Winds of change

Pupils of Prior Park Prep School nr Swindon, visited the UK’s first  co-operatively run solar and wind farm at West Mill, as part of their school’s focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Maths).

The Westmill Solar Farm project on the Wiltshire/Oxfordshire border, was set up 12 years ago, now has 1500 co-operative members and generates enough power to fuel 2500 average homes. 

The children from Prior Park Prep school had a variety of opportunities to learn about the turbines.  Knowledgeable volunteer guides gave them a tour and encouraged them to think about how many homes the windmills power. A  interview with  Marcus Simmonds, the education and visits manager, enabled the children to find out about his STEAM career.  By the end of the trip, the children had discovered that a computer in Wales controls the towers, watched the impact of wind direction and listened to the gears moving within the towers. Completing their experience, the children lay underneath the 110 metre towers and experienced looking up at the blades.

As a school in an area surrounded by Technology Businesses we place great importance on the development of the children’s knowledge in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Maths). This was a wonderful opportunity to offer the children a unique science experience with first hand learning to understand how the power we need and use everyday can be generated in a renewable way. We look forward to meeting Marcus again when he comes to deliver some hands on workshops as part of our "STEAM Fridays" series in the Autumn

Mrs Sarah Paddock, Head of Lower Prep, Head of ICT

What a weird feeling! I love it.

Year 4 pupil, laying under the turbines