Culter pupils are Ex-straw-dinary!

Pupils from Culter School spent the day learning all about engineering and the important role it plays in today’s oil and gas industry when they attended a day-long workshop on Ex-straw-dinary Engineering at BP’s North Sea HQ in Aberdeen.

The Primary 5 and 6 pupils were taking part in one of the weekly activity days organised under the oil major’s Link Schools project.

During the morning session the pupils were involved in a workshop session about the work of engineers and how the structures they build have laid the foundation for the development of the industry in the North Sea and around the world. Then, putting what they had learned into practice they were tasked with building their own structures from straw and marshmallow which would withstand weight and pressure.

The links programme days are highly interactive with the pupils encouraged to join in through a series of activities and the afternoon session saw them don 3-D glasses for a three dimensional virtual tour of a floating platform to learn how oil and gas are extracted from the sea bed and how they are used.

Culter is one of 75 schools in the Link Schools project which teams volunteer BP employee ambassadors with a school. The ambassador liaises with teachers to devise and support a year-long educational programme for pupils which includes in-school visits as well as the opportunity to visit the BP HQ

Corrado Giuliani, a senior completions engineer with BP, has twin sons at the school and became involved in the ambassador programme when he joined the company last year.

“Given the limited resources available to the education system, I think it’s very important to support our schools through programmes like this,” he said. “I think it’s important to let children know about all the opportunities they might have when they develop as young adults, and to make sure they are aware of the career prospects which are open to them. It also shows that science and engineering can be fun!”

The Link Schools programme is led by Paul Wilson, head teacher at Drumoak Primary, who has been seconded to work for two years as BP’s Education Co-ordinator based at North Seas HQ. His role as overall co-ordinator is to work with the ambassadors to deliver a company-wide programme of activities.