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Light Up Leeds & Sunderland with Northern Powergrid

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Winning pupils from Parklands Primary School in Leeds and Hudson Road Primary School in Sunderland have been made VIPs for the night after winning the Northern Powergrid Light up Leeds and Light Up Sunderland competitions to design their own Christmas light.

The winners, who were joined by their class mates, celebrated their success at their very own Light Switch On VIP party on 10 November in Leeds and 17 November in Sunderland.

Encouraging STEM at school

Pupils from across Leeds and Sunderland entered the competitions held as part of the joint educational programme by Northern Powergrid and Ahead Partnership. The competitions saw students participate in projects to aid their understanding of energy consumption, communities and lighting design whilst encouraging them to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects.

The events, which included festive music, facepainting as well as photo opportunities in Santa’s sleigh, were hosted by Northern Powergrid, the company which keeps the lights on for 8 million customers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

VIP competition winners party

The Leeds Lights team (part of Leeds City Council) produced both winning designs and the children at both events were entertained with their very own mini switch on, before the big main events in each city centre, so they could see their winning ‘Pull a cracker with your community’ and 'Communi-tree' designs come to life.

Siobhan Barton, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Stakeholder & Customer Engagement, said: “It’s been fantastic to share in the children’s excitement for this innovative educational programme. The competition has proved an inventive way to get youngsters across these regions to involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. Their designs are really eye-catching and the winners should be incredibly proud of their achievements and being able to share their creativity with everyone who visits Leeds and Sunderland to see the lights.”

Stephanie Burras CBE, Ahead Partnership’s Chief Executive, said: “When local employers like Northern Powergrid bring their creativity and fun to create a competition like this, it really fires up young people and ignites their passion for STEM subjects. It gives them a better understanding of their future career choices and it’s an opportunity outside the classroom where the learning will really stay with them.”

Chris Dyson, Headteacher at Parkland Primary School, said: “This has been an amazing chance for the students to learn about energy, be creative and learn more about communities. It’s really inspired the children – and being able to see their illuminated light and share it with their families is a special moment for them and the school.”

You can see coverage of the Light Up Leeds event online here >>

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