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All Things Environmental in Angus, Nicole Pearson

I had the pleasure of delivering a STEM learning session, in July, to a group in Angus. The children, aged 4-11 years, had the opportunity to learn about my role as a Project Environment Manager with SSE Renewables. We discussed what energy is and the role renewable energy plays on the pathway to Net Zero. We also learned about the crucial role that the environmental team play in ensuring that the development, construction and operation of renewable energy proceeds with limited impacts on the environment. For this section of the session, we explored water, pollution, waste and protected species. The children were fascinated by camera trap footage of the much-loved otter and badger. They loved looking at the ID sheets and bat detector that I had brought along. I also passed around sticks that had been chewed by a beaver - they had stripped the bark and chewed the ends, leaving perfect teeth marks that the children were delighted with.

Highlights included the games “will a bird really nest here?” (Hint: some birds will nest almost anywhere…), “would you drink this?” (a lesson in silt pollution), the recycling game (top marks for the group of children who ran to the correct bin for each item of waste) and “Bat and Moth”, where one child is blindfolded and must use their super echolocation skills to catch the moth (another child). The session was interactive from start to finish and I feel that this is crucial to maintain the groups attention – this is far easier in person than it is online.

A great time was had by all, and the detailed question and answer session afterwards left me in no doubt that the children had participated and listened intently. Sadly though, I had to disappoint them when I explained that none of my day is spent cuddling otters. Despite the bitter disappointment this answer elicited, the interest in the session was palpable and it highlights the important role that STEM ambassadors have when inspiring the future generation about the sheer diversity of career options available to them. Sadly, otter cuddling is most likely not one of them…


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