Deeside and Donside pupils dive into STEM


Secondary pupils throughout Deeside and Donside will dive into the world of oil and gas using skills in physics, maths, chemistry and geology.

Students from Aboyne, Banchory, Alford and Westhill Academies are set to join with their peers from many city and Shire schools to take part in ‘TechFest’s STEM In The Pipeline’.

Launched at the University of Aberdeen last Friday, the pupils were introduced to energy industry professionals, who will act as mentors.

Supported by BP, Chevron, E.ON Exploration & Production, ConocoPhillips, LR Senergy and the University of Aberdeen, the programme will see 16 teams of senior pupils being set an oil field challenge to work on over the next few months, culminating in a final event in December.

They will work with their mentors and gain a valuable insight into careers in engineering and the oil and gas industry as well as undergoing significant development in their interpersonal and team skills.

Friday’s introduction saw the pupils attending four hands-on workshops in geology, drilling and reservoir, finance and processing and start working together in their newly formed teams.

TechFest is a charity based at the University of Aberdeen which aims to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities to young people and the wider community.

TechFest deputy managing director, Edwina Keown, said: “The STEM in the Pipeline project is a great way for secondary school pupils to put all of their knowledge and skills into practice to solve a problem which is relevant to the oil and gas industry.

“Along with the support of mentors and academics, the students will come together in small teams and each spend more than 40 extracurricular hours working on their project, which they will then present to the judges in December.

“Year on year the students excel in this project and always demonstrate very high levels of passion, intelligence and ingenuity.”

Teams will be expected to work together and take part in a challenging series of tasks to produce a Field Development Plan for the fictional STEM oil field.

The tasks cover subsurface work, production profiling, separator design, safety and the calculation of CO2 emissions.

After submitting a report to TechFest, each team will give a presentation to a panel of assessors. They will then be awarded prizes and given certificates.

Pupils who take part in STEM in the Pipeline will also be eligible for the Silver CREST Award, Britain’s national award scheme for work in the STEM subjects.

This year the festival is set to attract around 25,000 visitors between September 6 and September 26.