Driving electric, what's up with that? Will batteries really become that crucial in the future? And 100% renewable energy, is it really possible? To find an answer to these question, 450 students of 16 till 18 years old visited Thor Park in Genk. "The last couple of months it became clear that youngsters have a strong social awareness about energy and climate. That's why we wanted to give an overview of the challenges and possible technological solutions our energy system is facing. Within EnergyVille, a collaboration between KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt, we're working each day on technological solutions for the future. It was therefore a logic step to open our doors and provide an answer to the questions of these youngsters", explains Ronnie Belmans, professor at KU Leuven and CEO of Campus EnergyVille.
After a short theoretic introduction, the students got to experiment with some interactive demos. By means of an adjusted bike they got to experience how difficult it is to make a kettle boil or they got to know how solar panels can generate electricity on both sides. At T2 Campus the students took an interactive TECH walk.
The common theme: to bring a positive message and address the versatile, individual talents of the students. Ronnie Belmans: "Today we want to deliver a positive message: the challenges are substantial, but science is moving forward. Today we hope to make clear that every student in its own way can help to make a difference. Their knowledge, skills and social awareness will be essential for the future."
Energy Unplugged also addressed the strong demand for Tech talent. The energy transition comes with new technologies. To implement these, trained scientists and technicians are more than ever needed.
It is not merely students who were welcomed at Thor Park. On 8 May, Energy Unplugged for teachers was organised in which the teachers got the opportunity to expand their knowledge about our energy system.