Science students scoop silver in national skills competition
29 November 2016 News
Two Furness College students have scooped silver medals in the WorldSkills UK finals after meeting the challenge to devise a £30bn sustainable energy strategy for an island.
Chloe Owens and Josh Foster, who are both second year BTEC applied science students at the Channelside campus, were runners up in the two-day competition at the NEC in Birmingham.
For the task they had to act as government science advisors and design and present a detailed energy proposal to a panel of senior leaders. The competition attracted more than 100,000 visitors a day.
Josh, 18, of Ulverston, said it had been an excellent test of their maths, essay writing and data analysis skills.
“We had a chance to push ourselves and apply our knowledge to create a plan for the theoretical economy with access to renewable energy,” he said. “After college I want to go to university to do a degree in biochemistry but this has also made me think about a degree in environmental science.”
Chloe, 18, of Grange-over-Sands, who plans to apply for an apprenticeship in microbiology, said: “We used what we’d learned in the classroom and had to work to deadlines. It was great being part of such a big event and we were really happy with a silver medal.”
Applied science lecturer Jenny Holden-Wilde said there had been a lot of information for them to consider and they had devised a very comprehensive strategy in only 16 hours.
“The teams had targets that needed to be met for climate change, they had to think about job security for the miners as the island was currently 100 per cent coal based power from its own mines and they had to interpret data, look at national security implications, the topography of the island and adopting new technology. They did really well judges said it was so close that they didn’t know until the points were added up who had won. This has been a great demonstration of the real world scientific skills that our BTEC students are gaining.”
The students, who were the top scorers in the heats, competed against colleges from across the UK.