Oceantic Network, an organization working to advance offshore wind and other ocean renewable industries and their supply chains, has opened the Offshore Wind Experience Hub.
Based in Maryland and funded by a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), the Hub is designed to raise public awareness of and provide education about offshore wind renewable energy.
The Hub will be a place for schools and the public to explore, experience, and learn about the necessity, science, and benefits of the growing U.S. offshore wind industry.
The Network has partnered with Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore (JA) for the first phase of the project, with an initial location at the Perdue Henderson Junior Achievement Center serving student groups ranging from fifth grade to high school.
The Network anticipates more than 15,000 students from the Eastern Shore will visit each year, getting the opportunity to explore various careers available in offshore wind, from engineering to business management, and learn first-hand how offshore wind works.
The initial phase of the project will consist of an Oceantic Network education space serving JA’s Finance Park and Biz Town programs, which are designed to give students a taste of future career possibilities.
The Network’s space highlights employment opportunities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that will be created with the growing offshore wind industry. Through an interactive simulation, students will have the chance to walk through a day-in-the-life on an offshore wind project.
Choosing from roles such as an offshore wind technician or engineer, students can learn about the tasks and knowledge necessary to permit, develop, and construct an offshore wind project.
For the second phase of the project over the next two years, Oceantic Network will construct a standalone Experience Hub in the Ocean City region to expand visitors to include local residents and tourists.
Through this new educational program, the Network will drive public support for the industry and develop the next generation of its workforce, creating quality jobs and bringing new economic opportunities to local communities.
Liz Burdock, Founder and CEO of Oceantic Network, said; “The Offshore Wind Experience Hub will allow us to showcase the value of the growing offshore wind industry to students, families, and the general public, from the jobs available to support families to the clean energy it provides to power their homes and businesses.
“We’re proud to launch this initiative with the Maryland Energy Administration and Junior Achievement. This is also a great model for other states to build excitement around the benefits of offshore wind.”