Drax Group has joined forces with Glasgow Science Centre to introduce innovative hydropower education programs for primary and secondary schools in Scotland. This collaboration, facilitated by the Drax Foundation, aims to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) skills among students and inspire them to consider careers in the hydropower industry.

Scotland's hydropower sector is on a growth trajectory, with plans underway to expand pumped storage hydro stations, including Drax's Cruachan plant. This sector presents long-term career prospects in the field of renewable energy.

Sarah Cameron, Community Manager for Scotland at Drax Group, expressed the company’s commitment to supporting Glasgow Science Centre's efforts to foster STEM skills among young Scots. Cameron stated, "The learning lab and workshop are pioneering hydropower education programs that will help students develop their STEM knowledge and hopefully get excited and interested in a career in hydropower."

The primary school program is conducted through Glasgow Science Centre's 'Learning Lab' and spans four to six weeks. It employs case studies of Drax's Scottish assets to educate students on the operation of different hydropower forms, including pumped hydro and run-of-river plants. The program includes class visits to Glasgow Science Centre or on-site visits by the Science Centre's On Tour team.

For secondary school students, there are STEM Futures Work Readiness Workshops. These workshops are designed for fifth and sixth-year students and are conducted at Glasgow Science Centre. Participants collaborate to explore the career opportunities available in the Scottish hydropower sector and the necessary skills for accessing them.

Dr. Stuart Meiklejohn, STEM Futures Project Coordinator at Glasgow Science Centre, emphasized the unique nature of this partnership. He said, "This exciting new partnership will deliver invaluable hydro-themed education resources and is the first of its kind in Scotland." Meiklejohn added that the engaging programs offer teacher training and hydropower content tailored for primary students, along with opportunities to learn from experts in the field. Older students can explore their lifelong STEM journey as they consider future careers.

These programs are fully funded by Drax, with resources available for 50 primary schools to participate in Learning Labs and 20 workshops catering to up to 400 secondary school pupils. Schools interested in participating can apply for the programs, set to launch in early 2024, by contacting Glasgow Science Centre via their website.

The launch of these programs aligns with Drax's corporate foundation, Drax Foundation, which recently provided funding for EDI bursaries through EngineeringUK to support underrepresented young individuals in engineering careers. Drax's community strategy focuses on ensuring positive impacts in the communities where it operates.

In addition to these programs, Drax offers free educational tours of its Cruachan site in Argyll and Bute for schools. These tours offer insights into engineering careers, pumped storage hydro operations, and how Cruachan contributes to achieving Net Zero targets.