Aberdeen Science Centre partners with Norway’s Science Factory to explore innovative net zero solutions

17/04/2024


ABERDEEN Science Centre has joined forces with Norway’s Vitenfabrikken (The Science Factory) to form the North Sea Collaboration Project.  

The partnership, which is also supported by international energy company Equinor, will explore the innovative carbon emissions reduction solutions being developed by Scotland and Norway. 

Aberdeen Science Centre and Vitenfabrikken will work together to develop a range of STEM activities and educational tools to increase awareness of the global climate crisis within schools and communities in both countries. 

The ‘Platforms of Tomorrow Challenge’, a competition for school pupils in Aberdeen city and shire, and in Rogoland, Norway, will task select classes of P5-P7 and S1-S3 aged children with inventing methods to reuse decommissioned oil platforms for a new and sustainable purpose. They will then present their ideas to a panel of judges using Lego models.  

The judges will determine the competition winner, who will receive £1,000 for a green initiative within their school or local area. The pupils behind the judge’s favourite entries will also each receive a VIP-pass to their respective local science centre.  

The competition will launch later this year, but teachers who are interested in having their class take part can register their interest with Aberdeen Science Centre now.  

Alongside the competition, the project partners will also produce a series of educational videos, the first of which will highlight the similarities between Scotland and Norway’s energy sectors, their shared and individual climate-related challenges, and the plans that each country has in place to meet net zero targets. 

A second video will showcase the journey of a Christmas tree that has been gifted by Aberdeen’s twin city in Norway, Stavanger, to the city centre’s Castlegate area, as part of a tradition that began in 1970. The video will highlight the vast science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) involvement in the tree’s journey to Scotland. 

The two centres will also participate in knowledge and resourcing sharing exercises which will include the sharing of staff members for learning and shadowing programmes in each country.  

Envisioned as a three-year project, Aberdeen Science Centre and Vitenfabrikken have now begun an initial pilot year for the collaboration. 

Bryan Snelling, chief executive officer at Aberdeen Science Centre, said: “We are honoured to have partnered with Norway’s Vitenfabrikken for the North Sea Collaboration Project. Through this partnership, and with the support of Equinor, we want to increase awareness of the global climate emergency and allow an audience in two countries to discover more about how we can all play a part in reaching net zero emissions.   

“With our ‘Platforms of Tomorrow Challenge’, we plan to engage with more than 500 school pupils across Scotland and Norway, and to facilitate open conversations between young people in both countries about the global nature of the climate crisis, as they will truly be the driving force behind our future decarbonisation efforts.” 

Arne Gürtner, senior vice president upstream at Equinor UK, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with the Aberdeen Science Centre to build excitement and new capabilities in STEM – and this recent partnership between the centre and Norway’s Vitenfabrikken is a great example of collaboration in action. 

“As we continue our journey to net zero, encouraging an early interest in STEM subjects is vital, and exposure to new technology and innovation for young people will be crucial as we work towards a low carbon economy.  

“Knowledge and resource-sharing between the UK and Norway is key as we continue to develop solutions to decarbonise. The North Sea Collaboration Project is a brilliant new alliance for Aberdeen Science Centre which puts that at its heart.” 

Based on Constitution Street near Aberdeen beach, ASC is home to almost 65 interactive exhibits, allowing people of all ages to discover topics including Space, Energy, Life Sciences, Engineering, and much more.  

Open seven days a week, Aberdeen Science Centre also offers exclusive venue hire as well as room hire for corporate, social and private events. 

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