A pioneering educational project, which over the past year has seen Cornish students between the ages of 15 and 21 working with local businesses as real life sustainable energy consultants, celebrated its completion at the end of term presentation events at Duchy College Stoke Climsland.
Almost sixty students from five Cornish schools and colleges across the county made presentations to their business clients on Wednesday 15th December as part of the Schools for Intelligent Energy Use (SIEU) Project, which is the first project of its kind in the UK.
Working within their own agencies, 11 groups of students shared the results of their energy audits and made recommendations on how energy could be used more efficiently by their clients and the opportunities for savings and pay-back periods for renewable energy technologies.
The SIEU Project is a European programme funded by Intelligent Energy Europe, with eleven partners across nine EU countries. The UK element of the SIEU programme is being delivered by Community Energy Plus, Cornwall’s leading charity delivering local solutions to fuel poverty, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Since starting in January 2010, the SIEU project has worked with 195 students across 15 schools and colleges in Cornwall and has involved 26 businesses.
Clare Langdon, Senior Project Officer at Community Energy Plus who has led the SIEU project said: “We’ve heard some amazing ideas in the final round of presentations and I’ve been consistently impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm shown by the students. SIEU encourages students to take a lead in carrying out their own research and in developing their own projects which is a very different style of leaning to what many of them have been used to. It’s been great to see the students embrace the challenge – they’ve put in a lot of hard work but I’m sure they’ll all agree that it’s been well worth the effort.”
Steve Kendall, Construction Course Manager for pre 16 students at Cornwall College said: “The project has been a great experience for the students because it has opened up a whole dimension of sustainability that they hadn’t experienced before. The project we worked on was with the Townscape Heritage Initiative in Camborne on the Old Assembly Rooms. The students looked at their project in a very different light to what I would have done and it really opened up my eyes to the ideas they were coming up with, not just the sustainability in the way the buildings are constructed but in their future use and how they can go about attracting people to come and use the buildings in a sustainable way.”