Inspiring to see an Argyll primary school setting its pupils steps firmly on the road to familiarity and ability in engineering and science – areas where thee are serious knowledge and skills shortages in Scotland.
The Glasgow Science Centre on Friday 10h June) echoed to the sound of robots, hovercrafts, suspension bridge creations and surprising chemical reactions as no fewer than 500 young scientists, engineers and teachers from 60 Scottish Primary and Secondary schools showcased their projects.
They were all there aiming to win the coveted Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths [STEM] Awards run by Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland [YESC].
59 of those schools were to be disappointed as an Argyll island primary school, Islay’s Port Ellen primary, took the top prize of STEM Challenge. They won £250 and a trophy for their efforts. But they didn’t stop there.
They also succeeded in winning the Junior Saltire Prize, adding a further £750 and another trophy to bring back to their school.
The day featured primary and secondary schools – from as far afield as Shetland and the Borders, competing for a range of great prizes including the hotly contended Club of the Year 2016 titles, which were won by Alness Academy in Highland and Sir E Scott Primary from Harris in Nah h-Eileanan an Iar.
Schools from across the country showcased their projects and enjoyed a series of fun 3 minute STEM challenges set by 20 companies. The event partner companies are Lloyd’s Register EMEA, OPITO and Skills Development Scotland. The event also hosts the finals of the Junior Saltire Awards, Heather’s Hut and 3D Design Challenge competitions.
The awards were presented by Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training who said: ‘The celebration is a true testament to the hard work and passion of the club leaders and of Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland to spark the young people’s interest not only in STEM subjects but in seeing the exciting career potential these subjects offer.
‘The hard work that they put in now can only serve to raise the profile of Scotland as a rich and diverse country that continually strives to be innovative and set world-class standards.’
Jane Martin, Programme Director for YESC said: ‘The standard was extremely high this year. Schools have been working hard to push the boundaries and display their innovative thinking in a wide range of projects and competitions.
‘The attendance for this year’s Celebration was fantastic – an indication of the dedication and passion of the club leaders and of course the pupils themselves. YESC continues to be a leading source of inspiration to support young people’s interest in STEM subjects at a grassroots level.’
YESC is a programme run by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry [SCDI], Scotland’s leading independent economic development network.
Are Islay’s renowned single malt whisky distilleries now looking to radical engineered scientific and engineering processes to improve on the already legendary drams’; with the neighbouring Jura Distillery joining the collective by a home engineered suspension bridge across the speedy Sound of Islay.
The future is clearly in Port Ellen Primary.
Note: The image above is copyright Mike Wilkinson and is reproduced here by permission.