22 March 2023 | yesc

Education Minister gets young engineers STEM challenge

Pupils at Gorgie Mills School in Edinburgh welcomed Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education, Youth Employment and Training, to tour their school yesterday. During the visit to Gorgie Mills School, Mr Hepburn was also able to get involved in a Climate Smarter workshop being delivered to 5 pupils by Young Engineers and science Clubs Scotland (YESC). In the workshop pupils created a soil moisture detector using the micro:bit.

Climate Smarter is an exciting topical project for second and third level pupils. The project is designed to enthuse and inspire pupils to think creatively to come up with solutions to the biggest global problems to face them, now, and in their future. The project takes them on a journey of investigation and experimentation to look at how we can tackle the climate emergency.

The experiments and activities can be delivered as one-off sessions in an extra-curricular club over several weeks or alongside other lessons as a full programme with a full class. The programme culminates in the pupils designing and building models of their future school, incorporating all their research into energy efficiency, smart controls, electricity generation, responsible water, and sustainable building material use.

Gorgie Mills School received the Climate Smarter kit as part of a three-year major funding expansion of the project by HCI Skills Gateway across Fife, Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian, and the Scottish Borders which will see 180 classes across 90 new schools receive a FREE Climate Smarter kit and teacher training.

“The Climate Smarter project has been great as it got our young people actively involved in thinking through solutions to real-world problems. It’s important for our young people to ‘see’ clear links between what they are learning in class and their future employment possibilities. YESC did just that by helping our young people take their learning out of the classroom and meeting people working in these relevant industries. As a teacher it’s been brilliant because YESC provided not just Climate Smarter resources but also the support on how to deliver these within the classroom”. Kevin McPhee, Teacher, Gorgie Mill School

Thomas Wild – Head of the YESC programme said “Empowering the next generation with the skills and knowledge to tackle the pressing issue of climate change is vital, and that’s exactly what the Climate Smarter project is doing. YESC provides resources, training, and support to schools across Scotland, with a team dedicated to supporting students as they develop key problem-solving, communication, resilience and creativity skills – all essential for success in today’s rapidly changing world. Through our partnerships with industry, we’re giving these young people a glimpse into future career opportunities and pathways, ensuring that they’re equipped with the skills needed now and in the future.”

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