29 Apr 2022

A day of competition at the YESC Regional Celebration of STEM

50 young people from both primary and secondary schools gathered at Aberdeen Science Centre to take part in SCDI’s Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC) Regional Celebration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in partnership with BP and SHELL U.K. Limited.

The day featured 3 competitions as teams showcased their projects and contended for the competition prizes.

The event included a primary and secondary STEM competition, with industry volunteers and partners each providing a five-minute, hands-on challenge focusing on teamwork and problem solving.  The challenge doubles up as an opportunity to provide the young people with an insight into the different career paths available in the STEM industry. Our partners at Digital Xtra Fund provided drop-in robotics activities on the day.

The primary school STEM Challenge winner was Danestone Primary School, Aberdeen City.  The secondary school STEM Challenge winner was Elgin High School, Moray. An additional teamwork prize of a heliport site visit and simulator experience was provided by Bristow, and was awarded to Aberdeen Grammar School.

The event also hosted the regional heat of Construct a crane. Teams received a free kit of resources to design and build a working model crane.  Teams then took part in an exciting challenge to move cargo and find the winning design. Clerkhill Primary (Team1), Aberdeenshire and Elgin High School, Moray produced the winning designs.

Schools also showcased their projects to win the ‘Club of the Year’ titles (primary and secondary).  The 2022 Club of the Year titles were awarded to Clerkhill Primary School, Aberdeenshire and Peterhead Academy, Aberdeenshire.

Primary STEM Challenge Winner: Danstone Primary School, City of Aberdeen

Secondary STEM Challenge Winner: Elgin High School, Moray

Construct a Crane Primary Winner: Clerkhill Primary (Team1), Aberdeenshire

Construct a Crane Secondary Winner: Elgin High School, Moray

Bristow Heliport visit and simulation experience: Aberdeen Grammar School

Primary Regional Club of the Year Winner: Clerkhill Primary School, Aberdeenshire

Secondary Regional Club of the Year Winner: Peterhead Academy, Aberdeenshire


Further information:

The following 10 Clubs took part in the event:

  • Aberdeen Grammar School, Team 1, Aberdeen City
  • Aberdeen Grammar School, Team 2, Aberdeen City
  • Clerkhill Primary School, Team 1, Aberdeenshire
  • Clerkhill Primary School, Team 2, Aberdeenshire
  • Danestone Primary School, Aberdeen City
  • Elgin High School, Moray
  • Lochside Academy, Aberdeen City
  • Peterhead Academy, Aberdeenshire
  • Riverbank Primary School, Aberdeen Primary School

The organisations providing STEM Challenges were ASCO, Bristow, BP, BSW Timber, Digital Xtra Fund, Kaefer, ORE Catapult, Shell UK Ltd, Tilhill, Vysus Group and Wood


The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) is Scotland’s Economic and Social Forum. It is an independent membership network representing a cross-section of the private, public and social economy sectors in Scotland with an aim of influencing the agenda to ensure long-term sustainable economic growth and flourishing communities everywhere in Scotland.

SCDI’s Young Engineers and Science Clubs programme has played a leading role in growing interest and sparking enthusiasm in STEM subjects for over 30 years. There are now more than 1,500 primary and secondary schools in our network throughout Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, engaged in a variety of both curriculum linked and extra-curricular projects.

Since its inception in 2016, Digital Xtra Fund has supported various projects delivered by YESC. DXF continue our support this year for a COP26-related project, Code vs Climate, which is around climate tech. For more details about this and previous year’s project, please visit Round VI (2021/2022) initiatives supported by Digital Xtra Fund. 

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21 Apr 2022

Edinburgh Science Festival: Children trained in coding to block cyber attacks

The following was written by Rachel Keenan, and originally posted in Edinburgh Live.

Edinburgh Science Festival continues with more interactive events for children, including coding sessions to teach kids how to evade hackers.

Children are being taught how to halt hackers in an exclusive coding event running at Edinburgh Science Festival

Information technology company CGI has been holding the coding sessions in a bid to teach youngsters digital skills to block cyberattacks.

The company has offered these interactive drop-in MicroCoders mini-sessions as part of the Datasphere exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

Supported by Digital Xtra Fund, the event involved giving children five minutes to use a micro:bit programming interface to generate an encryption key to stop hackers from stealing important data.

The fund has awarded grants of up to £5,000 to initiatives across Scotland including MicroCoders to appear at this year’s Edinburgh Science Festival.

The charity aims to help children aged 16 and under develop digital skills by offering grants to extracurricular tech initiatives across Scotland.

Teaching digital skills in an engaging and interactive way is at the forefront of the charity’s mission.

Since its creation in 2016 Digital Xtra Fund has awarded £725,000 to 102 initiatives to support teaching children about digital fields.

Westaly Duignan, Senior Development Manager at Edinburgh Science, said: “As an educational charity, Edinburgh Science values the importance of providing immersive and thought-provoking STEM opportunities for young people.

“We were delighted to receive funding from Digital Xtra Fund, which is supported by CGI, to develop and run our drop-in MicroCoders activity at this year’s Edinburgh Science Festival, which allows young people to meet and learn from cyber security and digital skills professionals.

“MicroCoders is a taster version of a larger STEM careers event we run in November, designed to inspire 3,000 young people to consider the fields of science and technology, employment opportunities in STEM industries and the many possibilities that studying these subjects can bring.”

The coding event is running until April 24 at the National Museum of Scotland.

To know more about Edinburgh Science Festival’s MicroCoders activity and other initiatives supported by Digital Xtra Fund for the year 2021/23, visit: Round VI (2021/2022).

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