Next generation of STEM talent inspired by award-winning schools outreach project

Wednesday May 15th 2024

YESC-Midlothian-Celebration-


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Pupils from schools across Midlothian and South East Scotland 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 award-winning schools STEM outreach programme throughout the year culminating in a celebration event in partnership HCI Skills Gateway.

126 young people and teachers gathered at the National Mining Museum 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).

Donna Hanley, Midlothian Council, said: “YESC is crucial because it fosters an interest and enthusiasm for all things STEM. This is not only essential for nurturing the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers and innovators, but also ensures our STEM industries attract new and vibrant talent.”

Thomas Wild, Project Manager of YESC added: “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.”

Kenneth Leitch, Principal Investigator, HCI Skills Gateway, said: We have been delighted to work with the Climate Smarter programme, not only because it considers topics which are key to sustainable construction, but also because of its ability to integrate itself into the curriculum. The level of engagement with pupils across the region has been beyond our expectations and we are confident that by providing an early introduction to learners of the critical role which the Built Environment plays on all our futures, we will see an increase in individuals choosing associated career pathways and employment.”

Pupils have participated in the Climate Smarter project which 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. Support for this project comes from HCI Skills Gateway to allow YESC to provide schools with free resources.

Prize winners:

Climate Smarter Winner – Law Primary School

Climate Smarter 2nd – Trinity Primary School

Climate Smarter 3rd – Burnbrae Primary School

STEM Challenge Winner – Paradykes Primary School

STEM Challenge 2nd – Gore Glen Primary School

STEM Challenge 3rd – Stobhill Primary School

The schools involved:

  • Burnbrae Primary School
  • Cuiken Primary
  • Eyemouth High School
  • Gore Glen Primary School
  • Hawthornden Primary School
  • Lasswade Primary School
  • Law Primary School
  • Newtongrange Primary
  • Paradykes Primary
  • Rosewell Primary
  • St Peter’s Primary School
  • St Peter’s, Galashiels
  • Stobhill Primary
  • Trinity Primary School

STEM challenges were set by:

  • RAiSE and Midlothian Council
  • Raytheon UK
  • National Mining Museum Scotland
  • Mocean Energy
  • SSEN Transmission
  • Heriot-Watt University Go Fibre
  • Bright Green Hydrogen
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