Jan 18 2012 By Kathryn Wylie
Williamwood High science Image 1
LOCAL scientists and teachers have united to bring cutting-edge science to Williamwood High School.
Williamwood High School in East Renfrewshire has been chosen by The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, to receive a Partnership Grant that will enable local scientists and engineers to work with teachers from the school to implement an innovative science project.
The project, titled Renewable Rover Racers aims to combine renewable energy and space exploration.
It will see pupils from P7 to S2 take on the challenge of investigating renewable energy and using renewable energy to power remote controlled ‘Mars Rover’ vehicles.
The Rovers will be built and programmed by the pupils to explore the harsh terrain that would be encountered on the planet Mars.
To to assist with the depth and challenge of the project pupils from S5 and S6 will be on hand to act as mentors to the younger pupils.
The project offers young people the chance to meet and work with local scientists.
Dr Patrick Harkness from the University of Glasgow will help put the project into context for the pupils and engineers Ken Maxted and Lindsay Yuile will guide the pupils in their project.
Pupils will learn, build and develop their scientific understanding in a way that is exciting, original and relevant to their lives.
Professor John Pethica FRS, Vice-President of the Royal Society, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Renewable Rover Racers at Williamwood High School and are looking forward to seeing this imaginative project come to life over the coming months.
“Science and engineering are exhilarating and dynamic subjects and we hope that by giving teachers the opportunity to introduce innovative science that we can help show young people how much fun in real-life these subjects can be, and inspire them to become the inventors, explorers and innovators of the future.”
The local STEMNET contract holder, Science Connects, linked Williamwood High School with STEM Ambassadors Lindsay Yuile, Manager of Technical Services in Medical Physics at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Kenneth Maxted, retired Head of Equipment Management at Beatson Oncology Center and they will both be working in partnership with the school during the next year.
Talking about why he have become involved in the scheme, Kenneth said “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are often seen dull subjects but projects such as this give pupils an opportunity to realise that such subjects can have an exciting and relevant affect in our lives.
"It is exciting to see young people suddenly realise that information learned in the classroom can help them achieve results in fascinating projects such as Renewable Rover Racers.”
Science teacher Nichola Mortimer of Williamwood High School who is leading the project,said she was thrilled to have been awarded such a substantial grant, particularly in the current economic climate.
Ms Mortimer said, “I was absolutely astounded to have been awarded the full grant, of nearly £2000, for our project.
"The application could not have been possible without the help of our committed STEM Ambassadors, and of course the enthusiasm of the pupils who originally came up with the idea.
"We are all really excited about this project and can’t wait to get it started. “
Teachers, scientists, engineers and industry partners interested in applying for a Partnership Grant should visit www.royalsociety.org/education.