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Hydro Energy Group is one of the fastest growing energy recruitment businesses and specialises in the placement of workers in wind farms, of which many are located offshore. Here, CEO Benjamin Burns speaks about how crucial it is that we educate children about the many benefits of wind power and renewable energy.

Having recently announced its support for a brand-new educational scheme called Offshore Wind 4 Kids, spearheaded by Dr William Beuckelaers, who obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford specialising in offshore wind turbine foundations. Hydro Energy Group has set out to ensure future generations are both educated and inspired by the field of renewable energy and specifically wind power.

Hydro Energy Group was founded on the principal of harnessing the power of people and placing the brightest minds from the energy industry into the best roles, where they can flourish. The renewable energy market in the UK is expected to grow by nearly 10% in the next five years, with wind energy leading the market. Wind energy has many benefits. It creates jobs, it is a clean fuel source and it is sustainable.

Wind energy is also really cost effective and land-based wind turbines produce some of the cheapest electricity on the planet. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, just one to two cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Additionally, because the power produced by wind farms is sold over a long period of time, at a fixed price, there are no unexpected price hikes which you so often see in electricity produced by fossil fuels. Electricity production doesn’t come any cheaper which is why it is a massively expanding marketplace.

This ever-expanding marketplace needs to be run and managed by skilled individuals passionate about protecting the planet and at Hydro Energy Group, we recognise the importance of reaching out to young minds at an early age to create our next-generation scientists and engineers.

Whilst many young people will have seen wind turbines, schools play a key role in sparking an interest and there is so much cool, cross curricular activity related to wind power learning, from fun facts such as the UK being the windiest country in Europe, to why it is always windier at the seaside. Everyone agrees STEM subjects should be highlighted long before students begin to choose their specialisms at school or university and speaking to children at primary school age definitely plants a seed.

The UK needs the best talent to help us to innovate and create new technologies and products for the future. Whilst gradually improving, in some schools, careers advice can be a bit limited and where this is the case pupils benefit enormously from seeing STEM live in action where they can learn, experiment and solve problems.Offshore Wind 4 Kids helps teachers and educators bring the science curriculum to life through live demonstrations, workshops and learning resources on renewable energy.

Dr William Beuckelaers,brainchild behindOffshore Wind 4 Kids, is a civil and geotechnical engineer and has hand-built a range of wind turbines for children to see for themselves, up close, in his demonstrations, exactly how the turbine works. Dr Beuckelaers plans to visit UK schools, to help children to learn about engineering, technology and renewable energy. Hydro Energy Group is delighted to have been to sponsor one of his turbines and we are really looking forward to seeing the fantastic outcomes of theOffshore Wind 4 Kids outreach programme.

The objectives of each demonstration will be to teach children about wind energy and turbines, learn about teamwork and problem solving and how to be creative and innovative. Key ideas explored in each session will be how wind can be used to make things happen. Pupils will be able to work on skills such as predicting, observing, designing, building, testing and analysing all parts of the building process as well as how the kinetic energy of the wind is captured and then stored. They will also learn about how things in the world around us such as how the sun and the wind can be turned into clean, non-polluting, renewable energy.

Genuinely, we can only build a sustainable tomorrow if the younger generation grow up with an interest in the field of renewable energy and, in many ways, we all have a responsibility to help ensure that happens.

Our vision is of a world where sustainable and socially-just practices are the norm and our roles and responsibilities within a globally interdependent world are recognised. Young learners should be educated through their landscape, environment, culture and heritage in order to develop a deep sense of place and belonging to their community and the natural world. By inviting industry into schools, it fills the gap between education and workplace and ensures students are career-ready by providing a natural pathway through theory and practice.

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