Wednesday, August 10, 2022

News: Future stars create fusion energy machine at school


School children from Waverley Junior Academy in Rotherham have combined science with art to create a fusion energy machine of the future.

Year 5 students took part in two workshops to learn about fusion – based on the same processes that powers the sun and stars – which has great potential to become an environmentally responsible part of the world’s future energy supply.

Before taking to their pens and pencils to design a star-making machine, the students discovered what fusion is and let-off steam by running around to create energy of their own.

The fun and interactive sessions were delivered by a team from the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) based at the neighbouring Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

Last year the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) opened a £22m Fusion Technology Facility on the AMP where it works with industrial partners to put the UK in a strong position to commercialise nuclear fusion as a major source of low-carbon electricity in the years ahead.

Jordan d‘Arras, graduate development engineer at UKAEA, said: “The children were really enthusiastic and asked so many good questions. They learned the importance of safe, low carbon energy in the fight against climate change and heard about the variety of career opportunities we have at UKAEA that will help make fusion happen. We hope to have inspired our engineers, scientists and communicators of the future!”

The students went head-to-head in a design competition and impressed the UKAEA team with their interpretation of what a future fusion energy machine could look like.

Waverley Junior Academy’s Year 5 teachers, Patrick Selkirk and Holly Peace, were very proud of the scientific knowledge and artistic talent of their classes.

Patrick said: “It was a great experience for the children to fully engage with. They had previously learnt all about renewable energy and the effects of non-renewable sources. The UKAEA workshop was enlightening and well-pitched to the children. The workshop began conversations that sparked debate about fusion energy.”

UKAEA website

Images: UKAEA


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