Alness Academy team becomes Young Engineers Club of the Year 2012
An all-girl team of S3 pupils from Alness Academy have now added the UK Young Engineers Club of the Year 2012 award to their Scottish Science and Engineering Club of the Year 2011 award following their success at scooping the top team prize at the “Big Bang” Science and Engineering event held at Birmingham on 15 – 17 March.
Emma Roddick, Josie Tolliday, Holly Henderson, Cassie Armstrong, Kayleigh Macdonald and Meg Beattie faced stiff competition from both public and private schools from across the whole of the UK. However, the young girls were not daunted and their enthusiasm, confidence and communication skills clearly shone through as their project to design earthquake proof structures took the top prize at the biggest science event in Britain.
Head teacher Mr Ken MacIver said the whole school was thrilled with the success and he was extremely proud.
“The girls did a great job outlining and explaining their work on designing earthquake proof structures and survival and they didn’t let the fact that they were up against other teams older than themselves put them off. The judges and many of the organisations present commented very favourably on the quality of their presentation. To win such a prestigious award is a tribute to not only to the team and the staff at our school but also to the wider community who have given support and encouragement.
"It is a very proud moment for us at Alness Academy and highlights all the good work that has been done over the years to ensure young people can learn about science and engineering is in a creative way. I am sure the success will be an inspiration for many young people.”
The journey to get to the national finals started last June when the girls, then in S2 represented Alness Academy in a national competition. From 400 initial entries, the team were one of 50 who were invited to give a presentation at the Celebration of Engineering and Science held at the Glasgow Science Centre. They won the team prize and were awarded the Young Engineers and Science Club of the Year 2011 Trophy and £750 prize money for their school’s Science & Engineering Club. The presentation was made the First Minister at Scotland’s International Awards held in Glasgow in November where the guest speaker at the Ceremony was Kofi Anan, former Secretary General of the United Nations.
A representative from The Smallpiece Trust, an independent charity which provides programmes to encourage young people into engineering speaking after the results were announced said: “Alness Academy becomes Young Engineers Club of the Year 2012. They are the deserved winners after an excellent presentation. What an inspiration. Congratulations.”