OffshoreWind4Kids is a workshop introducing children to the world of renewable energy, in particular offshore wind energy. The energy transition will not be achieved without the participation of the public and qualified personnel. Learning about offshore wind energy can start in childhood – the author of OffshoreWind4Kids proves it perfectly. BalticWind.EU posed William Beuckelaers a few questions.
OffshoreWind4Kids is a project aimed at educating children in the field of engineering, technology and renewable energy. Through activities on the beach, children can builda prototype of an offshore wind turbine with their own hands and understand how it works. The project also supports the Women in Engineering initiative, which encourages girls to introduce themselves to the world of technology.
The first demonstration day where families can come with their children and build a wind turbine was held on April 4, 2021 in Ostend. 18 families joined the workshop and built wind turbines for 30 minutes.
William Beuckelaers said in a special commentary for BalticWind.eu that „the best way to learn is by doing!”
„Hands on experience is much more inspiring and motivating than learning from textbooks. When kids play around with the turbines, they start to ask questions and come up with creative solutions themselves” he said.
We asked about the potential of the Baltic Sea region for OffshoreWind4Kids.
“The Baltic Sea is currently at an early development stage for offshore wind, but there are large projects in the pipeline. These will contribute to the green transition of the region. If kids get involved at an early age with OffshoreWind4Kids, they can better understand the transition and we hope that it will inspire them to contribute to it one day” – explained Beuckelaers.
Should children also be educated in schools about wind energy? In Beuckelaers opinion “it is important to inspire both girls and boys at an early age because this will define their interests for the rest of their lives.
“If girls see that they enjoy working on technical projects too, this will likely increase the number of women in technical areas which are fundamental to the energy transition” – he said.
OffshoreWind4Kids was launching a global floating wind university challenge for group of engineering students. The students will have to design and build a floating wind turbine structure. The structure needs to support a Kosmos (4th generation) wind turbine and withstand specified wind and wave conditions. The challenge will run in the academic year of 2021 to 2022.