North East school pupils shine in SuSTEMability final

June 10, 2022

Primary school pupils from across the North East have showcased their talents in a regional challenge designed to inspire the next generation to find solutions to environmental challenges.

The SuSTEMability programme, now in its second year, is spearheaded by North East Scotland College and supported by main sponsor OPITO alongside a number of other key partners.

Teams are invited to tackle real world environmental issues by designing, developing, engineering, and building solutions in a creative format.

Around 240 pupils, representing eight Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire schools, took part in the 2021/22 challenge.  Finalists gathered at the NESCol Aberdeen Altens Campus to test their skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Representatives from NESCol and programme delivery partners OPITO, SSERC, Moray East, Ocean Winds, Emerson, Net Zero Technology Centre, STORK and Aberdeen Science Centre took part in a variety of roles including mentoring as STEM ambassadors and as judges.

The overall champions were The Divers from Clerkhill Primary School in Peterhead, who impressed with their concept and design as well as by demonstrating research and presenting their ideas on the day.

NESCol Principal Neil Cowie said: “SuSTEMability provides a wonderful introduction to the opportunities the next generation have to bring their talent and imagination to the fore in the face of global challenges.

“It encourages pupils to innovate and experiment in a fun and supportive format that puts teamwork front and centre, giving every participant the chance to shape concepts and lend their ideas.

“My congratulations go to all of the pupils who took part this year and to our finalists and award winners. We hope the challenge has whetted their appetite for STEM subjects as they continue on their path through school and beyond.”

Andy Williamson, Head of Energy Transition at OPITO, said: “STEM is hugely important for those who are interested in a career in the energy industry and NESCol’s  SuSTEMability is such a fantastic programme for students to get involved in.

“It is so great to see this level of enthusiasm to tackle important environmental challenges, and the innovative and imaginative ideas put forward are a credit to the students. A Massive congratulations to Clerkhill Primary School and the rest of the participants for their amazing work.”

Teams from Danestone, St Fergus, Clerkhill, Quarryhill, Sandhaven, Westhill, Brimmond and Crombie participated.

SuSTEMability 2021/22 award winners: Champions – The Divers, Clerkhill Primary School; Runners-up – Climate Club, Westhill Primary School; Innovation Award – St Fergus Scientists, St Fergus Primary School; Team Spirit Award – Drone Helpers, Quarryhill Primary School; Research Award – InSTEMflame, St Fergus Primary School; Skill-building Award – Project Wildfire, Clerkhill Primary School; Prototype Design Award – ARF, Brimmond Primary School; Local Impact Award – RCJK Inventors, Danestone Primary School; SuSTEMability Design Award – FireFade, Crombie Primary School.

To find out more about the programme and hear from previous participants visit .