It’s been a busy week for Xodus Group’s STEM Ambassadors. On Tuesday, 6 of our STEM Ambassadors attended the launch of Go4SET, where they are mentoring teams of S2 pupils from 3 Aberdeen high schools as they complete a 10 week STEM related project. The day involved a mentor briefing, where our ambassadors met their teams and helped pick their project. Over the course of the project, our ambassadors will give the teams ongoing support, including visiting the schools regularly, the opportunity for an industrial visit to Xodus offices, as well as attending the celebration and assessment day in February.
On Wednesday, Caragh McWhirr visited Albyn School to judge a school winner from entries to the BP Ultimate STEM Challenge. Teams of pupils had spent the day designing a new item of wearable tech. This had to be something that was addressing a problem, that was unique, and that was based on feasible scientific and engineering principals. All of the projects will be entered into the nationwide challenge.
Caragh McWhirr, Innovation Manager at Xodus Group was very impressed with the ingenuity of the teams: ‘The variety of things the pupils came up with was incredible. If I think of wearables I immediately think of my running watch, but they’d come up with lots more, really creative ideas. There was a sweatband for racket sports players that could analyse your technique, a blood sugar monitoring and insulin delivering ring, and a patch that monitored your heart rate and blood pressure to give early warning of increase risk of stroke or heart problems. The pupils had clearly done good research, found real world problems, thought up really creative solutions and applied sound science to the application of the solutions. One of the things that most impressed me was how good they were at explaining the value their product would bring. The winning team had designed a watch for dementia sufferers to help remind wearers to do things like take medication, that was very simple and was powered by a thermo-electric generator and so didn’t even need to be taken off and charged.'
EDT’s Go4SET project is typically 10 weeks and offers young people in Years 8/9 or S1/S2 (Scottish equivalent) the opportunity to develop skills, inform subject choice and change perceptions about STEM, raising awareness of how studying these subjects can lead to a rewarding career.