmin, Falmouth-based Mojo Maritime and Plymouth-based Ocean Electric Power, gave the teachers an insight into how they are working to develop the technologies to make marine energy a reality.

University of Exeter Outreach Officer Richard Prest said: “This event was another opportunity for us to show Cornwall’s teachers the amazing higher education opportunities now available in the county. We hope the event inspired them to share with their students the groundbreaking developments in renewable energy that are taking place in Cornwall.” 

Helen Field of Cornwall Education Business Partnership said: “These sorts of events are a fantastic way for teachers to update their business and careers knowledge and gain vital industry links to take back to the classroom.  The event enabled teachers to explore cutting edge technologies and the development of an exciting industry, which offers great opportunities for young people in Cornwall. Many of the teachers will be going back into the classroom after today inspired by the Wave Hub Project and keen to undertake classroom projects.”
 
“A really super day, which highlighted the cutting edge technology happening right here in Cornwall.  Not only did we see the exciting development of the Wave Hub project in Cornwall, but met employers from companies who work in the renewable energy technologies industries.  Good to relay information back to students about the exciting job opportunities available in this sector,” said Janet Cotton of Truro College
 
The event was part of the STEPS at Work initiative designed to offer placements within industry for teachers of science, technology, engineering and maths. Sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering a large number of short industrial placements have been run specifically to enable teachers to raise the knowledge and understanding of engineering careers for young people.

Date: 7 July 2009

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