Following the success of our Energy Efficiency Projects, I contacted Joan Groizard, a renewable energy engineer working with wind turbine technology who is also active in the Young European Green Party to see if he would be willing to set up a Skype interview with the Year 7 students. Fortunately, as he was also an ex-student of mine, he was happy to!
The students were very excited and planned their questions using collaborative discussion and voting. We had arranged a time convenient to him when we could reach all the Year 7 students without disrupting their non-science lessons. The common room was set up and the students sat around the floor near to the screen. Joan appeared and the students started firing their questions at him! He was amazed by the pertinent and specific questions that they had come up with and even found it quite challenging to answer some of them! However, he was very knowledgeable and the students came away praising him as ‘a genius’ who ‘knows so much’ and they were ‘really interested when he explained about what is happening in China’.
It was especially interesting for those students who had been researching wind turbines as part of their Energy Efficiency Projects, but all the students were excited to have a virtual visit from a real engineer who is currently implementing some of the solutions that they were investigating for their projects just a few weeks before!