Castlemilk Students Win Renewables Prize

Castlemilk Students Win Renewables Prize

Castlemilk High School’s research classroom is overlooked by the £5million City Turbine on top of the Cathkin Braes; an icon for renewable energy built as a joint project between Glasgow City Council and SSE.

With such inspiration it is perhaps not surprising that 4 students from the School have just won the top prize in the Scottish Government sponsored Marine Energy Challenge with a renewables project of their own.

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Researching ocean based renewables as part of a school project supported by BeYonder Ltd, the team of four from Castlemilk High won the Junior Saltire Award after designing and building a floating Wave Energy Converter, using wave power to create electricity.

Last month, the pupils put their innovative new device to the test at the University of Edinburgh’s FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility in the only test tank in the world that provides multi-directional waves with fast tidal flows simulating real sea conditions.

After impressing judges, they were named winners the following day at the Celebration of Science and Engineering at the Glasgow Science Centre, receiving the Junior Saltire Medal and £750 for their school from Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing.

Mr Ewing said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government is once again supporting the Junior Saltire Prize – now in its fifth year. This event is raising awareness of the opportunities that Scotland has to exploit its wave energy potential.

Team member Dylan Qua said: “We wanted our design to be something that was simple, but which still worked, and we came up with a device that hangs vertically in the water, and moves up and down with the waves to generate electricity.

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More than 200 teams from around Scotland entered the competition, which is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the SCDI in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The competition is split into three age groups: P5-P7, S1-S3 and S4-S6, with teams in each age group having to submit an initial design brief followed by evidence of their finished model and subsequent testing at FloWave.

Castlemilk High won in the S4-S6 age group with an entry from the School’s Young Engineering and Science Club which is managed by their Business Partner of the Year, BeYonder Ltd.

BeYonder is a profit for purpose organisation which works with older pupils in order to develop their capacity and skills for employment. They originally introduced the Junior Saltire Award as an engineering-based option within the school’s Wider Achievement Programme.

Speaking after the awards Chrissy Mackay, MD of BeYonder said: “It has been a privilege working with these students seeing their life skills and employment skills grow and develop over the year. Winning this Award is a fantastic result and very well deserved for the effort which they have put into their personal growth.”

Diane Hill, Energy Partnership Manager at SDS, said: “The judges were hugely impressed with the hard work and the creativity shown by all of the teams who reached the final, and they should be extremely proud of themselves.”

Melanie Riddell, Project Manager at SCDI, said: “Thanks to its vast natural resources, Scotland has a key role to play in the development of the renewable energy industry, and so it’s encouraging to see this competition capturing the imagination of schools across the country.”

The 4 winners from Castlemilk now plan to develop their device as a means of generating emergency electricity supply in disaster relief zones around the World.