The pupils of St. Mun’s Primary have just completed their designs ahead of the deadline for the Scottish Engineering Leaders Award for STEM 2014/15. The Awards challenged Primary and Secondary school pupils across Scotland to research and interview inspiring engineers, providing them with a fantastic opportunity to engage with real engineers who could convey the importance of STEM in their daily working lives.
The children interviewed two engineers, Sean Grant and George Alan. Sean has recently relocated to Canada and works for Skanska USA International a Swedish multinational construction and development company and is among the top three construction companies in the Swedish domestic market. George is a retired civil engineer, who has worked on projects such as the tram line at the highly acclaimed Glasgow Garden Festival, as well as the building of the Tighnabruiach Road.
During the project, pupils also researched Scottish engineers who have made significant contributions to everyday life including Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, inventor and pioneer of the RADAR; William John Macquorn Rankine, educator and researcher and pioneer of thermodynamics; Hugh Gill, who developed the multi-articulating bionic hand and Sir William Arrol, steel bridge builder, designer and manufacturer of cranes, heavy machinery and automobiles and who was of special interest to their teacher, whose grandfather worked alongside the engineering entrepreneur.
Using inspiration from their research and interviews, the children were then challenged to interpret the question “If you were an engineer in Scotland – what would you do?”
Primary pupils were asked to write a letter of application outlining why they thought they would make a good STEM Ambassador and illustrate and annotate their idea/invention and accompany it with a description.
Ideas were varied from a Hover Scooter to a programmable make-up wardrobe and a car using an alternative energy source, which would make the air smell sweeter to a genetically grown plant, designed to help reduce the effects of Greenhouse Gases.
The children are currently involved in the ‘Bloodhound Project’ – the new land speed record attempt and are following its progress with interest.