Talking waves on Lewis

28 Mar 11 - Megan Richardson, Site Developer & Sarah Brock, Student Intern

Oyster wave energy converter by Kathryn Baisling from Bayble Primary School.

Earlier this month we took a two-day trip to the Isle of Lewis to attend a public event on a renewable energy project and give some school talks on wave energy. Our first stop was a public exhibition hosted by Stornoway Wind Power.

We had our wave tank on display and were inundated by school groups and lots of questions! Kids were able to create some waves (and splash their friends!) and see the Oyster array in action. We explained how electricity was made using the Oyster and answered lots of questions about its design, manufacture, installation, the environment, cost and the list could go on! We had some incredibly inquisitive kids, which made the event really fun to be a part of. It's possible we even managed to convince some of them that science is fun!

On day two we took part in the Hebridean Science Festival, organised by ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, Technology, Employability, Enterprise, Maths), a local voluntary group whose aim is to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers from the Western Isles.

The theme this year was 'Renewable Energy', and we went to Bayble Primary School to the east of Stornoway and Shawbost School on the west coast to give a 30 minute presentation on renewable energy in Scotland, with a huge focus on wave power and Oyster.

The kids, aged seven to 13, were well informed, and had lots of great and often challenging questions. We also passed out activity sheets and some Oyster diagrams to colour in. We loved them! Some of our favourites are on display in our Edinburgh office - and we have posted one by Kathryn Baisling from Bayble Primary School online here. In total we spoke to over 100 children and their teachers, and had a really rewarding time doing so.

Our final stop required a flag, a beach, Arne Vögler from Lews Castle College and a camera!  All of which were needed for a photo shoot to accompany the announcement of the Hebridean Marine Energy Futures project funded by the Scottish Funding Council with Aquamarine Power as lead industry partner. The project is a collaborative research programme which will undertake a range of tasks from seabed surveying and wave energy resource assessments to the modelling of the interaction of different devices and their impact on the electrical grid. 

After a busy couple of days in Stornoway, it was already time to head back to the office. We couldn't believe how much we had managed to get done. And the ever-efficient people that we are - we were even able to make time to buy some award-winning Stornoway black pudding!