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Exploring the science behind critical energy issues

New website launched to engage young people across the UK in the energy debate

Posted by Stephanie Broad | April 06, 2016 | Sustainability

From heating homes, to powering gadgets and fuel for transport, energy underpins our modern lives and the demand for energy is growing on a global scale. A new interactive website has been launched to engage 11-16 year olds across the United Kingdom in a debate on our future energy supply - how our demand for energy can be met reliably, at an acceptable economic and environmental cost. Visitors to OurFuture.Energy will discover the science behind the critical issues we face in balancing our energy use and supply to meet demand.

Interactive games and quizzes, animations and videos, as well as current news stories will give young people an engaging and immersive digital experience. Users will learn more about energy sources such as oil and gas, nuclear and renewable power so they can form their own opinion on the energy mix. 

Visitors to the site will hear from people working in the industry, get back to basics to discover how things work and voice their opinion in debates. Featured topics include the sustainability of clothes in ‘How Green Is Your Outfit’ and striving to reach equilibrium in “Balancing Our Energy Future.” Young people, parents and teachers will also be able to access authoritative and credible information based on scientific evidence for homework, projects and to find out the science behind the headlines. 

OurFuture.Energy will encourage young people to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in the energy sector by nurturing an interest in the core science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. 

The web resource has been brought to life by partner organisations from across the energy sector including oil and gas industry skills organisation OPITO, the leading not-for-profit renewable energy trade association RenewableUK, manufacturer of enriched uranium for the nuclear power utilities URENCO and the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry UKOOG. The website also has support from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). 

Minister for Small Business, Anna Soubry, said: “As we move towards more mixed energy sources adding more renewables and nuclear to oil and gas, it’s vital that we inform and inspire youngsters as they’ll be the engineers and scientists keeping the lights on in the years to come.

“This new website is an excellent way to reach children about balancing energy security, the environment and what’s affordable, and they will hopefully go on to pick science and maths subjects before going into a rewarding career in the energy sector.”

Powering the Future

Glasgow Science Centre was commissioned to create, develop and maintain the website using the experience gained from creating their physical Powering the Future energy exhibition. Dr Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive of the Centre, said: “OurFuture.Energy will enthuse young people about the energy sector by inspiring them with the challenges we face and how they can play a role in addressing these issues to help secure our future energy supply. The online resource will play a central role in developing the scientists and engineers of tomorrow who will contribute to finding the long-term solutions to our energy needs as we change the way we produce and use energy. 

“Since December, over 70,000 people have visited Powering the Future and engaged in the energy debate. Using our knowledge gained through making the exhibition, we will create relevant and engaging content that will bring the challenges around the energy trilemma to life and help young people to understand their role in coming up with the best ways to approach balancing carbon emissions, energy costs, and security of energy supply.”

Find out more at OurFuture.Energy 

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