Northern Powergrid, the region's electricity distributor, has launched a suite of new education resources to help teachers deliver science, technology, engineering maths, (STEM) and citizenship lessons to 7 to 14 year olds.
The free resource materials, available on northernpowergrid.com, have been designed to get pupils engaged in hand-on activities from budgeting household energy costs and renewable energy to exploring social and environmental considerations for the future and power network planning. The resources bring STEM subjects to life, encouraging pupils to engage in learning and inspiring them to consider careers in the energy sector.
Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for delivering power to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, produced the resources in conjunction with the Ahead Partnership, teachers, pupils and other educational specialists.
Siobhan Barton, Head of Stakeholder Relations at Northern Powergrid, said: "We think it's really important that young people understand the vital role the power network plays in everyday life.
"We've used the real-life experiences of our engineers to create scenarios that will deliver meaningful lessons and give pupils an insight into the world of work. Each plan has everything required to help teachers deliver STEM focused lessons that will really inspire their pupils.
"The lesson plans were tried and tested in six secondary schools prior to going live with teachers and pupils indicating they loved how comprehensive, engaging and interactive the lesson plans were. Each lesson includes everything needed to deliver a one hour lesson including learning outcomes, lesson overviews, key terms and principles and a selection of free resources to accompany the lesson plan, including power point presentations and worksheets."
Matthew Shaw, Science Teacher at Abby Grange Academy, trialled Northern Powergrid's new engineering lesson plan. He said: "The resources made the students think about possible careers and real-world problem solving scenarios, which is great for their learning and putting it into context. The students all engaged with the lesson and enjoyed thinking about the challenges that can happen when installing electricity lines. The lesson links to Key Stage 4 Physics where they look at the National Grid and can also be done with KS3 as a pre-empt to next year.”
Jenny O’Reilly, from Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, trialled Northern Powergrid's two new citizenship lessons. She said: ‘’Resources provided by Northern Powergrid brought the learning to life as students could relate to specific areas, such as the city of Leeds. Also, the real-life map enabled the students to understand and relate to the task, for example, thinking about where the wind farm should be placed.
"The pupils enjoyed both lessons, particularly Citizenship lesson 2 where they had to come up with reasons for their opinions on wind farms before debating as a class and the resources simply needed printing meaning the lesson was easy to arrange and set up.
The electricity distributor has also created an Electricity Learning Day aimed at Years 5 and 6 pupils which provides activities for a full day of teaching.
The free teaching resources include:
- Citizenship - Community and Vulnerability - An interactive resource pack, presenting a series of scenarios to encourage research, debate and evaluate how electricity impacts on communities and vulnerable people in particular.
- Citizenship - Renewable energy and the Community - An engaging resource pack to develop knowledge of renewable energy and its importance for the future.
- Engineering - Problem Solving - An exciting resource pack supporting students to develop analytical skills, exploring the potential social and environmental issues faced by Network Operators.
- Maths - Calculating the cost of electricity - A fun resource pack to facilitate mathematical skills development; introducing household budgeting and issues around reducing consumption.
- Maths - Pylons and Cabling - An interactive resource pack building on mathematical skills and developing reasoning skills. Students gain an understanding of electricity distribution and insight in to network planning.
- Science - Energy in the home - A fun resource pack exploring domestic energy conservation and energy consumption in the home.
- Science - Risks and Hazards - An interactive resource pack to introduce concepts around electricity - staying safe, dangers and risks.
- Technology - Electricity production and Distribution - A fun resource pack supporting students to explore issues around electricity generation and distribution and its impact on the environment.
- Electricity Learning Day - An exciting resource pack with a series of fun interactive activities for exploring electricity in the classroom.
The online educational resources also include a safety section designed to educate youngsters about how to stay safe and away from the power network and what to do in an emergency. It also includes a fun, superhero game where player collect power packs and can compete against friends to be the best safety hero.