Three primary school children in Wales sat around a table wearing white lab coats, carrying out a science exercise.
National Grid celebrates science at workshops for local school children

As the Eryri VIP team prepares for the arrival of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) on site in 2024, workshops have been held at local primary schools in celebration of the science behind tunnelling. 

Enthusiastic Key Stage 2 pupils at seven schools most local to the project site participated in interactive STEM workshops delivered by experienced, local educational provider, Sbarduno. The workshops took place during October and November at Ysgol Cefn Coch, Ysgol Borth-y-Gest, Ysgol Edmwnd Prys, Ysgol Eifion Wyn, Ysgol Talsarnau, Ysgol y Garreg and Ysgol y Gorlan

National Grid’s team worked closely with Sbarduno, who designed workshops that were engaging, educational and linked wider scientific knowledge with the workings of the TBM. Pupils were given lab coats and safety glasses, bringing the classroom to life as a laboratory and the children as scientists. 

Explorative activities helped pupils to identify solids, liquid and gases and analyse the properties of different materials. This provided a stepping stone to introduce pupils to the TBM and link their learning to the properties that enable it to create a tunnel, as it will under the Dwyryd Estuary in 2024-25. 

Awen Ashworth from Sbarduno said “It was fantastic to deliver these workshops to bright young pupils who were eager to learn and ready to get involved with every task. Feedback from teachers across the schools was positive and they expressed that the sessions had been valuable in boosting scientific learning, bringing the Eryri VIP project to life and encouraging budding STEM students.”

As part of the workshops, pupils were invited to submit entries for the TBM naming competition. Traditionally, TBMs are given a female name, and the pupils were asked to suggest a name inspired by a figure of significance in Welsh STEM, culture or folklore. We will be announcing the winning name in January 2024.


A group of children at a primary school in Wales dressed up in white lab coats and colourful wigs.