Eco-aware youngsters at a Paisley primary school have helped create their own classroom-sized wind turbine – and their innovative approach to renewable energy has won them a place at a prestigious European science event.
Primary 6 pupils at Brediland Primary School in Paisley have been working with lecturer Dr Patricia Munoz de Escalona and students at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to create a 2m high wind turbine to power classroom objects.
Funded through a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Partnership grant awarded by the Royal Society, the project saw pupils and Masters students take part in a series of workshops and activities themed around the creation of the turbine.
The project was such a success that the work created by the young people will now represent Scotland at Science on Stage – an event which celebrates STEM and shares information on new teaching concepts – in Portugal in October.
Acting Principal Teacher David Rigmand steered the young engineers through the project.
He said: “Creating their own wind turbine has been a fantastic experience for the young people.
“Every pupil has been engaged throughout the whole process and it’s been great to see the plans evolve over the last year.
“Alongside developing their skills in STEM, the project has helped young people with their skills in communication and teamworking, which will stand them in great stead for the future.
“I’m very proud of everyone who took part and we’re all really excited to represent Scotland at the event in October.”
Brediland Primary School Head Teacher Marie-Claire Temple said: “STEM education is at the forefront of equipping our young people to reach positive destinations, and developing innovations of the future.
“STEM is integral to Scotland’s economic and social development. I am extremely proud of the success and achievement of all pupils and staff and look forward to our young people realising their STEM ambitions.”
Dr Patricia Munoz de Escalona worked with GCU students on the project.
She said: “We’re very proud to be involved in a project which inspires and motivates young people to pursue a career in STEM.
“Learning more about presenting complex, technical information in a way that’s accessible to youngsters has also helped the students refine their communication skills.”
Brediland teachers and pupils celebrated the delivery of the wind turbine as the school unveiled its new STEM and digital literacy centre in this, its 60th year.
Doosan Babcock Chief Executive Officer – and former Brediland pupil – Andrew Colquhoun joined the school in its celebrations.
The engineering firm was involved in some of the workshop sessions, and STEM ambassador Neil Brackenridge worked with the children at the Primary Engineers lunchtime club.
Andrew said: “It’s a real privilege for me to come back to my old school and find so many pupils engaged in this STEM project, and showing an interest in the energy and engineering sectors.
“One of our young engineers has supported the launch of the school’s STEM club, and we hope to play our part in inspiring another generation of youngsters to pursue a career in this area.”