5 March 2020 | yesc

Scotland’s future Young Scientists and Engineers contend for Highland STEM awards

90 young people representing 14 schools from the region gathered at Eden Court Theatre on Thursday 5 March to take part in the Highland Celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).  The Celebration organised by SCDI’s Young Engineers & Science Clubs (YESC) programme was sponsored by Bristow Helicopters Ltd.

Young people were involved in a variety of challenges and competitions throughout the day.  They showcased their projects to win the ‘Club of the Year’ titles (primary and secondary) and ‘Newcomer Award’ – for the most impressive club in its first year.  The 2020 Club of the Year titles were awarded to Sgoil Bhreascleit, Isle of Lewis and Millburn Academy, Inverness. With the Newcomers award going to Newmore Primary, Invergordon.

The day consisted of various elements, the first being our STEM Challenge, which saw 10 organisations provide hands-on STEM challenge for schools to complete.  The challenges double up as an opportunity to provide an insight into the wide range of careers in the STEM industry.  The winners of the STEM challenges were Park Primary, Invergordon with Millburn Academy scooping a second award.

The event also hosted the regional heat of ‘Charge!’, our 2020 national STEM challenge supported by Scottish Power.  Teams explored gears and energy storage to build an electric lorry to transport as much cargo as possible without running out of power between charging stations. Avoch Primary and Charleston Academy produced the winning designs.

Over lunch everyone enjoyed an engaging and insightful talk on the Search and Rescue work undertaken by Bristow Helicopters, which prompted lots of questions from the audience.

Captain Guy Holmes, presented the awards and said:

“The Bristow Helicopter team were very impressed with the aptitude and problem solving skills displayed by all of the school teams.  These events are important in helping school children appreciate just how vital the learning from STEM subjects is once they enter the workplace, and we look forward to supporting future events.”

Captain Christina Brun – Chief Pilot, ran a STEM Challenge and said:

“It was a pleasure taking part in the recent STEM event in Inverness. I was delighted at the level of engagement and participation displayed by the children. Their enthusiasm and motivation for successfully completing the task was outstanding – exactly the qualities we look for in our pilots.”

Melanie Riddell, YESC Programme Manager, SCDI, added:

“The main purpose of YESC is to inspire and enthuse young people about science and engineering through engaging them in practical and exciting challenges.  Our Celebration of STEM events are a fantastic opportunity to showcase their projects, celebrate their achievements and let them see first-hand the many exciting and rewarding opportunities available within a STEM career”


SCDI Press Contact: Melanie Riddell Mobile 07916315801

Further information:

Notes to Editors:

Winners of each competition and photos are available on request.
The following 53 schools took part in the event:
Avoch Primary Highland
Bishop Eden Primary Highland
Charleston Academy Highland
Dingwall Academy Highland
Dornoch Academy Highland
Forres Academy Moray
Glenelg Primary Highland
Glenurquhart Primary Highland
Holm Primary Highland
Loch Duich Primary Highland
Millburn Academy Highland
Newmore Primary Highland
Park Primary Highland
Sgoil Bhreascleit Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

The organisations providing STEM Challenges are:
Balfour Beatty
Bristow Helicopters Ltd
Highlands and Islands Airports
Institute of Physics in Scotland
Lloyd’s Register EMEA
Royal Air Force
University of the Highlands and Islands
Young Engineers and Science Clubs

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) is Scotland’s Economic and Social Forum. It is an independent membership network representing a cross-section of the private, public and social economy sectors in Scotland with an aim of influencing the agenda to ensure long-term sustainable economic growth and flourishing communities everywhere in Scotland.
SCDI’s Young Engineers and Science Clubs programme has played a leading role in growing interest and sparking enthusiasm in STEM subjects for over 30 years. There are now more than 1,500 primary and secondary schools in our network throughout Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, engaged in a variety of both curriculum linked and extra-curricular projects.

Highland Celebration of STEM

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