Innovative Trip of a Lifetime for StudentsA renewable energy installation company has recently whisked a troop of lucky students away to Wildpoldsried, Bavaria to experience world leading facilities and renewable technology infrastructure.

Nottingham based Sasie Ltd took an all female group on the trip of a lifetime to spark their interest in renewable energy, sustainability careers and university choices, encouraging more women into a traditionally male-dominated industry.

The NAPIT registered business are now one of the UK’s leading accredited installers of renewable energy systems and were eager to give back to their community and help others to a build successful careers in the sector.

The trip, which ran from 24 October to 8 November 2015, funded by Erasmus+, was led and delivered by Sasie Ltd and German partners Christiani GmbH, with support from School Energy Efficiency CIC.  Daily trips included facilities and technologies in Wildpoldsried, such as the construction site of a brand new wind turbine and a number of biogas farms just outside the village. Students had the opportunity to explore and study all of these technologies during a tour by Wildpoldsried’s Deputy Mayor.

Local vocational colleges and universities were also on the agenda, as well as Sonnenbatterie GmbH, where the students were taught about the benefits of battery storage, and enjoyed a tour of the factory to witness various stages of production.

Other visits included a waste combustion plant with fewer annual emissions than a single cigarette and one of Kempten’s six hydroelectric power plants and Elektro Guggenmoos GmbH, where the group were shown a multitude of innovative schemes designed to increase the efficiency and outputs of renewable energy technologies.

Thanks to James Veness, of School Energy Efficiency CIC, teaching materials were supplemented with inspirational talks and interactive presentations from organisations such as 2041, 5 Gyres and Barefoot College.

Year 12 student, Greta Holmes, commented on the visit: “Having always learned from a book, being actually able to come and see these technologies in practice has made me realise that the age of renewables is now and not just a strategy for the future.”

Janie Tilley, Head of Science at Sydenham High School GDST, said: “This trip has given our students experiences beyond the classroom. They have developed their skills as independent learners through this university-style learning method. In addition, the unique opportunity to question inspirational speakers at the cutting edge of sustainable development has broadened their horizons and understanding of the opportunities available to them.”

Completion of the trip also gave the students a Level 3 Award in the Rational Use of Renewable Energy, an Ofqual accredited qualification written by Sasie Training Ltd that focuses on renewable technology systems, the renewable energy industry and the economics and politics of renewables.

Another trip is planned for February 2016, with places still available for girls over the age of 16 in full time education.