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Bright young minds light up Gunning Wind Farm

28/01/2014

Around thirty Year 12 students who are passionate about the intersection of physical sciences and engineering converged on ACCIONA’s Gunning Wind Farm as part of the National Youth Science Forum.

Australia’s brightest young minds were in a spin this week as they gained an insight into renewable energy.

Around thirty Year 12 students who are passionate about the intersection of physical sciences and engineering converged on ACCIONA’s Gunning Wind Farm as part of the National Youth Science Forum.

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) brings together students from across the nation and provides them with a chance look at the many career opportunities available in engineering, science and technology. By the end of January, more than 450 students will have been through the 2014 program.

The Gunning Wind Farm, operated by the global renewable energy, water and infrastructure business ACCIONA, gave the students an insight into Australia’s developing wind energy industry.

ACCIONA Senior Manager Lisa Francis said she was encouraged to see so many young people interested in the wind farm, which has 31 wind turbines and provides enough clean renewable energy to power up to 23,000 homes annually.

“It was fantastic to see bright and inquisitive students asking about the ins-and-outs of the wind farm.  Australia has some of the best wind and solar resources in the world and it is great to be able showcase the potential of Australia’s renewable energy industry,” Ms Francis said.

“Our need for clean, renewable energy will continue to grow in the coming years, so it is important we have tomorrow’s technicians and engineers inspired today.”

The students who toured the Gunning Wind Farm came from all over metropolitan, regional and rural Australia.

Damien Pearce, Director of the National Youth Science Forum, said the opportunity to visit sites such as the Gunning Wind Farm was extremely valuable for the NYSF students.  “Having the kind of access such as that offered by ACCIONA is one of the unique aspects of the NYSF, as our hosts develop a program just for our students.”

Mr Pearce said NYSF students are really engaged and ask lots of interesting questions. We often hear, “Good question, I have not had that question before!”

“Whether they end up working in research labs or in translating research into the commercial sector, or even in business managing a facility such as the ACCIONA wind farm, these students learn so much from being able to see first-hand what goes on and putting themselves in the picture.”

The National Youth Science Forum encourages talented young people to enter science, technology and mathematics-based careers by showing them first-hand what they can achieve, and informs them about the tertiary study options they can use to reach their goals. Its founding partner is Rotary, and it is also supported by a wide range of corporate, university and research organisations.

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