Renewable solutions provider, Mitsubishi Electric has received acclaim for an educational programme which aims to teach the energy consumers of tomorrow all about renewable technologies.
The company has been offering its Hatfield headquarters as a teaching resource to schools to help pupils understand the importance of adopting ‘the 3 R’s’ – reduce, reuse and recycle.
Seven Hertfordshire schools have already benefited from the programme – called The Learning Curve. The schoolchildren visit the company’s Renewable Training Centre for a morning session which is specifically designed to fit seamlessly into the curriculum.
The initiative secured first prize in the Training Excellence category of The National Heat Pump Awards – an annual celebration of the best that the renewable sector has to offer. The judges called the programme, “an inspirational, exciting and totally new way to stimulate interest in renewable technology in our future workforce”.
The programme was developed by Mitsubishi Electric under the stewardship of office manager, Jenny Maskrey and a dedicated team of staff, who have designed experiments to interest and involve the children whilst basing the morning on the curriculum so that the session becomes a benefit to the teachers as well.
“We want to show pupils the importance of reducing energy use in our everyday lives, re-using things wherever possible and recycling to help reduce carbon emissions and limit the effects of climate change,” explained organiser Jenny Maskrey. “We also wish to challenge the children to think about how society should cope with increased demands for energy use, whilst also seeking to combat climate change.”
Using a specially designed workbook complete with stickers and purpose-built experiments, the children discover how photovoltaic panels can use solar energy to reduce electricity consumption and also investigate how air source heat pumps can provide heating in the middle of winter, by extracting ‘free’ energy from the outdoor air. They also recycle their drinking cups into bird feeders and visit the company’s special wormery, where kitchen waste is recycled.
“We are delighted with the judge’s recognition of how pioneering this programme is,” commented Martin Fahey, sustainable solutions manager for the company. “Around 44% of total UK carbon emissions come from the buildings we live, work and play in, so we feel it is essential that we look for ways to increase awareness of how everyone can play their part in reducing our impact on the environment.”
Mitsubishi Electric opened its new Renewable Training Centre in 2011, to cater for the growing number of industry professionals that are interested in acquiring the skills needed to serve the renewable energy sector.
The company is now looking to extend the programme to other parts of the country and is also looking to develop a programme aimed at secondary schools. For further information, on the programme, visit the dedicated website www.thelearningcurve.me.uk.