Portlethen award

BP Stem in The Pipeline 2012..(Picture by Michal Wachucik/Newsline Scotland)
BP Stem in The Pipeline 2012..(Picture by Michal Wachucik/Newsline Scotland)

After months of hard work a team of sixth year pupils from Portlethen Academy has won the award for innovation in the annual TechFest STEM in the Pipeline challenge

STEM in the Pipeline began in August, when 16 teams of senior pupils were set an oil field challenge which tested their skills in physics, maths, chemistry and geology.

All the hard work came to an end last week when they presented the findings of the oil and gas project to industry professionals.

Rock Raiders, the ‘innovation’ award winning team from Portlethen Academy, was made up of Jonathon Sentance, Eric McNeil, Luke Fisher, Fraser Barclay and Calum Macnaughton and were mentored by Jen Pless of ConocoPhilips.

STEM in the Pipeline is supported by BP, Chevron, E.ON Exploration & Production and ConocoPhillips, which each provided volunteer mentors who made themselves available for the pupils to contact for guidance and support throughout the project.

Teams were tasked to work together and take part in a series of challenges to produce a Field Development Plan for the fictional STEM oil field.

The tasks covered subsurface work, production profiling, separator design, safety and the calculation of CO2 emissions, all designed to engage the young people in science, technology, engineering and maths work.

The teams submitted a report to TechFest and at the final event at BP’s headquarters in Dyce each group gave a presentation to a panel of assessors. They were then awarded prizes and given certificates.

TechFest co-ordinator Lesley Weston said: “The STEM in the Pipeline project is a great way for secondary school pupils to put all of their knowledge and skills into practice to solve a problem which is relevant to the oil and gas industry.

“We are very grateful to our sponsors BP, Chevron, E.ON Exploration & Production, ConocoPhillips and Senergy for their support.”

TechFest is a charity based at the University of Aberdeen which aims to promote science, technology, engineering and maths activities to young people and the wider community.

Each year, it runs the highly popular TechFest In September festival which attracts tens of thousands of children and adults to a series of STEM based events in and around Aberdeen City and Shire, as well as a year-round programme of educational activities and workshops.