On this page you will find all the latest news and events happening with Academy9. For more great pictures from each event – see The Gallery.
You can also check our events calendar at the side of each page for upcoming Academy9 events you may be interested in.
Academy9 Roadshow, Breadalbane Academy, 29th March 2019
The annual Roadshow for P6’s took place at Breadalbane Academy at the end of March. Pupils learned about the jobs of ecologists, geologists and engineers and what they do on a day to day basis. At the end of the session most pupils decided they wanted to be geologists when they grew up!
Academy9 Conference, 19th-20th March, Aviemore
The inaugural Academy9 conference is finally here and the Academy9 team excitedly travelled up to Aviemore on Monday 18th to set up.
On 19th we welcomed around 150 delegates and 50 pupils to the conference. Delegates initially got to experience our expo stands, virtual reality area and meet the papers competition winners, followed by introductory speakers and the beginning on the workshops. Speakers on day 1 included Michelle Rennie of Transport Scotland and Rebekah Watson (ambassador for women in aviation and engineering) of Menzies Aviation.
Pupils who have experienced some of Academy9’s workshops manned stands, demonstrating what they learned at the Roadshow, Gateway, Apprenticeship Academy and World Town Planning Day. They also got the opportunity to talk to Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
The 40 S3’s were trained up to be journalists for the day, visiting the three areas, asking questions about careers, day-to-day activities, why delegates chose to come to the conference etc. They then wrote up their newspaper articles on the topic that most inspired them. Keep an eye on the website for the finished articles!
On day 2, we continued with the next round of workshops and inspirational presentations from Ollie Bray of the Lego Foundation, Aileen Hamilton of Science Connects, Kate Myers of HS2 and Ian Menzies of Education Scotland.
All in all the conference was a resounding success with a great turn out for both days and some genuine enthusiasm for industry and education to collaborate on more projects throughout the engineering and construction industries.
Academy9 Gateway, Breadalbane Academy, 12th March 2019
It’s Gateway day today and the Academy9 team are travelling up from Glasgow to help Kara (Academy9 ELO) run it however due to traffic and poor weather conditions the team got stuck! Breadalbane’s fantastic S3’s felt confident enough from yesterdays training session to run the event with Kara coordinating and what a fantastic job they did! When the rest of the team made it, their feedback was they were barely needed as the S3’s had everything in hand! The P4’s from Breadalbane and surrounding schools all had a wonderful experience and are excited about their next Academy9 event.
Academy9 Gateway Mentor Training, Breadalbane Academy, 11th March 2019
Some more S3 mentor training today but this time up in Breadalbane Academy in Aberfeldy. Tomorrow we’ll be running the Gateway with the P4’s and the S3’s are going to act as senior mentors for the event.
Academy9 Gateway, Pitlochry High School, 28th February 2019
The Academy9 team were up at Pitlochry carrying out their annual Gateway event. Gateways are fun and engaging sessions for P4’s and their first introduction to the Academy9 team. On 21st February we trained the S3’s to help us run this event and they did a great job!
At this Gateway we’re piloting our new ‘Mindset’ challenge where pupils are taught that by learning a new activity, they are building new neural pathways in their brain and this is how we learn new skills. Pupils learn to juggle with scarfs then put elastic bands onto a corkboard to show the connections they have just made in their brains.
Academy9 Gateway Mentor Training, Pitlochry High School, 21st February 2019
Sarah and Gillian from the Academy9 team headed up to Pitlochry today to train up 18 S3’s from the local high school to help us run the Gateway event with P4’s in a couple weeks time!
Roadshow, Newtonmore Primary School, 22nd November 2018
The Academy9 team hit the road again – this time in Newtonmore! Through the Roadshow’s hands-on activities pupils learnt all about three different careers of professionals working on the A9 Dualling Programme; a Geologist, Ecologist and Engineer. A film crew was also in attendance to capture the fun and the final video will be available to view at the Academy9 conference taking place in March 2019.
Education Practitioners Industry Week, 19th – 21st November
Last week Jacobs hosted an Education Practitioners Industry Week, essentially a work experience week for teachers, on behalf of Academy9 and sponsored by SSERC. Six teachers from Glasgow schools and schools located around the A9 joined us at our Bothwell Street office for four days. Each morning/afternoon session focused on a part of STEM. The teachers used this opportunity to meet professionals currently working in the STEM industry, learned what they do day to day and pathways into STEM careers. We also had a site visit to the Queensferry Crossing Education Centre to meet the road and rail engineers working on the three iconic Edinburgh bridges.
On the final day we spent time with the teachers, helping them prepare for how they will take all the new information back to their schools to share with other teachers as well as the pupils.
We look forward to hearing from the teachers at the Academy9 conference taking place next March.
World GIS Day, Breadalbane Academy, 14th November 2018
Given the multidisciplinary applications of spatial analysis, Geospatial analysis is rapidly being recognised as an important skill area for students from across the traditional STEM and even the arts’ disciplines. For World GIS Day 2018 (Europe) we delivered a maths workshop in Aberfeldy at Breadalbane Academy, where 17 year old pupils explored spatial statistics and simple process automation tasks, first to learn a little about some of Jacobs’ projects and then to identify an optimum site for a wind farm in Colorado. All UK schools have free access to ESRI’s ArcGIS Online suite, which provides them with data visualisation and analysis capabilities, to generate apps covering subjects relevant to their curriculum.
It was particularly good to hear pupils’ discussions on spatial concepts like proximity, density and access. You can see the winner’s map below, chosen because of their close attention to detail when designing routing systems for water, wastewater, electricity and roads.
If you have a connection to a school where you’d like to take geo-mentoring, do get in touch to source lesson plans, and find out how to connect teachers with the software!
Gateway Event, Grantown Grammer, 12th & 13th November 2018
The Academy9 Team made a fourth visit to Grantown Grammar to deliver the Gateway event for Primary 5 pupils from the surrounding primary schools. The event was run by professionals from the A9 Dualling project and the S3 Mentors from Grantown Grammar. The S3’s were excellent role models, organisers, team players and leaders. These skills ensured the event ran smoothly and the P5’s had a fun morning learning about safety and transport on the project.
This year a new ‘Mindset’ challenge was added where pupils learned about the role of neurons in the brain when learning a new skill or putting in effort to solve problems.
To demonstrate this, as well as relate it to problem solving skills that professionals working on the A9 Dualling project have to use, the pupils had fun learning a new skill of their own – juggling with scarves!
World Town Planning Day, Breadalbane Academy and Pitlochry High School, 8th November 2018
World Town Planning Day, the most eagerly awaited day in the town planning calendar and this year it definitely lived up to its hype!
Due to the success of last years event, a similar activity was organised where pupils in groups were asked to design a model town with a specification of 2,500 homes and associated services, however this year using Esri’s ArcGIS online mapping software. Prior to the big day, on Tuesday 6th, we visited both schools to demonstrate how to use the software and also to give pupils an opportunity to start developing their towns. The groups were advised that they would be judged based on the following criteria: Most Sustainable, Most Innovative, Best Geospatially and Best Overall.
On the day groups were then asked to present their towns to the judges as well as provide analysis to why they have chosen that particular location and the land uses they had mapped.
The best overall winners from Breadalbane Academy was Hazeltown and Greasy Grove from Pitlochry High School.
The most impressive aspect about Hazeltown was the spatial awareness and location of each of the land uses as well as the connectivity between them in terms of transport links and waste facilities. In particular, one of the pupils highlighted how he had taken the username and password home and developed the map further (future planner in the making!). Likewise for Greasy Grove, the judges were impressed about the sustainable and innovative approach with the inclusion of a cycle path and the ‘Maple Leaf Leisure Centre’ for tourism.
Both groups were awarded with RTPI branded goods including ‘I totes love planning’ tote bags’ modeled by the Academy9 Town Planners.
Overall the day was a great success and provided a fantastic opportunity to promote both town planning and STEM related careers.
Gateway Event, Kingussie High School, 11th October 2018
P4-5 pupils from Kingussie High School feeder primary schools attended a Gateway event at Kingussie High School on 11 October 2018. Led by industry professionals and Secondary 2 & 3 pupils from Kingussie High School, 71 primary pupils learned more about the dualling of the A9 through a series of 6 activities. The activities covered areas – travel, safety, the environment, mindsets/brain activity, transport and teamwork. The event was enjoyed by all the pupils, and staff involved. Lots of positive feedback was received and included “I learned you have to communicate always”, “I know about neurons in the brain” “I know you have to wear bright clothes to stay safe if you’re working on the A9.
British Construction Industry Awards, Grosvenor House Hotel, Mayfair, London, 10th October 2018
Back in June Academy9 applied for the British Construction Industry Award under the category ‘Skills Initiative of the Year’. We got shortlisted and Jo Blewett (Transport Scotland) and Christine Percival (Knowledge Exchange Partnership) attended an interview down in London. We were then invited to the awards ceremony in the very grand Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair with around 1000 other potential award winners.
To our surprise and delight Academy9 won!
Huge thanks to everyone who has supported Academy9 over the last 3 years. Here’s hoping for a few more trophies by the time the road is built!
Whereverly also made the shortlist for the Highland Discovery App under the ‘Digital Transformation Initiative of the Year’ award. Well done to Iain McNeil and the team.
Apprenticeship Academy, Breadalbane Academy, 2nd-4th October 2018
Academy9 arrived on mass to Breadalbane Academy for our 2.5 day Apprenticeship Academy. The S2’s carry out activities on risk resolution, environmental mitigation, structures and road surveying. Pupils then build a bridge over a 3D landscape, taking into account what they’ve learned in the workshops.
For the first time we had a tie on the strongest bridge contest with one of the team having to sit on the bridge to break it!
Thanks to Breadalbane Academy for hosting!
Archaeology Workshop, Murthly Primary School, 18th September 2018
Academy9 facilitated AOC Archaeology visiting Murthly Primary School pupils to learn about some of the findings from a dig in the Luncarty area of the A9. Pupils also built round-houses with clay, willow and string.
Academy9 Roadshow, Pitlochry High School, 12th September 2018
Academy9 held our P6 Roadshow a little earlier than planned, to fit in with the Pitlochry pupils ‘ecology’ topic. The pupils really enjoyed learning about the habitats of a few of the animals found along the A9 as well as learning what a geologist and an engineering does for a living.
Next Steps Workshop, Breadalbane Academy, 11th September 2018
The Next Steps workshop aims to provide S5 pupils with the skills needed to find employment. Industry professionals currently working on the A9 mentor teams of 8-10 pupils through mock interviews, speed networking and growth mindset and resilience sessions. Pupils are also given a Delegates Pack which contains advice on the following and can be found available to download in the ‘careers’ section of the Academy9 website.
- Social Media
- Interview Techniques
- Competency Based Interview Questions
- Email etiquette
- CV and cover letter writing advice
Big thank you to Fonab Castle employees for joining us for the speed networking!
Shawlands Roadshow, 25th June 2018
The Academy9 team held a Roadshow event in Shawlands Academy, Glasgow as part of the STEM roll-out of activities, as well as supporting the schools P7/S1 transition.
We were also joined my Ethan, one of the S5 participants from Jacobs Work Experience Week.
Kingussie High School Apprenticeship Academy, 29th – 31st May 2018
The joint Apprentice Academy between Kingussie High School and Grantown Grammar took place at Kingussie High this year from Tuesday 29th to Thursday 31st May. The event provided lucky S2 pupils the opportunity to enhance their CV in an immersive 3 day event; involving engineering challenges, careers and networking activities and mindset awareness training. Working in groups, each mentored throughout by two professionals from the STEM industry directly involved in the A9 project, and supported by S6 pupils as ‘Junior Mentors’, the young people carouselled around the challenges during this engaging and informative event. It was a fantastic chance for high quality knowledge exchange between STEM professionals, educational professionals and young people and the team can’t wait for the next event!
Native Trees Lesson, 21st May 2018
Daniel Harris (Jacobs) delivered a lesson and workshop to two P6 classes to support their Scottish Wildlife topic. Pupils learned about native and non native trees of Scotland as well as what trees are coniferous and deciduous and some hints on how to tell the difference.
St Roch’s Primary Roadshow, 17th May 2018
On 17th May Academy9 visited St Roch’s Primary to run a Roadshow with the P6 class. The children had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work an Ecologist, Geologist and Engineer on the A9 project and had and had an excellent time using the hands-on resources!
Northern Section Roadshows, 9-10 th May 2018
Five members of the AMJV team visited primary schools in the northern section of the project. Professionals currently working on the A9 Dualling spent a full day with Grantown Primary pupils as they learned about three of the many disciplines on the project. The geology session was very popular as many pupils thought this maybe a career they would have future interest in. Pupils from Abernethy Primary came across to join the Deshar Primary pupils at their school. Our ecologist particularly liked the capercaillies on the fence posts near Deshar Primary and took this photo. The team were then welcomed by the pupils at Carrbridge Primary where the engineering session was well received.
All 4 schools received the Academy9 Roadshow book that has lots of lessons plans for teachers and pupils to use after meeting the professionals from the project.
Bridges Lesson, Pitlochry High School, 9th May 2018
On the 9th May Academy9 went out to Pitlochry Primary School to work with the Primary 4’s and ‘support’ their ‘Bridges’ topic! The workshop was run by a qualified bridge engineer and the class were given lots of fantastic information about different types of bridges, how to strengthen bridge structures and then the opportunity to design and build their own bridge in a race against the clock! The young people took it all in their stride and created some amazing structures that could support a surprising amount of weight! In all it was a great day with a talented bunch of young people!
Daviot Primary School 23rd April 2018
Professionals from AMJV travelled to Daviot Primary School for the very first time. It was lovely to receive such a warm welcome and meet all the Primary 6 pupils and their teacher to deliver the Roadshow event. The pupils engaged well and increased their knowledge about the kinds of jobs that professionals do on the A9 Dualling Project during the two-hour session. We look forward to returning again soon.
April 19th 2018, Newtonmore Primary School Roadshow
As always the Academy9 team loved having the opportunity to work with the P6 classes from Newtonmore Primary School. The pupils worked hard in their roles as ‘Ecologists’, ‘Geologists’ and ‘Engineers’; enjoying the hands-on activities and the chance to think like a professional working on the A9 project.
April 20th 2018, Kingussie Primary School Roadshow
The small group of 8 Primary 6 pupils at Kingussie Primary School were brilliant to work with. The class threw themselves into the tasks of thinking like an Ecologist, Geologist and Engineer, exploring the wildlife around them, the ground beneath their feet and deciding on their preferred route based on the information they discovered.
26th – 27th March 2018, Breadalbane Academy Gateway Event and S3 Mentor Training
On Monday 26th March, Academy9 travelled up to Breadalbane Academy to carry out S3 mentor training, prior to the P4 Gateway the following day. Big thank you to the very enthusiastic S3’s! They did a great job interacting with the P4’s and helping Academy9 run the event on the 27th.
23rd March 2018, St Mungo’s RC Primary School
The Academy9 team visited St Mungo’s RC Primary today to work with the P6 class. The young people enjoyed learning about the A9 Dualling project and trying out the roles of an Ecologist, Geologist and an Engineer. We’re sure there are some fantastic future STEM professionals in the class today!
20th March 2018, Holyrood STEM 2018 event
Academy9 had the pleasure of being invited to present at the STEM 2018 conference, held in Holyrood, Edinburgh. The attendees were mainly teachers, pupils and education practitioners keen to understand the future of STEM and activities currently underway to support pupils into STEM related careers.
Academy9 presented one of two breakout sessions where Jo Blewett (Transport Scotland), Christine Percival (KEeP Learning) and Cameron Coupar (Jacobs) discussed the background to Academy9, the aims of the programme and what young industry professionals as well as pupils get out of the experience.
The event was a success with considerable interest in the Academy9 activities and a number of requests for our Roadshow Booklet which contains a number of lesson plans and resources, based on geology, ecology, engineering and sustainability.
Aviemore Primary School 19th March 2018
Teachers at Aviemore Primary school contacted AMJV looking for support with their topic ‘Innovations that changed the world’. The brief was to demonstrate to pupils the process an engineer would go through from identifying a problem, to planning and designing an invention or solution, to solving a problem.
Happy to help, three members of AMJV visited the two Primary 6 classes. Claire Cornes, a graduate engineer shared her recent research projects with pupils. The purpose of the presentation was to further pupil’s knowledge on the work of a civil engineer, highlighting aspects of transportation that engineers are involved in and focussing on engineers being ‘problem-solvers’.
16th March 2018, Mock Interviews, Craigvrack Hotel, Pitlochry
On the afternoon of 16th March, four Jacobs employees supported Pitlochry High School in providing mock interview experience with eight of their S4’s. The interviews were held at Craigvrack Hotel , giving pupils the opportunity to hone their interview skills and gain feedback and advice from those in industry.
15th – 16th March 2018, Breadalbane Academy and Pitlochry High School Roadshows
Academy9 carried out their annual Roadshow event at Breadalbane Academy on 15th March and Pitlochry High School on 16th March. P6 pupils learnt about geology, ecology and engineering from young professionals currently working on the A9 Dualling Programme.
15th March 2018, Highland Discovery App Launch
Academy9 attended the launch of the Highland Discovery App. The app aims to enhance journeys along the A9 and surrounding areas, providing information on local tourist features, trails, and includes traditional Scottish folklore and songs, sung by Pitlochry Primary School pupils.
Annabel Charlton (Pitlochry Primary School) and her mother attended, in addition to representatives from Transport Scotland, Learn to Love Digital, CivTech and Academy9. Annabel plays the bagpipes on the app and gave us a rendition during the launch as well.
24th January 2018, STEM Roadshow Roll-out at Shawlands Academy
Today we ran our second pilot of the STEM Academy9 Roadshow following the success of the one at Mossneuk in December 2017.
The Roadshow was a great success and the pupils and teachers assured us that they found it interesting and relevant to them, despite them not actually living in close proximity to the A9.
The Academy9 team will continue supporting STEM Ambassadors to run this event at schools around Scotland.
14th December 2017, Glasgow Gaelic School
The Academy9 team met with the Glasgow Gaelic School to discuss translating some of the Roadshow material into Gaelic in order for it to be used in the Gaelic schools around Scotland. Keep an eye on the website for this to become a teachers’ resource!
6th December 2017, STEM Roadshow Roll-out at Mossneuk Primary
Due to the success of the Academy9 Roadshow that we run annually with P6’s in our schools on the A9 corridor, we decided to offer the Roadshow to other primary schools in Scotland. Earlier in the year we trained STEM ambassadors to run the event. On 6th December the Academy9 team joined the STEM ambassadors to pilot the Roadshow at Mossneuk Primary School in East Kilbride.
The Roadshow was a great success and the pupils and teachers assured us that they found it interesting and relevant to them, despite them not actually living in close proximity to the A9.
The Academy9 team will continue supporting STEM Ambassadors to run this event at schools around Scotland.
30th November 2017, Next Steps Workshop
This workshop aimed to prepare the Senior 5’s and 6’s at Breadalbane Academy for the workplace, giving them interview and CV tips as well as learning a bit more about the different types of jobs available and routes to further education that are available to them. We carried out three sessions on:
- Interview techniques (good and bad)
- CV and personal statement writing
- Speed networking with the professionals
A fantastic and informative day was had by all and we hope the pupils got as much out of it as the Academy9 mentors did!
28th November 2017, Mathematics in Engineering Workshop
Cameron Coupar, a Bridge Engineer from Jacobs, supported the Academy9 team in delivering a lesson for the Breadalbane Academy advanced higher maths class on the importance of maths in engineering.
28th November 2017 – Academy9 visit to Kelvindale Primary School
6 members of the Academy9 Team from Atkins Mouchel Joint Venture visited Kelvindale Primary School in Glasgow. Two Primary 6 classes took part in the Academy9 Roadshow over the course of a very busy day. Kelvindale’s local community is many miles from the A9 Dualling Project, but the Academy9 team were interested to see if the pupils and staff were keen to learn about the design phase of a large infrastructure project. They were, one pupil commented ‘I loved civil construction, especially the maths in it’. The Academy9 team had a great day and worked hard answering all the questions the pupils came up with!
21st November 2017, Roadshow in Alexandra Parade Primary School
An excellent chance to return to Alexandra Parade Primary to work with the second class of P6 pupils. As hard-working and engaged as the first, this class loved the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be an Ecologist, Geologist and an Engineer on the A9 project. The chance to meet some real-life STEM professionals and ask them questions was a fantastic bonus!
14th November 2017, Grantown Grammar Gateway
The Academy9 team visited Grantown Grammar this week to deliver the Primary Gateway Event for P5 pupils. This is the third year the Gateway has been offered to pupils along the A9 corridor. Pupils from Daviot Primary School were welcomed for the first time alongside pupils from Strathdearn, Deshar, Carrbridge, Abernethy and Grantown. The pupils took part in 6 challenge activities related to transport and safety. A new challenge for this year was the ‘Human Knot’, a problem-solving challenge, which pupils and staff all enjoyed. The Academy9 team explained to pupils that problem solving is an essential skill used by professionals working on this complex and challenging civil engineering project.
8th November, World Town Planning Day
Big thank you to Breadalbane Academy S1’s for taking part in the World Town Planning Day event. They carried out three double lessons in preparation for the event, investigating the role of a planner, understanding the importance of planning in creating successful and sustainable towns, and also understanding environmental impacts and mitigation measures which can be implemented on the built environment.
During their final lesson, pupils were split into groups of six and given an A0 map of a fictional environment and laminate icons representing town features. Their task was to create their own sustainable town for our expert planners to judge on the 8th November.
Overall winner was St Jacobs Town! (The planners assure us it was not because of their name).
Best name went to: Z Town: The Future is Now!
3rd November 2017, Roadshow in St Roch’s Primary School
The Academy9 team enjoyed the chance to work with a Glasgow school we are now very familiar with. The P6 class had a great time taking part in the activity, and the team loved working with another great group of enthusiastic young people, giving them the chance to try out being an Ecologist, Geologist and an Engineer on the A9 project!
3rd October 2017, Roadshow in Alexandra Parade Primary School
As part of our wider roll-out of the Academy9 project to schools out with the A9 Corridor, the Academy9 team enjoyed the chance to work with one of the P6 pupils from Alexandra Parade Primary School in Glasgow’s East End. The pupils worked hard during the activities and learned a lot about STEM careers from the professionals at the event. We are looking forward to working with the other P6 class very soon!
2nd-3rd October 2017, Gateway Event at Kingussie High School
The learning community for Kingussie High School all brought their Primary 5’s together for our annual Gateway Event. The young people enjoyed active tasks and challenges, all themed around the A9 Project, and enjoyed the chance to mix with other schools, as well as professionals from the project. A fantastic event that has become a staple of the Academy9 calendar!
Roadshow run by STEM Ambassadors – coming soon!
The Academy9 team are extending our Roadshow activity to be run by STEM ambassadors outside the corridor schools. Keep an eye on the calendar for dates!
28th-30th September 2017, Ground Breaking Apprenticeship Academy, Breadalbane Academy
The Apprenticeship Academy took place over 2.5 days and gave the S2/3’s from Pitlochry High School and Breadalbane Academy the opportunity to work with junior mentors (S5 & S6) and senior mentors from the three consultancies currently working on the A9 Dualling.
During the Apprenticeship Academy the participants carried out a morning of fun ice-breaker activities before embarking on their senior mentor led activities, based on bridge building, the environment, road surveying and ground conditions and risk resolution.
The skills learned here were then used in the mega challenge which was to build a bridge over a 3d landscape, taking into account features of the landscape and what they had learned from the senior mentor led activities.
On the third day each group then presented their bridge challenge to their fellow participants, friends, families and invited guests.
The event was a great success and has hopefully inspired the pupils into considering STEM careers in the future.
26th September 2017 – Academy9 visit to Dunard Primary School
The Academy9 team visited a Glasgow school to deliver the ‘Roadshow Event’, usually delivered to P6 pupils who live along the A9 corridor between Perth and Inverness. Pupils and staff from Dunard Primary School spent the morning learning what is was like to be an ecologist, geologist and engineer on the A9 Dualling Project. This ‘hands on’ session gave the pupils a practical insight into these professions. The Academy9 team thoroughly enjoyed their visit. Thank you Dunard!
September 2017, Northern Section Roadshows
Professionals working on the A9 Dualling project from Atkins Mouchel Joint Venture visited Aviemore, Strathdearn and Alvie Primary Schools. The professionals led the Primary Roadshow for P6 pupils. This event gave all the pupils an opportunity to meet an ecologist, geologist and an engineer and experience what it is like to do their job. Each school was presented with a Primary Roadshow teacher resource book full of post-visit lesson plans to enable continued learning about the A9 Dualling project. Carrbridge, Grantown, Abernethy and Deshar Primary Schools will receive their teacher resource book when the professionals visit their school later in the academic year.
19th June, Bee Hotel Launch, Pitlochry
Mark Murphy and Kara Connon from Jacobs were out on Monday 19th June installing the first of the bee hotels. We were joined by the Pitlochry High School S3 pupils who have been building them since January, three tech teachers, the deputy head and two representatives from BEAR. BEAR provided the posts for free and had these fixed to the ground in advance so that the pupils could drill the bee hotels onto the posts. We had a brief chat with the pupils, discussing the importance of the bee hotels while they took it in turns to drill the bee hotels to the posts.
In the next month we will go back out to install the remaining 27. Keep an eye out for them as you drive along the A9 in the Pitlochry area!
19th – 21st April, Ground Breaking Apprenticeship Academy, Grantown Grammar
The Apprenticeship Academy took place over 2.5 days and gave the S2/3’s from Kingussie High School and Grantown Grammar the opportunity to work with junior mentors (S5 & S6) and senior mentors from the three consultancies currently working on the A9 Dualling. During the Apprenticeship Academy the participants carried out a number of mini, maxi and mega challenges. The mini and maxi challenges were based around decision making, mind-sets, motivation and presentation skills. These skills were then used to undertake a mega-challenge. On the third day each group of 5-6 pupils then presented their mega challenge to their fellow participants, friends and families.
The event was a great success and will hopefully be followed by a similar one at Breadalbane Academy later in the year.
31st March 2017, Roadshow at Newtonmore Primary School
The P6’s at Newtonmore were joined by the P6 pupils from Gergask Primary today for a great set of Roadshow activities and a chance to meet a working Engineer! The pupils really enjoyed the activities and learned a lot from the day! The Academy9 team were really impressed by the display the school have put up in the corridor; it’s great to see a school putting their own spin on the Academy9 project!
30th March 2017, Roadshow at Kingussie Primary School
The Academy9 team worked with the P6’s at Kingussie Primary School today; giving them the opportunity to become an Ecologist, Geologist and an Engineer. The staff and pupils loved the interactive activities! Afterwards the whole school enjoyed a fantastic careers talk from Ashleigh about a day in the life of an Engineer and how they might pursue a career in STEM.
29th March 2017, Learn 2 Love Digital Choir and Bagpiper Recording for the Highland Discovery App (A9)
The Learn to Love Digital team are developing the Highland Discovery mobile app for tourists and travelers on the A9.
The Highland Discovery app will provide audio streaming stations with Scottish stories, music and songs, making for a unique in-car audio experience which allows tourists to make deeper connections with the passing landscape, history and people of Scotland. The app will promote local businesses to encourage tourists to leave the beaten track and discover the hidden gems that surround the A9.
The Highland Discovery app works by using GPS and does not require an internet connection, meaning it will work for everyone travelling up and down the A9.
Pitlochry High School’s primary department have been busy learning songs which are being recorded for one of the music channels on the app. The sing-a-long songs are both traditional Scottish songs and children’s songs for the passengers in the car, especially kids, to sing along with. We also had the opportunity to record one of the school’s bagpipers as well.
Keep an eye out for the Android and iOS launch of the Highland Discovery app in July!
22nd March 2017, Bee Hotels, Pitlochry High School
A Bee Hotel is a habitat structure designed to support solitary bees and other insect pollinators. Bee Hotels shouldn’t be confused with beehives which support a colony of honey bees. There are over 240 species of solitary bees in the UK, who make individual nests for their larvae. These are a vital part of the ecosystem and have a direct impact on our food supply.
Pitlochry High School Senior 4’s have been making the bee hotels as part of their wood tech class. Kara Connon (Southern Section ELO) and Mark Murphy (the man bee-hind the idea) visited the school to observe the bee hotels being made.
Next step is to arrange a date to get the bee hotels installed at specific areas along the A9 and hope that some solitary bees set up residence in them!
21st – 23rd March 2017, Southern Section Roadshows
The Academy9 team (Southern Section) visiting Breadalbane Academy, Pitlochry High School and the Royal School of Dunkeld to carry out the 2017 Roadshows with the P6’s. Ecology, geology and engineering activities were carried out by four new members of the team who do these jobs every day. This allowed pupils to get a unique and personal glimpse into what it would be like to do these jobs.
14th – 16th March 2017, Academy9 Roadshow, Northern Section
A team of 5 professionals from Atkins Mouchel Joint Venture visited primary schools from the Northern Section of the A9 Dualling Project. 116 P6 and P7 pupils from Aviemore, Alvie, Abernethy, Deshar, Carrbridge and Grantown Primary Schools took part in the ‘Roadshow’ event. The pupils were given a unique opportunity to work alongside an Ecologist, a Geologist and a Civil Engineer currently working on the A9 Dualling Project. This practical and informative event gave pupils a real insight into each profession and their role on a large infrastructure project. Pupils were also given the opportunity to ask the team questions and discuss if these professions could be careers they may consider in the future.
6th March 2017, Ecology Lesson, Kinloch Rannoch Primary School
The 6th March was a busy day for the Academy9 team! We attended the Breadalbane Academy Tapas Lunch and ran an Ecology Lesson at Kinloch Rannoch Primary School.
15 pupils, aged between 9 and 12, attended the ecology lesson on native plants and animals that can be found in the wilds around the A9. The pupils were excited to learn about the field signs left behind by our different species and were eager to show their own knowledge of animals and their habitats. Once they’d learned about our protected terrestrial species such as the red squirrel and otter, we gave them a sneak peek in to the lives of these creatures with our trail camera footage.
They were then taken on a journey of the rivers along the A9 showing why good swimmers such as the trout are found in the fast waters; why lampreys are more adapted to live in the deep pools; and how fresh water pearl mussels can live for over one hundred years! By the end of the session the pupils told us how they would design the A9 Dualling to protect our enchanting Scottish animals and our ancient forests – thankfully we agreed with their excellent plans!
It was a fantastic session – from the warm welcome we received from Islean Gibson, Kinloch Rannoch’s Head Teacher, right to the end when we were hearing tales of an otter in the playground. We can safely say there’ll be some budding ecologists coming from Kinloch Rannoch in the near future!
6th March 2017, Developing the Young Workforce Tapas Lunch, Breadalbane Academy
Yesterday we had the pleasure of attending a Developing the Young Workforce Event at Breadalbane Academy. The Senior 3 hospitality class prepared a fantastic tapas lunch to say thank you to local businesses who have supported the students throughout the year by taking on work experience pupils, organising events, ongoing class support and allowing field trips to their places of work.
Huge ‘Thank You’ to the pupils who did a Michelin Star job!
17th February 2017, Jacobs delivering the wood for the Bee hotels to Pitlochry High
On Friday Mark and Harry from Jacobs visited Glasgow Wood Recycling to pick up A LOT of wood – nearly enough to fill a transit van! They then transported this up to Pitlochry High School in order for the woodwork class to get started building the bee hotels to be located along the route of the A9. Keep an eye on the Latest News section to see what they look like when they’re built!
7th February 2017, Perth and Kinross Future Careers Fair
Yesterday one of the Education Liaison Officers (ELO’s) from the Southern Section, Kara Connon and two of her colleagues from Jacobs headed up to the Dewars Centre in Perth to attend the Perth and Kinross Future Careers Fair armed with boxes of leaflets, brochures, exhibition boards and a video on the A9 Dualling, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Scotland. They spent the afternoon talking to pupils from S1 – S6 as well as some people in their 20’s and 30’s, trying to inspire them into careers in engineering and discussing the huge number of roles and opportunities on offer!
January 31st 2017 – Official Launch of Academy9 Teachers Unit and Website – Inverness College UHI
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown on his visit to officially launch the Academy9 SCQF Unit said:
“Since I launched the Academy9 educational initiative in August 2015, over 1,800 pupils from 21 primary schools and over 550 secondary school pupils from four high schools along the A9 corridor have been involved in a wide programme of events and activities. This is providing them the opportunity to learn more about our ambitious A9 Dualling programme, apply mathematical, scientific and design aspects of the scheme to their schoolwork, and secure future training and job opportunities.
Now we have developed an exciting new training module for teachers delivered by the professionals who are designing the A9 Dualling programme. The first group of eleven teachers based in schools along the A9 corridor have started work today on the module and we hope to roll this out to others over the next few years.
At the same time, we are launching a new Academy9 website as part of the Glow blog platform which is packed with learning tools for both teachers and pupils including video logs from staff working on the A9 Dualling programme.”
10th January 2017 – Logierait Engineering Presentation – Logierait Primary School, Ballinluig, Perthshire
After the success of his first presentation, Lloyd Walker, one of the engineers from Jacobs, delivered a second one at Logierait Primary School on what he does for a living, how he got into his job and what his favourite and worst experiences were. The pupils received Lloyd’s CV in advance and used this to think of questions to ask him after his presentation. The pupils particularly enjoyed learning about the different locations Lloyd’s job has taken him to!
29th November 2016 – Grantown Grammar Careers Fair
Professionals currently working on the A9 Dualling project from Atkins/Mouchel Joint Venture (AMJV) attended the annual Careers Fair at Grantown Grammar. The fair was aimed at S3 and S4 pupils and their parents. AMJV highlighted the variety of disciplines needed on a large infrastructure project, discussed important subject choices and provided information on apprenticeship and graduate pathways into the industry.
23rd November 2016 – Project 9 Exhibition – Dalwhinnie Town Hall
Fourth Year Technology Students from Kingussie High School were given the opportunity to attend the Project 9 Exhibition and even use the latest Virtual Reality equipment to engage with the material in a fun new and interactive way!!
21st November 2016 – Dunkeld Engineering Presentation. Royal School Of Dunkeld
Lloyd Walker, one of the engineers from Jacobs, delivered a presentation to P4/5s at the Royal School of Dunkeld on what he does for a living, how he got into his job and what his favourite and worst experiences were. The pupils received Lloyd’s CV in advance and used this to think of questions to ask him after his presentation. The pupils particularly enjoyed hearing about the robot that sprays water so hard it breaks down entire walls!
9th November 2016 – Aberfeldy Gateway Event. Breadalbane Academy
The Breadalbane Gateway event took place with P4’s and P5’s from Breadalbane Academy, Kinloch Rannoch Primary School, Kenmore Primary School and Grandtully Primary School on 9th November 2016. A team of Jacob’s employees and KEeP Learning staff headed up to Aberfeldy for the day to carry out six activities based around Safety, Engineering and Road Haulage with 75 primary school pupils and 25 Senior 3’s acting as mentors.
4th October 2016 – Grantown Gateway Event. Grantown Grammar
Primary 5 pupils from Grantown Primary, Abernethy Primary, Deshar Primary, Carrbridge Primary and Strathdearn Primary came together at Grantown Grammar for the latest Academy9 ‘Gateway Event’. The pupils listened to facts about lorries that travel up and down the A9 and then tried to earn points for their team in the ‘Lorry Quiz’.
30th September 2016 – Kingussie Gateway Event. Kingussie High School
Over 80 Primary 5 school pupils from local primaries came together at Kingussie High School for a whole morning’s worth of activities. the young people were able to carousel around a range of different stations from quizzes to active tasks; all with a focus on roads, travel, and the A9. the Road Haulage Association even supplied a real HGV! Staff from the Academy9 team joined with other professionals from the industry to run this exciting event!
29th September 2016 – Newtonmore Primary Roadshow
12 primary 7 pupils, led by Engineer Barry Richardson and Education Liaison Officer Rachael Greer, undertook the Academy9 Roadshow and were able to find out more about the roles of Ecologists, Geologists and Engineers in some hands-on activities.
29th September 2016 – Aviemore Primary Roadshow
The Academy9 Team visited the Primary 7 pupils at Aviemore Primary. 4 professionals currently working on the A9 Dualling project provided the pupils with an opportunity to become apprentices for the day. Pupils explored what it was like to become an ecologist, engineer and geologist on a large infrastructure project.
28th September 2016 – Gergask Careers Fair. Gergask Primary School
Engineer Barry Richardson and Education Liaison Officer Rachael Greer delivered a presentation to a group of 14 Gergask Primary pupils ranging from Primary 1-7. The presentation was about the role of Civil Engineers in society and what a career in Engineering might look like. Pupils were made aware of all the ways in which engineering impacts their daily life, had the chance to ask questions of a qualified Civil Engineer and even had the chance to try on some, safety equipment!!
28th September 2016 – Kingussie Primary School Roadshow
17 Primary pupils from Kingussie Primary, along with 2 pupils from Gergask Primary attended the Roadshow event where the children were given the opportunity to find out more about 3 different STEM careers by trying them put for themselves! Engineer Barry Richardson and Education Liaison Officer Rachael Greer facilitated the 3 workshops with the young people.
21st September 2016 – Pitlochry Gateway Event. Pitlochry High School
A very successful Gateway Event was held in Pitlochry High School on 21st September to coincide with the Road Haulage Association’s initiative “Love The Lorry” week.
20th September 2016 – Breadalbane Roadshow
The Academy9 team visited Breadalbane Academy to carry out our annual Roadshow with the Primary 7’s. We were joined by students from Breadalbane Academy, Kinloch Rannoch Primary School and Kenmore Primary School to carry out three activities based on Ecology, Geology and Engineering. The Ecology activity was particularly popular with lots of future Ecologists in the making!
21st June 2016 – Kingussie High School – Pathways to Higher Education Evening
Kevan Spiers (Graduate Roads and Infrastructure Engineer) and Bruce Gibson (Apprentice Engineer) were guest presenters at Kingussie High School Pathways to Higher Education evening. The presentation focused on the different routes into a career in Engineering, including Apprenticeships. The evening provided a great opportunity for young people to meet and ask questions of real life Engineering professionals!
8th June 2016 – Grantown Roadshow
The Academy9 Team were out visiting primary schools along the A9 corridor. Pupils from the northern section of the dualling project met professionals from the ecology, engineering and geology teams. The pupils had the opportunity to became ‘apprentices’ and took part in 3 practical activities that mirror those undertaken on the A9 Dualling project.
May 20th 2016 – Kingussie High Academy9 Roadshow
The Academy9 Team ran a large-scale Roadshow Event at Kingussie High School for P7 Pupils from 5 feeder Primary Schools in the area. The event included 85 primary school- children and was a great way for a large number of pupils and teachers to experience the Roadshow at the same time as meeting and collaborating with new peers.
March 3rd 2016 – Killiecrankie Metal Detecting Event
A metal detecting survey on the site of the Battle of Killiecrankie – part of the work to dual the A9 – has unearthed dozens of items linked to the famous 1689 skirmish.
The artefacts include a copper alloy pendant, a harness boss, two buckles, part of the support for a sword belt, horse shoes, buttons, and musket munitions.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay, who unveiled some of the finds to pupils at Pitlochry High School said:
“Our work to dual the A9 will bring undoubted improvements for road users and will allow us to refine our road designs for the future, but has also opened a window into Scotland’s past.”
December 2015 – Grantown Grammar Launch & Careers Fair
Primary pupils from Grantown Primary, Abernethy Primary, Deshar Primary, Carrbridge Primary and Strathdearn Primary came together at Grantown Grammar for the first Academy9 ‘Launch Event’ in the northern section. The pupils had to work as a team and complete 6 challenges – the ‘Team Challenge’ was very popular!
August 28th 2015 – Academy9 Launch – Kingussie High School.
The Academy9 programme was launched today at Kingussie High School by Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities.
Mr Brown said:
“Dualling the A9 represents the largest and one of the most challenging infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history – through this pioneering initiative it is also an investment in the next generation of engineers, designers and construction workers.
There are more fabulous photos in The Gallery – have a look!!!