Carrick schools are successful in engineering finals

Jessica Orr and Alexander Patterson from Ballantrae and Colmonell Primary School won their Primary Engineering (Apprentice Level Two) category outright.
Jessica Orr and Alexander Patterson from Ballantrae and Colmonell Primary School won their Primary Engineering (Apprentice Level Two) category outright.

34 teams of primary school pupils from South Ayrshire Council schools recently showed their engineering and scientific potential for the future when they competed in the UK Primary Engineers final.

And there was success for Colmonell and Ballantrae Primary School as they were the winners at Apprentice Level One on the day.

The schools then enjoyed further success on national finals day in Glasgow with the combined forces of Jessica Orr and Alexander Patterson going onto win their Level Two Category outright.

The pupils ambition and drive was tested in the Engineers Final with each school team having to design and build their own moving vehicle according to different categories, which reflected their expertise and age.

The competition was designed to boost competence in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (known as STEM subjects) and pupils were given support and encouragement by staff from our primary schools, who received specific training last year during a Curriculum for Excellence Festival.

They worked with pupils in their school, with support from an Engineering Ambassador, to enable teams of pupils to create their vehicle, which could be as imaginative or as practical as they wished.

In March, the vehicles were judged by professional engineers and the teams who won then qualified for the national finals, held in the Barony Halls at Strathclyde University, Glasgow.

The winning teams in each of the three categories who qualified for the national final were:

Apprentice Level 1

Winners: Colmonell & Ballantrae

Runners up: Dalmilling Primary

Apprentice Level 2

Winners: St Patricks

Runners up: Colmonell

Engineer Level 1

Winners: Holmston

Runners up: Alloway

On the national finals day, Sean Hills and David Traynor from St Patrick’s Primary School won the award for best communications.

Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “Congratulations to Sean, David, Jessica and Alexander for their success. They’ve done themselves, their schools and South Ayrshire proud.

“Science initiatives in our schools and participation by our young people in initiatives such as the Primary Engineer Programme encourage young people to get involved and be enthusiastic about science.

“The blend of science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills they learn are invaluable and will help them in their future career paths.”

The competition was organised by Primary Engineer, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2005 whose aim is to encourage young people to consider careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related professions