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Round Table - Local businesses and educational specialists meet to discuss the sem@schools project

On Wednesday 8th February we held our first Round Table meeting for the sem@schools project.

School Energy Management at Schools is a sustainable energy project for secondary schools. The project aims to develop student knowledge and skills in relation to energy efficiency and renewable energy whilst supporting students in developing an increased awareness of the employment opportunities available within the sustainable energy sector – see http://www.severnwye.org.uk/our-work/live-activities/profile/project/show/SWAProjects/sustainable-energy-management-at-schools.html.

The project is co-funded through the European Union’s Erasmus + programme and involves 9 partner organisations from 7 European countries.

The Round Table meetings are being held in each project country in order to evaluate the project and develop a clear plan for continued delivery post project completion.

Our first meeting here in the UK was attended by the participating schools, those supporting STEM / science education and local organisations that will host the students on work placements this summer.

Project Manager, Mark Stead, presented the project activities undertaken to date, explaining how the students in each school have completed an online training course, carried out energy surveys of their school premises and reported their findings and recommendations for improving the sustainability of their school’s energy use to governors and Senior Leadership Teams. They will now run energy awareness campaigns to encourage positive behaviour among students and staff.

Participants then worked together to evaluate these activities and start to think about the project legacy.

There was also an opportunity to start to plan the work placements that will take place in July. During these work placements, as well as undertaking work shadowing and project work, the students will have an opportunity to repeat their energy surveys in a work context and report back to their host organisation, showing how the sustainability of their energy use could be improved.

Project Manager, Mark Stead, said: ‘It was great to have so many people attend. There is clearly a great deal of support for this project locally. The meeting provided a great chance to utilise the expertise of those working in the field in order to evaluate and improve the project approach. We have some great organisations lined up to host students on work placements and I know the students will be really excited by the prospect of choosing from such a diverse range of organisations.’

 

There will be two further Round Table meetings, enabling some of the issues discussed to be addressed in more detail, leading to a report that will be presented at a conference in Brussels in June.

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