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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20 Feb 2018

Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland: Little Lighthouse

In our fourth blog, we highlight how Digital Xtra Fund is supporting Scottish Council for Development & Industry’s ‘Little Lighthouse’ programme as part of their Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland (YESC) network. Of the 11 projects supported by Digital Xtra Fund in 2018, the Little Lighthouse programme will engage the youngest audience, introducing 6-8 year olds to digital skills.

Little Lighthouse (Gavinburn Primary School)Little Lighthouse is a creative interdisciplinary programme which encourages children to combine computing science with various other science and technology concepts such electricity, design, light and sound using lighthouses as context. During the 2016/17 pilot year, YESC received support as part of Digital Xtra Fund’s second funding round to assist with the programme’s roll-out in 40 schools across Perth & Kinross, Scottish Borders, Western Isles, and Highlands. Based on the success of this initial cohort, further support was secured from Education Scotland to extend the programme across all 120 Highland primary schools and funding from the current Digital Xtra Fund grant awards will see Little Lighthouse expanded again into Argyll & Bute and Moray. This expansion will include teacher CPD courses as well as free resource kits for 18 schools in order to deliver the programme. As part of Digital Xtra Fund’s support, YESC is targeting schools that do not currently offer extracurricular computing science related activities, building the confidence and knowledge of teachers in these schools to deliver digital activities.

The first of these CPD courses took place at Dunoon Primary earlier this year with teachers from across Argyll & Bute in attendance. Aileen Morrison from Strone Primary said, ‘The resources for science/tech are always a challenge so providing this kit is fantastic. CodeBugs are new to me – learning to use them is really helpful. The kids will love using this’. Gina Nitschke from Innellan Primary added, ‘I now have a new idea to encourage digital literacy in the P1/2 class!’.

Little Lighthouse 3 (Gavinburn Primary School)In total, 360 P2-P4 pupils in Argyll & Bute and Moray will take part in the Little Lighthouse programme learning digital concepts using Bee-Bots, CodeBugs, and Scratch. Pupils will complete eight exciting lighthouse themed modules, each building on concepts learned in the previous module. From constructing a working model lighthouse in ‘High Height’ to learning about communicating over long distances in ‘Light Delights’, by placing computing science and creativity in a real-world context alongside fun, hands-on activities, the Little Lighthouse programme helps to instil a positive attitude to digital technologies at a young age, increasing the likelihood of young people going on to choose computing science subjects at school.

Alongside support from Digital Xtra Fund, YESC is also working with BT Scotland as part of the Little Lighthouse programme to help engage young people with digital technologies. BT Scotland supports the CAS Barefoot resources which provide teachers with a brilliant range of ‘unplugged’ activities to develop computational thinking skills. Volunteers from BT Scotland are also invited to support schools participating in the programme by sharing their skills and career paths into digital roles with the children. This helps raise awareness of exciting opportunities within the digital sector in Scotland to both teachers and pupils and open their eyes to the diverse range of exciting career opportunities available within the sector.

Little Lighthouse 3Rebecca MacLennan, Programme Director at Young Engineers & Science Clubs Scotland, SCDI said, “Little Lighthouse is one of a range of innovative STEM projects available to schools across Scotland through SCDI’s YESC programme, supported by many partners including Digital Xtra Fund and BT Scotland. We are delighted to have support from Digital Xtra Fund to continue to grow the Little Lighthouse programme across Scotland by engaging another two local authorities. Our CPD courses have been very well received by teachers who are now enthused to use the lighthouse context to help pupils develop valuable skills including computational thinking and inspire the future workforce!”

Little Lighthouse is one of 11 initiatives supported by Digital Xtra Fund’s annual grant awards, contributing to our goal to give every young person in Scotland access to a digitally creative activity. These awards are made possible by the valued support of BT Scotland, a Digital Xtra Partner, and many others in Scotland’s tech industry, through sponsorship, donations and in-kind support. To help us continue this work, find out more about supporting Digital Xtra Fund and inspiring Scotland’s digital future here.

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