The Mason Trust delivers energy workshops with Dudgeon Community Fund grant

The Mason Trust

A grant from the Dudgeon Community Fund has enabled the Mason Trust to deliver a series of interactive energy activity days to 236 students in secondary education in six schools in the Great Yarmouth and Breckland regions of Norfolk.

The Mason Trust's ‘Renew your Future' energy workshops are designed to give students an insight into the offshore wind industry and, with members of the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm O&M team attending each workshop, students were able to find out what a career in offshore wind really involves.

After a Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm presentation, students were able to try on some of the personal protection equipment worn by offshore wind turbine technicians.

Working in teams, students were then given a number of practical challenges. The first included designing a wind turbine generator from Lego, the design of which was tested for efficiency before the electrical energy it produced was stored in a battery pack. The students were then asked to dismantle their wind turbine, and build a car to which the battery pack was transferred in readiness for a car race at the end of the day.

A second challenge involved a sea map where students had to locate a suitable place to build an offshore wind farm, taking into account factors which included sea depth, wind speed, bird migration, shipping lanes, shipwrecks and cost. The aim of the exercise was to calculate the likely profitability of the offshore wind farm using figures in a grid provided.    

"During the workshops, a number of students expressed an interest in renewable energy and the possibility on exploring a career path in the industry," said Carole Opie-Baker, the Mason Trust's Education Project Manager.

She added: "In Norfolk and Suffolk the offshore wind industry has already created many long term employment opportunities, and this is set to continue as further offshore wind farms are constructed during the coming decade in the waters of the Southern North Sea."

The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is operated by Equinor, and makes a contribution of £100,000 per annum to its Dudgeon Community Fund; this supports its STEM Programme [Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics] for the benefit of secondary schools in the Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland districts of Norfolk. The Fund is administered by the Norfolk Community Foundation.