Under the microscope with: renewable energy experts, Ørsted

Eureka! Science + Discovery, as the only science and discovery centre specifically designed for children and young people aged 6 – 14 in the UK, will tackle big issues in an accessible and inclusive way, opening up exciting science stories for everyone.

Our vision is to equip today’s younger generation to deal with the challenges they will face in the future and inspire and encourage them to question and debate, to open their imaginations to the possibility of different futures, and to develop the confidence and resilience they need to take the actions to get there.

We’re experts at developing award-winning interactive attractions #humblebrag, and this exciting project gave us an opportunity to join forces with other experts to bring our vision to life.

Eureka! S+D was made possible through the support of a range of funders and key stakeholders and our founding corporate partner is Ørsted, the global leader in renewable energy solutions, whose aspiration is a world that runs entirely on green energy including onshore and offshore wind farms.

Eureka! Science + Discovery sits right on Wirral’s waterfront, nestled in an area with a well-deserved reputation as a centre of excellence for clean energy. The wind turbines of Ørsted’s Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm punctuate the local skyline, with their King’s Wharf Operations & Maintenance base just a couple of minutes’ walk from our new attraction.

Working with Ørsted, and two local high schools The Mosslands School and The Oldershaw Academy, we’ve created our Turbine Technicians exhibit, revealing an insight into the challenges faced by the technicians who look after the giant turbines out at sea, and what impact their presence has on our renewable energy future.

We sat down with Ørsted’s Head of Site, Lee Rollason, to talk to him about their involvement in the development of Eureka! Science + Discovery.

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

A: My name is Lee Rollason and I’m Head of Site at Ørsted’s King’s Wharf Operations Hub.

I oversee all operations of our offshore wind farm projects off the Merseyside coast – Burbo Bank and Burbo Bank Extension, which consist of a total of 57 turbines and are capable of powering around 310,000 UK homes.

Ørsted is very proud to have been operating in the North West for more than 10 years and it’s our aim to create a lasting positive impact.

Q: What made the team at Ørsted want to get involved in the project?

A: World leaders recently sat down at COP 26 to discuss the challenges climate change brings, it’s clear that we need projects with real purpose that can provide inspiration and hope. We owe it to ourselves and our future generations.

It’s those future generations that we are focused on through our collaborative partnership with Eureka! in developing a world-class science and discovery centre in Wirral.

By making STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) subjects exciting and accessible, we hope to boost aspiration in science-based careers, such as offshore wind – inspiring a new generation of young scientists, engineers and technicians.

Renewable energy will be at the heart of the global fight against climate change. Clean energy technologies like offshore wind, renewable hydrogen and solar power will play a key role in a shift to clean energy and help meet the UK’s “net-zero” targets.

Offshore wind has already become a key figure on the Wirral’s waterfront and the region has established a well-deserved reputation as a centre of excellence for clean energy. With more and more young people aware of climate change, it’s important to give them an insight into the world of renewables and potential career opportunities on their own doorstep. The partnership with Eureka! Science + Discovery will help to give a deeper understanding but in a fun and interactive way

Q: What has been Ørsted’s involvement in the project so far?

A: Ørsted is really proud to be helping to develop an interactive Turbine Technicians exhibit at the attraction. This immersive exhibit focuses on sustainability through the use of wind power and tells the story of how skilled technicians ensure that our offshore wind turbines keep working well.

Collaboration will be a key factor in tackling climate change and we carried this theme into the project with Eureka! Science + Discovery. Over the past two years, we have worked closely with the Eureka! team and pupils from The Mosslands School, Wallasey to co-create wind-energy themed content and to ensure the highest impact among the target audience (six to 14-year-olds).

Q: What are you looking forward to when Eureka! Science + Discovery opens?

 A: We can’t wait to see our Turbine Technicians exhibit come to life and for young people to be interacting and enjoying it.

The immersive and interactive experience will focus on how technicians repair turbines, involving choosing the right person and right equipment for the task. ‘On-shore’ children will be challenged to detect and diagnose faults using a diagram of the turbines and then to choose the equipment needed for the job, whilst keeping a check on the weather conditions. Through a digital AV experience, they will journey across to the Turbine and engage with mechanical challenges to fix the diagnosed issues. Their reward for a job well done will be a beautiful view out to sea to catch the sunset.

We’re delighted to be giving back to local children and we’re very excited to see the centre take shape – we really hope that it will inspire the future generation of Renewable Energy employees.

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