The topic for Meare Village Primary's 2019 Science Week was 'Power Sources of the Future'. Science Week 2019 began with another unusual event; the children arrived at school to find that there was no power at all; there had been a mysterious power cut! Meeting for an emergency assembly, children raised the issues that this power cut would have on their learning. Groups of children went out to the school Forest School area to keep warm around a fire made by the Outdoor Learning teacher, while others made do as best they could in dark, chilly classrooms!
Fortunately, the power returned just before break time. Children then spend the rest of the week learning about various types of renewable energy. All classes experimented with solar panel kits (making solar powered fans), and groups of children made a selection of solar powered vehicles that they tested outside and under lamps.
The week prior to Science week, a group of Key Stage 2 pupils visited 'Drive Green / Completely Green', a local electric car and renewable energy company. They had a great time and learnt a huge amount about electric cars in particular.
One of the challenges set by the head teacher during Science Week was for children to come up with a method of providing renewable power to a large timber cabin in the school grounds. Children worked with the school's specialist science teacher to design a 200w solar system that would be able to power laptops, lights and an interactive whiteboard in the cabin. However , thanks to a parent who works in the renewable sector, the school has been offered a grant by a solar farm asset management company to install a large 6-10kw ground-based solar array that will power between 1/2 and 3/4 of the school's total electricity. This system will be installed during the summer holidays 2019 and will have a large educational aspect, with children able to monitor the output of the solar panels in real time. The school cabin will receive full mains power from the solar array. This means it will be able to be used all year round as electric heaters can be installed.
Staff and Key Stage 2 children are now writing another original school production about the history of energy production, including the problems associated with using fossil fuels. Like last year's summer production, it will combine live drama and singing, computer animation (including animations made by the children themselves), and filmed segments (professionally produced by a local film maker).
The production will end with a summary of the steps humanity must take in order to avoid a climate catastrophe.