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Scottish Schools Wow Judges In New Textiles Science Competition

31-May-2018 12:26 PM | Kimberley White

On May 22nd, pupils from schools in Clyde Valley and Dumfries and Galloway celebrated their completion of the first ever Material World Go4SET programme designed to launch them into stellar careers in the Scottish Textiles Industry in science, technology, engineering, arts or maths (STEAM). The Material World Go4SET competition Celebration and Assessment Day was held at The Trades Hall, Glasgow and pupils got the chance to showcase their hard work to a panel of expert judges including Jaki Love and Kimberley White of the Textiles Scotland team, plus guests from industry, members of the Incorporations and the pupils’ families.

Pupils from St Paul’s High School, Our Lady’s High School (Motherwell), Trinity Academy (Renfrew), Holycross High School, St Peter the Apostle High School, St John Ogilvie High School and Dumbarton Academy attended the competition. Prizes awarded on the day included Best Teamwork, won by Our Lady’s High School, the Pupils’ Choice Award, which went to St John Ogilvie High School and the Innovation Award won by Dumbarton Academy. The judges awarded the overall prize to Holycross High School for producing the most thoughtful project and professional report. The team will now go on to compete in the National Final on the 6th June at Glasgow City Chambers.

John McFadyen, Langholm Academy, “Go4SET allows pupils to work together on a specific project to gain industry experience.” John was particularly impressed about the ‘cross-curricular’ nature of the programme. “It’s a great competition which makes pupils aware of the current trends in STEAM”, said Ms Steinert, an Art and Design teacher from Our Lady’s High School.

The Go4SET competition encourages S2 pupils to “go for it!” and pursue further education, apprenticeships or careers in science, engineering and technology, getting them out of the classroom and giving them first-hand experience of the workplace. For 10 weeks, 12–14 year olds work in teams of six with an industry mentor on STEAM-themed projects based around real-world problems that need solving, from environmental issues to finance and technology. The term STEAM is used to indicate that Arts or art-practices engage with the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Material World Go4SET teams are the first to be paired with mentors from the textiles industry, and the programmes aim was to showcase the diverse applications of STEAM skills in textiles businesses. The organisations supporting this year’s teams were our members Alex Begg, FTS Dyers, Jack Ellis; and Terumo Aortic, W. L. Gore,  and Elliott’s Shed.

The Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation sponsored the programme as well as the development of the Material World online resource. Fiona Godsman, Trustee of the Foundation, said: ‘It is important for educators to show students the links between STEAM and industry; and the Textiles Industry is a great example to feature and very relevant to the West of Scotland. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths is all around us and, as has been demonstrated to the students, has an integral part to play in the design and manufacturing of Textiles.” All of the companies supporting the schools through the Material World programme have strong technical and science elements which the students witnessed through a site visit to the company.

Fiona concluded by saying; “The Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation are delighted to support the Material World Go4SET programme across the West of Scotland, challenging young people to think about their futures and the STEAM careers available to them”

In 2016-17 EDT Scotland successfully reached 23% of all Scottish secondary schools and engaged over 3,500 young people through a range of industry-led projects. Over 80% of Go4SET students said the project had made a difference to their enjoyment of science, and 70% said they would consider further education in STEM as a result of taking part. On Tuesday one student even commented that they have changed their career choice from surgeon to fashion designer once she realised that the role involves STEM.

Helen Anderson, Scotland Director for competition-organisers EDT, said: “Textiles continue to play a key role in the Scottish manufacturing sector and I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to showcase the industry and paths into further study and future careers throughout this project. By utilising scientific and creative skills these teams have shown just how important STEAM is to encouraging innovation, creativity and problem-solving.”

“Go4SET encourages young people of today to be the engineers and scientists of tomorrow. It also helps them develop skills in team working, communication, report writing and problem solving – all essential skills in today’s world of work”.

Go4SET is a national programme which is part of the Engineering Development Trust’s continuum of programmes aimed at stimulating young people’s interest in STEM at a key stage in their education.

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