Bearsden Academy wins national Go4SET eco-challenge competition

The Engineering Development Trust (EDT) has announced that Bearsden Academy from East Dunbartonshire, has won the national final of its annual 10-week Go4SET national competition.

The competition, involving S2 pupils from 150 schools and 900 pupils from across Scotland, is designed to encourage more children into careers in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) by working with an industry mentor to solve real-world STEM-based problems on anything from environmental issues to finance and technology.

Pupils from Bearsden Academy wowed judges with their create sport project*, which the panel deemed to be the most innovative and professional report to build and design a sustainable sports venue for the future.

April Caldwell, the team’s teacher at Bearsden Academy who led the project, said: “We’re delighted with the team’s fantastic achievement at bringing the create sport project to life. Go4SET is a fantastic competition and helps raise awareness of the exciting careers children can have in STEM-based fields.”

Steven Don, Head of Local Authority Contracts Scotland for Viridor, the main sponsor of Go4SET across Scotland said: “As Scotland’s leading recycling, renewable energy and sustainable waste partner working with 96% of local authorities we are keen to encourage young people to get involved in energy management.

“We are delighted to support the Go4SET programme across Scotland, challenging young people to think about their environment and the future. Like Viridor, these young people are committed to their environment and conscious of how they utilise resources.”

Helen Anderson, Scotland Director for competition-organisers EDT, said: “Go4SET encourages young pupils of today to be the engineers and scientists of tomorrow. It also helps them develop skills in team working, communication, report writing and problems solving – all essential skills in today’s world of work”.

Jamie Hepburn MSP, the Minister for Employability and Training said: “It is fantastic so many young people were involved in the Go4SET Competition, giving them the chance to use their creativity and imagination while learning important new skills. These are exactly the types of projects that can encourage and inspire young people to take an interest in STEM subjects like science, engineering and mathematics and that can help us ensure our future workforce is well-equipped and supported to make the most of the fast-paced technological changes around us. Through our STEM strategy we want more schools and colleges to work together to bring such challenges to young people.”

Webster’s High School, from Kirriemuir was highly commended for their project while Hillpark Secondary School from Glasgow received the Pupil’s Prize.

Go4SET is a national programme which is part of the EDT’s continuum of programmes aimed at stimulating young people’s interest in STEM at a key stage in their education.

The annual competition encourages pupils to gain an understanding of how STEM is central to the world as we know it, giving an insight into the future careers they could take advantage of.

With predicted industry shortages of around 87,000 positions per year in STEM careers across the UK, it is vitally important to make STEM attractive and accessible to the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Organisers cite Go4SET as one effective way of providing young people with the experience of working with industry, helping to enthuse and inspire them to consider a STEM career.

Other organisations which supported this year’s teams were Heineken, Liberty Steel, Aecom, KCP, Qualitrol, Devro, Bear Scotland, Alex Begg, Stork and Network Rail.

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