PUPILS from Robert Gordon’s College have taken first prize at TechFest’s digital adaptation of its STEM in the Installation project, thanks to their problem solving and teamwork.
The team, known as RGC Energy, consisted of seven S6 pupils; Richard Varghese, Craig Gilchrist, Matthew Seward, Urquhart Dyce, Sideeq Remi-Shodipo, Robert Kennedy and Innes Cameron.
Sponsored by CNOOC International, the project focused on transitioning to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible, as part of a global movement towards net zero.
The aim of the initiative was to offer pupils an insight into the project management, engineering and design elements involved in the energy sector, at an industry standard.
Using CNOOC International’s Buzzard platform as inspiration, pupils from Robert Gordon’s College, Banchory Academy, Cults Academy and Kemnay Academy were challenged to reduce the amount of gas import required to provide electricity.
Keen to understand the route of the problem, RGC Energy initially researched the project holistically, to get a better understanding of the content and problems that needed addressed.
RGC team member Richard said: “We approached these problems as a group, using our combined insight to develop a potential plan or solution based on previous research.
“We decided to designate specialist roles to each member of the team to work through certain parts of the task, which meant we were able to work efficiently, while still being there for each other to help with inspiration when needed.
“This way of team working worked well for us, and in the end, we were able to put together a detailed document which explored many variables to the problem.”
Each team in the competition was tasked to draft a proposal to install and connect an offshore wind farm to the facility with the aim of generating power for the installation.
The pupils had to meet the requirements of an industry brief and consider factors such as budget and health and safety.
STEM in the Installation allows those interested in an energy sector career, a chance to experience real life engineering problems, as well as come up with the solutions in an exciting and challenging experience.
Richard added: “The skills we applied and developed are essential to our professional development in this field, as we all have a strong interest in the field of engineering.
“Having won the competition, we all feel much more confident in our knowledge of renewable energy, as well as well as an increased understanding of what engineering involves as a career.”
Sarah Chew, TechFest managing director, said: “Huge congratulations to RGC Energy, whose submission for STEM in the Installation showed a great understanding and knowledge of the problem and displayed a well thought out solution.
“All teams who took part presented a high calibre of work, and choosing the winners was not an easy process.
“The 2020 STEM in the Installation was different due to the digital aspect of the event, but the guidance and support remained the same, as did the competition entries from the pupils.”
Fiona Heinonen, CSR Analyst at CNOOC International and one of the senior judges in the competition, said: “We were impressed with the high standard of contributions from the teams at the 2020 STEM in the Installation challenge. All pupils displayed promising talent and skills, and we hope this project has inspired them to consider a career in the energy sector of the future.
Each member of the winning team will receive a £30 Amazon voucher.