An engineering legacy: National Grid’s Energy Education Centre closes after inspiring thousands

  • The educational centre in Willesden was set up as part of National Grid’s £1 billion London Power Tunnels project
  • The centre was visited by over 8,000 pupils from schools across the capital during its five years in operation
  • Run and staffed by engineers working on the project, it has helped to spark young people’s interest in science and engineering

National Grid’s Energy Education Centre in Willesden is closing its doors after five hugely successful years in operation in which thousands of youngsters witnessed history in the making.

The centre has hosted over 8,000 pupils during that time, helping to leave an engineering legacy by encouraging young people’s interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and hopefully inspiring the engineers of tomorrow.

Set up in 2011 as part of National Grid’s £1billion London Power Tunnels project, to rewire the capital the free-to-use centre has allowed pupils to experience the historic engineering project close up.

Through a range of energy related interactive features and activities, it helped to strengthen understanding of energy and sustainability amongst young people. Each visit was hosted by one of the engineers working on the project with the aim of sparking an interest in science and engineering as a career.

The centre closes as the London Power Tunnels project enters its final stages. The project involves the construction of 32km of tunnels which will house electricity cables that will help keep Londoners plugged into safe and reliable power supplies. The project is progressing on time and on budget with tunnelling completed last year and cable installation well underway. The project is due to be complete and fully operational by 2018.

Gareth Burden, Senior Project Manager for the project said: “Since the very start of this project, we were determined that our hard work below ground would be matched by an engineering and educational legacy above it.

“The Energy Education Centre has been a key part of our work with local communities to inspire future generations about science and engineering, and we’ve been delighted with the response.

He added: “I would like to thank the schools who have helped to make the centre such a huge success over the last five years.”

While the Energy Education Centre is no longer taking bookings, National Grid’s education website www.nationalgrideducation.com has a number of downloadable resources, to deliver practical and engaging STEM based learning for youngsters.

For more information on London Power Tunnels visit www.londonpowertunnels.co.uk

or call 0800 783 2855.

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