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9 May 2024 | YESC

STEM outreach programme provides invaluable experience for Shetland schools

Pupils from schools across Shetland 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 TotalEnergies. The programme culminated in a celebration event in partnership with SSEN Transmission and SSE Renewables.

Young people and teachers gathered at the Shetland Museum & Archives 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).

Sorley Johnston, Sandness Primary School, highlighted: “Our school is taking part for the third year in a row. I have noticed the pride that the kids take in sharing their work and the positive impact of the positive feedback they have got from judges on their self esteem and confidence. Taking part has also raised the profile of STEM within the school with kids setting their own challenges and also it has highlighted the variety of careers that STEM opens up for them. Coming from a small, remote school the chance to take part in the event is an invaluable experience for the kids.”

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.”

Corinna Scholes, Head of Onshore Stakeholder Engagement, SSE Renewables, added: “We are pleased to have sponsored the STEM outreach programme for a second year. YESC helps increase the skills-base which would allow young people to pursue related study options, including apprenticeships, when they leave school. Building awareness of renewable energy technologies and skills in STEM is crucial in the development of the green skills we need to reach net zero.”

Thea Groat, Community Liaison Manager, SSEN Transmission commented: “SSEN Transmission is delighted to be supporting the delivery of YESC’s Celebration of STEM Shetland Event for the second year in a row. We are really looking forward to attending and engaging with the pupils to help inspire the different opportunities that STEM can provide young people.”

Rhonda Miller, Societal Lead at TotalEnergies added: “We are proud to sponsor the Climate Smarter Programme within Shetland’s schools. It is a great tool for inspiring young people to think creatively about how they can become more sustainable in their everyday lives. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the model schools that the children have created and brought to the event today.”

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.

Schools also took part in a mini challenge called Power Path which is inspired by the green energy exploration in Shetland. It involved teams building marble runs to represent subsea cables transferring electricity from sustainable sources.

Prize winners:

Regional Club of the Year – Ollaberry Primary

  • Regional Club of the Year runner-up – Sound Primary
  • Climate Smarter winner – Happyhansel Primary
  • Climate Smarter runner-up – Bell’s Brae Primary
  • STEM Challenge winner – Sound Primary
  • STEM Challenge runner-up – Whalsay Primary
  • Power Path winner – Ollaberry Primary