Alford pupils can barely ‘contain’ themselves

Diana Muriel from ACE Winches with technology teacher and students with container donated the company.''Picture taken at Alford Academy, Alford, Aberdeenshire.''(Picture by Michal Wachucik/Newsline Scotland)
Diana Muriel from ACE Winches with technology teacher and students with container donated the company.''Picture taken at Alford Academy, Alford, Aberdeenshire.''(Picture by Michal Wachucik/Newsline Scotland)

A North- east machinery company is encouraging the next generation of engineers in Donside by donating an industrial container.

ACE Winches, the deck machinery specialists, have gifted the re-furbished industrial container to Alford Academy’s Young Engineers Club.

More than 40 students drawn from throughout the school participate in this active after school club, building and maintaining several electric F24 racing cars as well as two petrol-fuelled vehicles.

Fifteen-year -old Cameron Cobban, has been a member of the Club since his first year in the school said: “I like mechanics, the actual engineering, but I also like the team work – working together to solve problems. It’s great.”

Alford Academy Technical Teacher, Joel Sande, father of pop virtuoso Emeli Sande, was enthusiastic about the new container: “This is going to make a huge difference. We now have our own designated space in which to run the Club. That means we can increase the number of hours we can operate it, maybe open at weekends and get greater parental contribution to our engineering efforts at the school. We could also extend it to other departments, IT for example and even get 3D printers in here – who knows where this could lead”.

Head Teacher Moira Milne agreed. “It’s important it doesn’t feel like School but more like Industry. The donation of the ACE Winches container is a fantastic bridge between school and the workplace. We need our pupils to start young – we need them to think about their futures”.

One young man thinking about his future is 16-year-old Lewis Bradford who is beginning a oneday-a-week college course in Engineering this September, in addition to his school studies. “I’ve always been interested in engineering, and my dad who works in the offshore oil and gas industry has encouraged me. This new facility will be a great help.”

The ACE Winches container acts as a standalone classroom. Fully insulated, it measures 12 metres by 3.3 metres and is three metres high. It also features a work bench and a number of electric plug sockets as well as lighting and heating.