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Senior science students from Mallaig and Lochaber high schools took part in a three-day Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) event designed to show them how they can apply their skills and knowledge to their future careers.
Over three days, students learned about study and career opportunities in Fort William and the surrounding areas, with visits to Ben Nevis Distillery, BSW Timber and Liberty British Aluminium.
The programme was organised by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), an educational charity that works to inspire and engage young people in STEM subjects.
Flora Lewis-Gotts, EDT Partnership Manager, told the Lochaber Times: ‘We were initially invited by Lochaber High School as a result of its relationship with Liberty. From the start Liberty were keen to involve other businesses and individuals to give students information about various paths open to them.’
Colleen MacLean, from Developing the Young Workforce Highland, joined the group to talk about apprenticeships. Students also heard from Lily Cornfield, an ex-Lochaber High School pupil who is now a PhD student. The final day saw the students visit West Highland College where they were given advice on preparing CVs and college applications.
Katie McCaig, a senior Mallaig High School pupil, said: ‘It’s been good to learn about the variety of jobs in the area for science that we probably wouldn’t have known about.’
Heather Thompson, also from Mallaig High School, said: ‘We’ve been getting to speak to people at the companies and get an idea of the different ways to get into these jobs as well as going to university.’
The event included sessions at the Newton Room where students were given team-building STEM projects to complete, as well as applying their skills and knowledge to the design of an eco hotel.
Dr Emma Robertson, from the Science Skills Academy that runs projects at Lochaber’s Newton Room, said: ‘This is one of the first groups to benefit from a full session at the Newton Room. It’s great to look at STEM industries that are relevant to the local area.’
The Mallaig and Lochaber High School students at the STEM event.
NO F36 Pupils at the Lochaber Newton Room