Sustainable STEM

Science Technology Engineering and Maths but with a sustainable twist!

It's what we do best at Skinners', and has been our focus for the last 5 years. During that time pupils have made their own solar panels, ran solar car races, built and tested wind turbines, visited off-shore wind farms, built a mag-lev transport system, built bike generators, ran mini-enterprises selling recycled goods, monitored air pollution using GPS data-loggers...the list goes on.

Last year we were part of the STEM Pathfinder project and we borrowed a FLIR camera from the Energy Team at KCC - the pupils though it was "the coolest gadget ever!".

Our school, showing heat-loss from an uninsulated roof

a staff car, just parked up...gear box glowing!

Science classroom with hot pipe beneath floor

 

 

This summer we were fortunate to have been invited by Thanet Offshore Windfarms to visit what is currently the worlds' largest offshore array of turbines.

The point of the visit was for our STEM Ambassadors to 'reverse engineer' the structures; to find out who built them, how they were installed, who designed them, how planning permission was achieved, how biodiversity assessments were carried out etc.

 

We took a 'crew-boat' on the way out

Twin V8 engines - hardly 'green' but great fun!

The sub-station...all turbine power is routed through here

The yellow 'mid-piece' is the place where electric cables exit the turbine.

One of the smaller cable-laying vessels connecting up a 'mid-piece'. Putting the turbine blades on is apparently the easy part!

At the moment (2010) we are helping the Nuffield Foundation to pilot a STEM 'Futures' course.