Last month, three teams of senior pupils from north-east schools battled for supremacy to become oil moguls of the future.
The event in question was the grand finale of the latest STEM – In the Pipeline competition, organised by TechFest-SetPoint. It is designed to challenge its young competitors over a period of about four months in a three-part project.
Pupils have to work as teams and play a business game, their ultimate objective being to develop an oil & gas asset.
The latest contest began on August 20 last year. At the introduction, teams and teachers had to take an active part in workshops, demonstrations and presentations designed to introduce the oil & gas industry and the topics that make up the project.
At the end of the day, the teams were equipped to start the project; each receiving a copy of the project brief, a suggested resource list and any material necessary.
From August to mid November they worked up their respective projects based around a set of three consecutive tasks. It has been estimated that the STEM – In The Pipeline project takes each pupil a minimum of 40 hours work to complete. Some put in more than this.
Topics needed researching, possibilities investigated and decisions made. A report had to be written detailing all work and results. Good planning and teamwork was important. Advice and support from mentors and teachers was available along the way.
November 19, 2010, was the designated date for the submission of reports to TechFest-SetPoint and on to a panel of assessors drawn from the oil & gas industry.
On January 21 this year, each team had an opportunity to give a presentation and display a poster advertising their hard work.
The teams were arranged into groups.
The red group comprised: Banchory Academy; Banff Academy; Fraserburgh Academy, Hazlehead Academy and Mackie Academy.
The blue group was made up of: Charleston Academy; Harlaw Academy; Peterhead Academy; St Margaret’s School and Westhill Academy.
The green group was comprised of: The Gordon Schools, Oldmachar Academy, Portlethen Academy and Turriff Academy.
Black Gold from Westhill Academy took first place, with Banchory Petroleum from Banchory Academy in third, and Fraserburgh Academy’s 100 Camels in third. The Innovation Award was presented to Full Bore from The Gordon Schools.
Vivien Ellins, STEM co-ordinator at TechFest-SetPoint, said: “Amongst the feedback to the teams the assessors praised Westhill for their report which was very good and detailed, going over and above the requirements in all sections. Their presentation was slick, co-ordinated and well rehearsed.
“The Banchory team attracted the comment: ‘With the amount of knowledge you currently have, you would be an asset in any energy company when you complete your studies.’
“The Fraserburgh Academy team – with the original name 100 Camels – had a very good, logical report with well-presented arguments. They responded well to all questions at their interview and showed good teamwork.
“The imaginative uncertainty analysis from The Gordon Schools earned them the Innovation Award.”
The competition was sponsored by BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, the Energy Institute and E.ON Ruhrgas.