Case study

Visualising sustainability and engineering solutions

23 March 2023

In October 2021, DETI Skills Inspire partnered with I’m an Engineer to host the Youth Engineering for Environmental Sustainability Summit (YEESS), ahead of the UN climate change summit COP26 which took place in Glasgow November 2021.

The YEESS enabled young people (aged 16-18) from the West of England region to connect with local engineers and policymakers. This allowed them to explore how engineering can help tackle the Climate Emergency and discuss the interconnected solutions needed for future sustainability.

The summit focussed on three key themes from the West of England and Ecological Strategy and Action Plan, the Bristol Climate Action Plan and the West of England’s goal to reach net zero by 2030: Transport, Energy and Waste.

Through a series of videos, created by engineers and activists and live chats, students were encouraged to visualise what future climate solutions might look like. From engineering innovation to societal change, they were able to discover what green jobs and career paths are available, and ask questions of West of England Mayor, Dan Norris, Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees and Roy Kareen from the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Councillor Toby Savage of South Gloucestershire Council and Savita Custead – from Bristol Natural History Consortium’.

In total, 12 engineers engaged with 51 students from seven schools across the West of England during the three days of the online summit. A further 20 students from Orchard School attended a physical one-day version of the summit, held at We The Curious science centre.

The discussion toolkit and video resources are available as an educational resource pack for KS4 and KS5. To download, please visit Digital Trailblazers. The pack can be run independently by schools or community groups, or delivered by the DETI Skills Inspire team as a 2-hour workshop.


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