Ocean Winds increasing support for STEM
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One of Scotland’s leading offshore wind companies, Ocean Winds, is strengthening its support for education and schools by appointing SSERC to support Ocean Winds Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) programmes

As a major renewable energy infrastructure company in Scotland, Ocean Winds values investment in its future workforce, and is offering direct support for STEM subjects in schools. Oceans Winds (OW) is an international company dedicated to offshore wind energy and created as a 50-50 joint venture, owned by EDP Renewables and ENGIE.

In order to best match resources to need, SSERC has been appointed to develop STEM programmes for Ocean Winds staff who volunteer in local schools around existing Ocean Wind locations in Edinburgh and Fraserburgh, and from next year, Buckie.   Support for schools has already been confirmed through sponsorship of several STEM programmes in Scotland including SusSTEMability, First Lego League, Techfest STEMNext essay competition, new career videos and an extension to the Young STEM Leader Programme to final year high school pupils.  Wind turbine kits with support material and suggested experiments have also been provided to schools through the Environmental Science Professional Learning course.

SSERC will guide the training of a new cohort of eight OW STEM ambassadors, match them to schools and colleges, utilise proven delivery models and develop classroom resources to give the Ambassadors and teachers great communication tools.

The agreement between OW and SSERC spans two years to ensure the programmes can be implemented and sustained.  Assisting mostly secondary school students understand the diverse and stimulating career pathways available through STEM subjects is one part of the OW programme.  The OW programme will engage in collaborations to stimulate awareness, support relevant curriculum development at Further and Higher Education and create clear career pathways into the sector. 

The objective of the STEM collaboration with SSERC is to ensure that young people, particularly young women, are enthused about STEM subjects, with a clear view of the opportunities, and that in the medium term will secure skilled roles in the offshore wind and wider energy transition sectors. Such roles will come from the growing Ocean Winds portfolio including the Caledonia offshore wind farm.

The collaboration with SSERC on STEM aligns with the international Ocean Winds “Wind Experts” campaign to raise awareness on climate change amongst 8-12 year olds and to promote effective solutions.  Adam Morrison, UK Country Manager for OW, commented:

I am delighted that we are enhancing our long-standing STEM support with this new collaboration.  SSERC have the relationships with educators, understand the curriculum needs and how to connect with young students so that the time of our STEM Ambassadors can be used most effectively to promote our exciting and growing sector to young people.  

Investing time in young talent now through this support of collaboration is good news for skilled Scottish jobs in the sector.  I am confident that by being able to demonstrate the positive impact that our offshore wind farms are having in Scotland’s capital city and coastal communities will encourage more young people to see a great long-term career in the sector, helping to deliver the vital public good that will be Net Zero.

The scale of the project pipeline in the UK, including our own, will require additional efforts to attract young talent to develop those new projects and ultimately new O&M teams based in relevant ports. The opportunity to develop the skills for the rapidly growing offshore wind sector is also emphasised by growth internationally – creating export opportunities based on skills.”

Aileen Hamilton of SSERC said:

SSERC has had many years of promoting STEM in Scottish schools with several industry collaborations.  This new partnership with OW in the UK allows us to share our expertise to help students and teachers engage in STEM in fun ways.  The support of a major player in offshore wind assists our aims by utilising real people with real careers in the fast growing renewables sector.”

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