The Association for Black and Ethnic Minority Engineers (AFBE) Scotland and leading energy e-learning firm Norwell EDGE have joined forces to launch a digital gaming experience for primary and secondary school children in a bid to shine a light on the unexpected heroes in engineering – especially those from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background.
Dr Urenna Adegbotolu, the coordinator of AFBE-UK Scotland’s NextGen programme, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Norwell EDGE on this project. They are both an AFBE-UK member and a company that share our values of making education accessible and inspiring through the use of innovative techniques. The game brings STEM and engineering opportunities to life for youngsters from all communities, especially the BME community, and I’m looking forward to being able to share it with our partner schools.”
The initiative is part of a wider AFBE Scotland schools programme NextGen and is being rolled out to schools in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire throughout the academic year. Last year NextGen events were able to reach more than 500 pupils and AFBE hopes this new technology will help expand their reach beyond that. Due to the current restrictions, the scheme’s face-to-face workshops have now been moved online and for the 2020/21 academic year NextGen has organized 12 online STEM events for young people aged 9 – 16 covering topics such as ‘The Fascinating Physics of Everyday Life’, ‘Bits and Bytes of Computing’, ‘Oil and Gas Rocks!’ and ‘Exploring Materials that Shape Our World’.
The game features seven levels through which pupils have to spot the engineer amongst a range of famous faces including Serena Williams, Michelle Obama and Lewis Hamilton.
Mike Adams, Norwell EDGE’s co-founder said: “We launched Norwell EDGE to create a level playing field for oil and gas training – helping to improve technical competency across our global industry. We already work closely with Operators and industry bodies around the world, but now through our partnership with AFBE, we’re able to showcase the possibilities of engineering to school pupils as well. We can’t wait to see the reaction to the game!”
Norwell EDGE is one of the first training companies in oil & gas to focus solely on digital solutions for technical, and engineering-based training. Its content is aligned to Oil & Gas UK’s wells competency guidelines and the company now provides more than 70 technical training modules that can be combined to provide tailored learning programmes. The blended learning content combines animation, graphics, text, video, quizzes and virtual training scenarios to increase knowledge retention by as much as 90% compared with classroom-based training.