Pupils making waves in competition

The Carnoustie High School team
The Carnoustie High School team

Pupils in Carnoustie and Monifieth are in the running for a prestigious award after creating their own renewable energy devices.

The teams at Carnoustie High and Monifieth High in Angus have made the final of the Junior Saltire Award after designing and building their own floating Wave Energy Converters, using wave power to create electricity.

The Monifieth High School team

The Monifieth High School team

The pupils will now get their chance to put their designs through their paces when they test their gadgets on June 9 at the University of Edinburgh’s FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility – the world’s most sophisticated ocean simulator which can recreate multi-directional waves and fast tidal flows.

Carnoustie High are current Junior Saltire Award champions with a team from the school having won the competition in their age group last year, with an all-girl team now looking to defend the title.

Dr Kirsteen Mustard, STEM Club leader at Carnoustie High, said: “The girls are absolutely delighted that they have been selected for the Junior Saltire final.

“They worked really hard evaluating and improving their initial design. We are all very proud of their achievement and wish them the very best of luck in the final.”

The team at Monifieth High are hoping their design will take the prize.

Derek Boath, Technical Teacher at Monifieth High, added: “The members of Young Engineers Club are very excited to reach the final of this challenge and having the opportunity to test their device in a state of the art wave simulation facility.

“This, I believe, is testament to their commitment and enthusiasm exemplified throughout the year.”

More than 600 pupils from around Scotland took part in the competition, which is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Diane Hill, Energy Partnership Manager at SDS, said: “There are new developments all the time in the world of marine renewables, making it an exciting sector to work in with good career prospects.

“School pupils of all ages are aware of how important it is to develop new technologies offering sustainable sources of power, and the Junior Saltire Award offers a real insight into this industry.

“For each of the finalists, the chance to try out their invention at a world-leading testing facility is a fantastic achievement.”

The competition is split into primary and secondary age groups, with teams of four having to submit an initial design brief followed by evidence of their finished model.

Melanie Riddell, Project Manager at SCDI, said: “The Junior Saltire Award is a great way of showing that what pupils learn in the classroom can lead to an exciting and rewarding career.

“From the quality of entries received, it’s clear that pupils across Scotland have shown real enthusiasm and put a lot of hard work into their inventions, and those who have reached the final deserve the warmest congratulations.”

The competition is the junior version of the £10 million Saltire Prize Challenge, created by the Scottish Government to accelerate the commercial development of wave and tidal energy technology.

The winning teams will be announced at the Celebration of Engineering and Science at the Glasgow Science Centre on June 10, and will receive prizes of up to £750 for their school as well as Junior Saltire medals.