The future of sustainable heat - workshop for high-schools

In the inaugural session of our workshop tailored specifically for high school seniors, we embarked with the team of the high-school Notre Dame Le Ménimur in Vannes, France, on an exciting journey to explore underground heat storage, spanning Europe, from Iceland to Brittany, and beyond.

Our objective was to clarify the practical applications of geosciences, highlight the development of sustainable energy solutions, and ignite a passion for driving change in young minds. Geoscience is not about looking at and licking rocks, the scope is much wider.


Collage of pictures showing people in a workshop pointing at geological maps and whiteboards.

We initiated an open discussion on how to become a geologist, using Claire’s curriculum, then drifted to geothermal energy basics, and explored the concept of underground heat storage. The teenagers were eager to learn about how these technologies could shape our future cities and communities, and which type of jobs and expertise are needed for this to happen.

Dispelling the notion that geoscience is solely for specialists, we engaged in discussions on tangible solutions and real-life examples, like the PUSH-UT demonstration site of Darmstadt. This ignited their interest and prompted a barrage of questions.

Then, the high-schoolers got to get creative and collaborate in a brainstorm.  

They got to identify local communities needs in terms of energy supply, local geological potential for underground energy use, and propose a project idea that integrates one or several solutions and technologies. They discussed geothermal, solar panels, and other renewable energy sources, made  a project proposal, find a project location, name and pitch it in front of the other participants!

What a challenge, and all of them successfully achieved it. They were proud to present to their peers their ideas, exchange and discuss them, and construct an enthusiastic project!

Some creative examples that could inspire developers include combining solar panels and biomass-generated heat, storing it underground to heat the large surface of stables in farms, supplying heat to the locals; drilling into a fault system to harness geothermal energy for an entire neighbourhood, coupled with solar panels for an energetically independent cinema complex; or implementing geothermal-heated pools on the shore, combining thalassotherapy and energy transition, and have a Breton “Blue Lagoon”.

Key takeaways from the workshop:

  • The pupils learned that energy transition requires teamwork and goes beyond science, encompassing all sectors.
  • They realised the importance of local input in aligning projects with community needs.
  • They recognised the necessity of supportive laws for low-carbon energy planning.
  • They understood the economic benefits and job creation potential of sustainable energy projects.
  • They collaboratively generating numerous creative project ideas with realistic plans.

We believe these three hours have equipped them to contribute to a greener, brighter future – perhaps in some years these will be the geologists, heat storage business developers or sustainability policy makers of the future.

As we say in France, it’s time to shift into higher gear! Il faut passer à la vitesse supérieure!

The enthusiasm from both our team and the students fuels our commitment to ensure equitable access to such workshops. Feel free to reach out to our team—we’re dedicated to tailoring these opportunities to the needs and goals of all communities.


The students got to work with real geological maps of the subsurface.

PUSH-IT is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101096566.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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