University helps to create children’s book about offshore renewable energy

Academics and graduates from the University of Plymouth have helped to create a new book designed to educate and inspire young children about offshore renewable energy.

Gaia’s Energy Adventure! is written for four to six-year-olds and aims to help them – and those reading with them – understand more about the often complex world of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.

However, its creators also hope it will inspire girls and those from other underrepresented groups to consider a future career in engineering.

The book has been developed by the Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub, a £9million project led by the University of Plymouth and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Published by University of Plymouth Press, it is written by MA Publishing graduate Kate Marvelyan, illustrated by BA (Hons) Illustration graduate Lucy Pulleyblank, and features a number of university research facilities and vessels.

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE FREng, Director of the Supergen ORE Hub and Professor of Ocean Engineering at the University of Plymouth, said:

“As part of our equality, diversity, inclusion and outreach work in the Supergen ORE Hub, we are thrilled to be able to launch Gaia’s Energy Adventure!. Tackling embedded gender beliefs and stereotypes in engineering and STEM subjects is particularly important in challenging diversity issues, especially from a young age. This book looks to address some of these issues and communicate to a young audience the role of offshore renewable energy in our efforts to tackle climate change.”


Read more about Professor Deborah Greaves and her research

The themes of the book have been developed in response to an equality, diversity and inclusion scoping study by the Supergen ORE Hub.

It reported that by the time children reach primary school (usually aged 5), they often have a firm idea of their place in the world – making this an important stage to tackle diversity issues. It also found that books are important in the formation of how children see themselves in the world.

Gaia’s Energy Adventure! aims to break through this barrier by portraying the main character as a young girl of ethnic minority origin. She explores the engineering and environmental aspects of offshore renewable energy, and learns how these technologies can play a vital role in ensuring a clean and sustainable energy mix for the future.

Dr Jim Fleming, Head of Energy at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, said:

“The EPSRC embeds equality, diversity and inclusion in all that we do, ensuring that the activities we support and the research that we fund drives change in our community, and supports a system that is inclusive for everyone. We are delighted to see the Supergen ORE Hub produce this children’s book which supports this important part of our work, whilst also sharing engineering research in offshore renewable technologies.”

If you’re a library, school, nursery or community group and are interested in hosting a reading session or event based on the book, please contact supergenorehub@plymouth.ac.uk.

Gaia’s Energy Adventure! is available for £4.99 via the University of Plymouth online store. To register your interest in an eBook version when available, please contact supergenorehub@plymouth.ac.uk.

<p>Gaia's Energy Adventure! Pages edited to size.</p>
<p>Gaia's Energy Adventure! Pages edited to size.<br></p>
<p>Gaia's Energy Adventure! Pages edited to size.<br></p>

The Supergen ORE Hub

The EPSRC-funded Hub aims to address technical, environmental and interdisciplinary challenges through collaboration, cementing the UK's position as a global leader in offshore renewable energy.

Find out more about the initiative

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