Challenge claimed by Meldrum Academy

Eight Aberdeenshire academies competed head-to-head at the final of North East Scotland College's Schools Technology Challenge held recently at Fraserburgh Campus. Sponsored by Shell UK each school held knockout heats and selected the top boy and girl to pitch their brains against other participating school teams across engineering-related challenges.

two people with safety goggles working at a computer
Pupils competing in the CNC challenge

These included tasks on: communication; pneumatics; virtual welding; pressure testing; computer numerical control; science laboratory analysis and the salt car challenge. The competition was won by Meldrum Academy, represented by Luca D' Ambruoso and Jessica Riach.

This year the final was held within the College's Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) centre. The pupils moved from workshop to laboratory to classroom as they worked in pairs, against the clock, to complete the various challenges.

Duncan Abernethy, Director of Business Development at NESCol, congratulated all sixteen finalists, commenting, "It is a huge achievement for you to be selected as ambassadors for your schools. Not only were you best in class, but you were also deemed to be the best in school for this particular challenge, communicating effectively as teammates. Our thanks once again go to our valued sponsor Shell for their continuing support of this competition."

The winners each received an iPad mini plus the Challenge Shield whilst the runners up — Owen Edwards and Eilidh Hislop from Ellon Academy — each received a Fitbit Blaze. The remaining participants were all presented with FitBits.

Steve Morrice, Shell St. Fergus Plant Manager at St Fergus Gas Plant said, "Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are subjects at the very heart of Shell. Our industry needs talented people with relevant knowledge and skills in these areas. Shell aims to inspire young people to pursue careers Challenge claimed by Meldrum Academy Pupils competing in the CNC challenge in STEM through programmes like the Schools Technology Challenge."

The Schools Technology Challenge, is in its fifteenth year and aims to encourage young people to consider engineering as a potential career option through engaging with over 1300 second year pupils in a fun and accessible way. Participating schools are Banff, Fraserburgh, The Gordon Schools - Huntly, Meldrum, Ellon, Mintlaw, Peterhead and Turriff. The competition is an example of how schools, the College and industry continue to work effectively and collaboratively together for the good of the young people living and learning in the North East of Scotland.