Visual-Interactive-Targeted-Adult-Learning

South Yorkshire solar power energy project receives Lottery Grant

The Schools and Homes Energy Education Project, based at the Sheffield Science and Technology Parks, has secured a £50,000 grant through the Social Economical and Environmental Development (SEED) Programme and the New Opportunities Fund. The title of the project is: VITAL (Visual-Interactive-Targeted-Adult-Learning).

The VITAL project grant will be used to run a series of workshops. Each workshop will address one of the following themes: solar water heating, solar electricity (inclusive of art, design & technology and ICT) and windpower.

One aim of the workshops is to enhance participant’s opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of how energy efficiency and renewable technologies work and are applicable in their home, school work and community environs.

The VITAL workshops are designed to deliver learning opportunities to Sheffield based educational, voluntary and community groups and any local residents from: Birley / Charnock / Hackenthorpe (Venue: Birley Community College), Burngreave (Venue: Green City Action), Heeley / Meersbrook (Venues: Heeley City Farm and Walled Garden Meersbrook), Owlerton / Hillsborough (Venue: to be confirmed), Sharrow (Venue: to be confirmed), Stocksbridge (Venue: STEP and Stocksbridge School)

The workshops have also been specifically designed with a highly visual hands-on mode of delivery particularly suited for and to encourage the following groups to participate: Hearing impaired (note: sign language interpreters will be made available on contacting David Garlovsky), English as an additional language (EAL), people with learning disabilities and those who are often labelled as ‘hard to reach learners’ (16+).

In addition, the workshops will also provide training and educational resources / tools (i.e. solar car and boat educational kits) to those engarged in the education of the groups mentioned above.

The workshops have a link to the school curriculum in the following areas:

  • Science: Electricity, energy, forces and investigative science.
  • Design & Technology: Nets, design development using ICT, materials and their properties, resistant materials, problem solving, testing, gearing, friction and machines, engineering principles.
  • Mathematics: Measurement, data handling and graphing.
  • Geography: Weather Patterns.
  • Sustainable Development: Renewable energy, recycling.

For the past ten years in Sheffield, Chicago-born David Garlovsky has been developing inventions with his colleagues, designed to inform people about the use of renewable energy technologies. A major success has been his solar-powered model car, which has been used to teach basic science and design & technology in a practical and exciting way.

Working closely with David on his inventions has been the SCEPTRE Product Development Team, at Sheffield Hallam University’s School of Engineering. The SCEPTRE team has provided technological knowledge transfer and commercial development.

The project’s latest invention is a remote control solar powered boat, which has won a DTI SMART award for prototype development work.