Highland Schools’ Successes in Engineering and Science

By Fergus Ewing MSP

Last week, at the STEM Celebration of Engineering and Science in Glasgow Science Centre, I handed out prizes for competitions in which primary and secondary schools from all over Scotland took part.

One of the awards available was the Junior Saltire. The challenge was to design and construct wave energy devices, and some of the entries were tested at Scotland’s outstanding indoor testing centre – Flo-Wave – at Edinburgh University.

Two of the overall winning entries were from Daviot Primary, winners of the Primary Junior Saltire, and Charleston Academy, who were awarded Secondary Club of the Year. Charleston students left their prom early in order to travel to Glasgow for this competition, proving that dedication pays off. Alness Academy – another Highlands secondary – won Highly Commended for the Junior Saltire Prize, S1-S3. It was great to see the faces of the youngsters when their names were read out as the winners. The primary school children looked delighted and smiled. The secondary schools’ young adults were, I think, too cool to do that.

I can assure you it was a coincidence that both of these overall winners – Daviot Primary and Charleston Academy – were from my constituency. Though, perhaps in a way it was not – because marine energy and renewable energy is now associated very directly with Inverness as the Highland Capital, as well as with EMEC at Orkney.

Congratulations to all of the competitors, and all who make this such a great way of learning about science and engineering.