Four ScotWind Developers to Fund STEM Initiative for Primary Schools with EUR 1 Million
Developers behind four projects that were awarded offshore wind leases in Scotland will provide GBP 900,000 (approximately EUR 1 million) in funding to enable the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) to extend its STEM outreach programme to primary schools beyond the Highland Council area.
The funding is led by the West of Orkney Windfarm, a joint venture between Corio Generation, TotalEnergies and RIDG, alongside Thistle Wind Partners, a partnership between DEME, Qair, and Aspiravi; Floating Energy Allyance and their Buchan Offshore Wind project; and Ossian, a joint venture project led by SSER, Marubeni, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
The initiative is the first co-funded project to be announced following the launch of the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council’s collaborative framework charter in May, where ScotWind developers committed to working together for the benefit of Scotland as a whole. It is also the first project to be supported under UHI’s new sustainability fund, which is being established to help accelerate the region’s transition to a green and sustainable economy, according to the funding partners.
Over the last six years, UHI has delivered a STEM outreach programme to early years settings and primary schools across the Highland Council area, providing materials and training to teachers. The University will now be able to extend its outreach programme to schools in Orkney, the Western Isles, Shetland, Argyll and Bute, Moray and Perthshire local authority areas.
The expansion will be supported through the employment of eight part-time and two full-time STEM coordinators. The full-time roles will be located in Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney thanks to additional, targeted support from the West of Orkney Windfarm.
During the three-year programme, the STEM coordinators will work with UHI partners, schools and teachers to deliver lesson plans and equipment, including ‘Lend a Lab’ boxes, which contain themed, age-specific content and lesson plans to support teachers in delivering STEM topics in an engaging way, all aligned with the Curriculum for Excellence.
They will also work with other agencies involved in STEM outreach to consider local needs and seek new partners and additional funding to ensure the STEM development programme can be sustainable over the longer term.
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