Home > News > Schools outreach programme…

7 June 2024 | YESC

Schools outreach programme provides vital STEM skills to young people in Highlands

Pupils from schools across the Highlands and Moray joined forces to showcase their innovation and learning from their involvement in Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC).

Schools have been taking part in the Climate Smarter project throughout the year, sponsored by Crown Estate Scotland, Confor and The Scottish Forestry Trust. The programme culminated in a celebration event supported by UHI Inverness Scottish School of Forestry. Young people and teachers gathered at The Scottish School of Forestry to exhibit their projects and compete for competition prizes. Industry volunteers and partners provided challenges which gave the young people an insight of the different career paths available through studying Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Ashley West, Fortrose Academy, highlighted: “Taking part in YESC has drastically changed the trajectory of the Science Club at Fortrose Academy. The structured activities encourage pupils to think creatively and outside of the box to come up with ways to tackle real life problems such as the climate emergency through problem solving and scientific investigation. Throughout the project pupils have been developing their interpersonal skills which has in turn developed a sense of accomplishment and confidence within the students’ abilities. These skills are not only crucial for the STEM industry but are also highly transferable to other areas of study and future employment.”

Thomas Wild, Head of YESC said: “The projects, in partnership with our industry funders, inspire pupils and help them develop valuable skills and knowledge whilst encouraging uptake in STEM subjects and careers. The celebration event is a culmination of the project and gives an opportunity where young people can showcase their innovation and hard work whilst learning more about different career and education pathways.”

Penny Coles, Head of Partnerships for Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland plays a vital role in helping to encourage young people consider what skills are required for work in a wide range of industries, as well as highlighting to them how such jobs will be crucial to Scotland’s net-zero future. As an organisation playing a pivotal role in supporting and enabling renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions, Crown Estate Scotland is proud to sponsor this work to support STEM skills.”

Eleanor O’Neill, Communications Manager, Confor, commented: “The Young Engineers and Science Clubs is a fantastic initiative that we’re always happy to be a part of. It is extremely important to get young people thinking about what skills and interests they may want to carry forward into a career. The projects put forward by the teams at the Highland Celebration of STEM event demonstrate a real enthusiasm for learning and consideration for the future.”

Pupils have participated in the Climate Smarter project which is funded by industry to provide free resource kits to schools. The project focuses on sustainable materials, energy storage and ‘smart’ technologies. This enables schools to create a tabletop model of their future eco-school, as their entry for the celebration competition. The Scottish School of Forestry provided a tour of the campus and careers talks to highlight routes into the industry.

Prize winners:
• Regional Club of the Year Winner: Farr High School
• Regional Club of the Year Runner-up: Balloch Primary
• Climate Smarter Winner: Fortrose Academy
• Climate Smarter Runner-up: Glenelg Primary
• STEM Challenge Winner: Nairn Academy
• STEM Challenge Runner-up: Fortrose Academy