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Mar 25, 2024

Local Pupils Learn About the Role of Maths in the Energy Sector: TechFest’s Maths in the Energy Mix workshops return

The importance of maths in the energy mix and how it fits into the energy transition has been the focus of three workshops delivered by TechFest with support from global technology firm Emerson and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE Aberdeen Section).

Successfully piloted last year, the three Maths in the Energy Mix sessions, are being attended by around 90 S3 and S4 pupils from 12 schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The final workshop, which has been sponsored by Emerson, will take place at their Solutions Centre in Dyce tomorrow (Tuesday, 26 March).

A total of 28 pupils from schools including Albyn School, Ellon Academy, Hazlehead Academy and Robert Gordon’s College are expected to take part.

This follows two previous sessions which were sponsored by the SPE Aberdeen Section and held at the University of Aberdeen in February.

Comprising a series of practical sessions and presentations, the workshop programme covers a range of mathematical challenges which introduce pupils to the fundamental concepts of energy forms, production, the energy mix and its relevance past and present.

The second half of the workshop is based on the fictional village of Fogie Loadstone, with pupils charged with using maths to calculate the energy consumption of the village and surrounding farms and businesses, and from that working out the best energy mix that the village could adopt.

Pupils who took part in the earlier workshops were extremely positive about the event. One Fraserburgh pupil said: “I have learned loads about different careers and outcomes in the sector of energy but talking with the volunteers and staff. I personally want to pursue geology.”

Another added: “It was very fun. A good combination of maths, socialising and fun activities. It was satisfying to do the investigations and the poster presentation was fun too.”

Maths in the Energy Mix is a successor to the highly successful Maths in the Pipeline series run by TechFest for more than 12 years.

This new programme was developed to reflect the energy transition and to incorporate different renewable energies as well as oil and gas.

Dr Yashka Smith, TechFest education manager said: “The one-day pilot was so successful that we have expanded the programme to offer three day-long events, doubled the number of schools taking part and more than trebled the number of pupils attending.

“We’re very grateful that Emerson has returned as a sponsor and are very pleased to welcome the SPE Aberdeen Section as a sponsor.

“This is an extremely relevant topic and the move towards a greater energy mix brings a wide range of career opportunities for young people who have an interest in the STEM subjects.

“While the focus in these sessions is on maths, the science, technology and engineering sectors are also wide open with opportunities with recent reports that around 40,000 people will be needed by the end of the decade to fill in the skills gaps to take the energy transition forward.”

Stewart McIntosh, SPE Aberdeen section vice chair, said: “SPE Aberdeen has a long-standing collaboration with TechFest and we are delighted to be supporting Maths in the Energy Mix. Allowing school pupils to see how maths works in the real world aligns with our efforts to inspire the next generation of energy professionals while encouraging a pursuit of STEM careers.”

Fiona Butters, field sales engineer at Emerson, said: ““Supporting our young people today is vital in the fast paced, ever-changing world we now live in. By participating in this event, I see it as an opportunity to meet and influence the workforce of the future and to showcase Emerson as an employer.  Promoting STEM subjects and demonstrating how they are used in the workplace, proves to the students the importance of what they are studying and hopefully inspire them in their future career choice.”

The schools taking part in the Maths in the Energy Mix workshops are Albyn School, St Margaret’s School for Girls, Fraserburgh, Bridge of Don, Cults, Ellon, Hazlehead, Mearns, St Machar, Meldrum and Westhill academies and Robert Gordon’s College.

TechFest is an Aberdeen-based charity which aims to engage young people in the four main STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourage them to go on to follow a career which utilises these skills by demonstrating that they are both fun and relevant in day-to-day life.   

For more information on TechFest, visit  www.techfest.org.uk 

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