Digital success continues for TechFest’s programme of events

Source: press release, 8 July 2021

Pupils from Dyce Primary made their own wind turbines as part of the STEM in the Installation workshop
Pupils from Dyce Primary made their own wind turbines as part of the STEM in the Installation workshop (photo: TechFest)

Activities which were part of the highly successful first-ever TechFest digital Festival of STEM lasted long after the week’s live programme with a touring series of workshops, which have given hundreds of primary school pupils the chance to learn about different forms of energy.

Developed in a digital format by TechFest, with support from CNOOC International, the workshops were delivered to two age groups – P1-3 pupils and P4-7 pupils.

A total of 468 pupils from 18 classes took part and explored different forms of renewable and non-renewable energy and how it features in our everyday lives.

During the workshops, which are part of TechFest’s Early Years and Primary Programme (EYPP), the pupils were challenged to create their own wind turbines as part of a project-based learning opportunity in the style of industry experiments.

Resources and learning tools included worksheets, an energy quiz, wordsearch and accompanying videos which introduced the various topics and the turbine challenge.

Following the workshops, classes got the opportunity to take part in follow up sessions with volunteers from CNOOC International who shared information with pupils about their work and the different transferable skills they use in their day-to-day jobs. The sessions also discussed career opportunities in the energy industry.

“The workshops were hugely successful, and we got some fantastic feedback from participants,” says TechFest’s managing director Sarah Chew. “They followed on from the week-long interactive festival which far exceeded our expectations and confirmed to us, that a digital format works.”

“We’re very pleased that we decided to try something new with these workshops and look forward to working with our secondary school pupils after the summer holidays as part of the STEM in the Installation Programme. Having to look at a different way of delivering the festival, really opened our eyes to the possibilities, not just for the present but in the future, and we are already planning how a mixture of live and digital events will shape the next festival,” Chew continues.

Fiona Heinonen, CNOOC International’s CSR Analyst, says, “We’re incredibly proud of our longstanding and successful partnership with TechFest, which is a crucial component of our STEM education outreach programme. The STEM in the Installation project challenges pupils of all ages to understand energy production and consumption and explore ways to ensure a sustainable future for our planet, whilst meeting the demand for energy and resources.”

“STEM in the Installation is a unique project that gives young people exposure to the energy industry and energy professionals throughout their school career, from pre-school to 6th year. With the project now available for delivery online, we’re delighted that STEM in the Installation can inspire even more young people to consider a career in STEM,” Heinonen adds.

The CNOOC International supported workshops for the primary pupils represent Phases 1 and 2 of the digital EYPP. Phases 3 & 4 of STEM in the Installation, which have been developed for S1-S6 pupils will run in August. They will also focus on the theme of energy production and consumption in the context of the transition to net zero.

TechFest’s annual festival of STEM, went completely digital for the first time in its 27-year history when it launched in November 2020. The decision to go digital rather than cancel due to the pandemic made it the biggest and most ambitious digital science festival in Scotland.

The result was a festival which included speakers and events from across the country, attracting an audience from across the UK and beyond.

For more information on TechFest’s work, visit www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk.