June 23 2017 | Views: 635
Kent and Medway
Cliffs Cafe, on the Northdown Road in Margate, got a colourful makeover for two days last week, when Discovery Planet staged a takeover to give local people the opportunity to learn all about wind power and engineering.
“We have the world’s largest wind-farm just off the Thanet coastline, which provides the UK with enough electricity to meet the annual electricity needs of around 60,000 households. That’s amazing, but it seems that not many people understand what the wind-farm does, and what an incredible feat of engineering it is. We wanted to give people the opportunity to find out about this marvel on their doorstep in a fun and accessible way, and meet some of the engineers who make it happen,” said event organiser Nikki Hildesley.
Over 150 members of the public and 300 children from local schools, including Cliftonville, Northdown, Palm Bay and Drapers Mills Primary schools attended short sessions on electricity generation from the University of Kent, then chose from a selection of junk modelling materials to make their own wind turbines with the help of working engineers from Vattenfall, London Array, the University of Lincoln and Kent and Medway STEM Ambassadors. The results were creative and ingenious and many of the happy youngsters commented that they’d like to become engineers themselves one day, having learnt that it’s far from dull and extremely important!
In addition to making a wind turbine, participants got the opportunity to meet representatives of Vattenfall, who constructed the Kentish Flats wind-farm. They were able to learn how to generate electricity using a hand generator, see samples of the cables which carry electricity to shore from the turbines, and discover what it’s like to climb a turbine using the very latest virtual reality technology.
The event was generously funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and coincided with International Women in Engineering Day on the 23rd of June, which celebrates women’s contribution to engineering. It was made even better for visitors by the delicious food and coffee on offer at Cliffs!
Discovery Planet C.I.C., a community based organisation set up by by Xanthe Pitt and Nikki Hildesley, brings inspirational, enriching educational experiences to the heart of the community in Thanet. At the same time as providing an accessible way to learn, we animate public spaces and provide a focus around which organisations and individuals can pull together to make their local area a better place. Since we set up in 2013 over 9,000 local people have taken part in our interactive workshops and many more have enjoyed the creative outputs of the activities we deliver alongside each event to provide a chance for the wider community to reflect on their learning.To keep in touch with future events keep your eye on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/DiscoveryPlanetRamsgate