Blog & News

Secondary Pupils Embark On Energy Industry Challenge

Wed 24 August 2016

Category: Aberdeen, Community, Education, Outreach

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Youngsters to work with mentors on STEM in the Pipeline

Secondary school pupils throughout Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire are to delve into the world of oil and gas as they embark on a project which will see them use their skills in physics, maths, chemistry and geology to solve an industry challenge.

TechFest’s STEM In The Pipeline will be launched at the University of Aberdeen today with an introductory day for the pupils and energy industry professionals, who will act as mentors.

Sponsored by BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, and supported by the University of Aberdeen, the Energy Institute, The Oil and Gas Authority and the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, the programme will see 15 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.

Wednesday’s introduction will see the pupils attending five hands-on workshops in geology, drilling and reservoir, finance, processing and project management and start working together in their newly formed teams.

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

Molly Imrie, TechFest’s Education Manager, 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.

The schools taking part this year are Banchory Academy, Portlethen Academy, St Margaret’s School for Girls, Robert Gordon’s College, Meldrum Academy, Northfield Academy, Kemnay Academy, Westhill Academy, Banff Academy, Aboyne Academy, Fraserburgh Academy, Harlaw Academy, Aberdeen Grammar School, Inverurie Academy and Oldmachar Academy.

Each year, TechFest runs Aberdeen and North-east Scotland’s annual festival of STEM which attracts tens of thousands of children and adults to a series of presentations, workshops and events in and around Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire

This year the festival is set to run from Friday, August 26, until September 18.
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