Schoolchildren rise to Drax’s recycled robots challenge

Primary school pupils have built their own robots from recycled materials as part of an initiative developed by Drax to boost STEM education and skills.

The Visitor Centre Team at Drax Power Station has developed the STEM box project, an engaging activity for students to take part in relating to the subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Students aged between seven and eleven at Camblesforth Community Primary Academy and Selby Community Primary School, were provided with individual activity boxes containing a range of learning materials, games and resources they will need to build their robots, the focus of which is on recycling and forms part of their school curriculum.

The robots are made from recyclable materials that can be found around the house such as bottles, tin cans and cardboard and have been designed to carry out recycling tasks such as having magnetic hands to pick up metal, or built-in compartments to store paper.

To launch the project, students received a presentation from visitor centre guides on recycling and the role everyone plays ensuring the correct waste items enter recycling schemes.

Drax Director of Sustainability, Alan Knight, said:

“By providing schools with these resources we hope to further students’ understanding of the importance of recycling and hopefully fire up their imaginations and inspire them to study STEM subjects by showing them the wide range of career options that are available.”

Year 4 pupils at Selby Community Primary School with Drax Visitor Centre Guide Natalie Dobson

Camblesforth Community Primary Academy teacher Georgia Wynn said:

“The students had a great time taking part in the STEM box programme, learning about Drax, and building the recycling robots. Activities like these are so important as it really brings the subject to life and encourages students to start thinking about careers they might enjoy in the future.”

Selby Community Primary School teacher Louisa Currie said:

“Creating their amazing robots really sparked the children’s enthusiasm for STEM and drew their focus to the importance of recycling. We look forward to continuing to work with Drax on projects such as this.”

Drax has a long tradition of supporting education and helping to inspire the next generation of engineers by encouraging interest in STEM subjects. The renewable energy company offers a number of other initiatives to support STEM education and skills including virtual tours of Drax’s power stations, STEM workshops in schools, work experience and providing laptops with free internet access.

Main image caption: Year 3 pupils at Camblesforth Community Primary Academy with Visitor Centre Guide Jane Breach and Teacher Mr Card


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About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Its 3,400 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4Mt of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 13 operational pellet plants with nameplate capacity of c.4Mt, plus a further two plants currently commissioning and other developments/expansions which will increase this to c.5Mt once complete.

Drax is targeting 8Mt of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3Mt of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.


Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.

It offers a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website