Future Energy: Bringing Cutting Edge Science into the Classroom RB467 / E01

Start date
25 Feb 16
1 Day
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 6 Kensington Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU View on Google Map


Research Councils UK

Future and Sustainable Energy – Solar Fuels & Fuel Cells


Plants can produce high energy chemicals by using water and CO2 under solar irradiation. Can you imagine how our world would be if we could also obtain fuels from water and sunlight? Could we create an artificial leaf capable of producing fuel to power cars or heat our homes? On this course you will discover different ways of using and storing solar energy, and learn how we can copy natural photosynthesis in a chemical laboratory. This course will also provide the opportunity to participate in a real international scientific program in Artificial Photosynthesis.

You will have the opportunity to meet scientists working in cutting edge research relevant to the chemistry and physics curriculum and will try out classroom activities to support teaching these topics in the context of real-world science.

Provisional Programme
1.30 pm          Arrival and coffee
1.45 pm          Introductions, learning outcomes
                       Renewable energy, solar fuels, solar cells, photochemistry and spectroscopy in the curriculum.
2.00 pm          Introduction to: photochemistry, bio-mimicry and renewable energies
3.15 pm          Cutting Edge Research: light harvesting systems, solar cells, solar fuels, fuel cells
4.30 pm          Buffet tea 
5.15 pm          A short tour of the research labs
5.45 pm          Teaching solar fuels and fuel cells in the classroom
6.15 pm          Next steps, plenary and evaluation
6.30 pm          End

Course Presenters

Dr. Peter Hoare, Chemistry Outreach Officer and Freelance Chemistry Education Consultant
Dr. Anna Reynal, currently Newcastle University; will be Teesside University from Jan 2016 (Overview/Introduction to Solar Fuels & practical activities)
Prof. Andrew Benniston, Professor of Photonic Energy Sciences and Co-director of the Molecular Photonics Laboratory (Light harvesting systems and spectroscopy)
Dr. Fabio Cucinnotta, Lecturer in Physical Chemistry (Light harvesting systems)
Dr. Christopher Woods, Postdoctoral Research Associate (Solar fuels and solar cells)

Other researchers yet to be confirmed


Participants will be able to: 

  • develop and update their knowledge by engaging with scientists involved in cutting edge research
  • use authentic contexts for effective delivery of renewable energy from sunlight and fuel cells in the science curriculum
  • engage with active and inspiring teaching approaches and learning activities, including practical work
  • demonstrate how mathematical skills are relevant to course topics


Future Energy: Bringing Cutting Edge Science into the Classroom25 February 201613:30-18:30University of Newcastle Upon Tyne


Research Councils UK 


Thanks to funding from the Research Councils UK, all CPD which is part of the Bringing Cutting Edge Science into the Classroom programme qualifies for a bursary.

State funded schools, colleges or universities in the UK can benefit from this funding for teachers, technicians and those on Initial Teacher Training (ITT).


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Teachers or technicians working in state-funded schools or colleges in the UK are eligible for these subsidies which can be used to contribute to covering the cost of course fees, supply cover, travel, accommodation, or equipment for your school. Find out more.

State-funded school or collegeActivity fee£210.00 +VATSubsidy available*£180.00
Fee-paying school or college (independent)Activity fee£435.00 +VAT

Participants from outside the UK will be charged the course fee and an additional £120 per day plus VAT.

Outside the UK? Fee information

Check your school subsidy status

The subsidy value may be higher for your school or college.

Additional information

For courses at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, fees include meals and accommodation for the duration of the course. 


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