London beckons to young boffins

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A team from Kirkland High has won through to the finals of a national competition in London next year.

Kirkland was chosen to represent Scotland at a major event last month.

A team of six S2 pupils – Ross Guthrie, Dominic Gallo, Jay Hogg, Erin Campbell, Amber Strachan and Alexandria Simpson – took its project to the ‘Big Bang Scotland’ event at Perth Concert Hall, run by TechFest-SetPoint last month.

This showcases science and engineering projects from schools all over Scotland.

Kirkland won the ‘Best Silver CREST award for Science and Technology’ and were chosen to represent Scotland in the national science and engineering competition at the Big Bang in London in March 2013.

The school’s entry came about after taking part in the Go4SET project run by the Engineering Development Trust to stimulate interest and provide an insight into the world of science, engineering and technology.

The project was to design ‘A biomass fuelled renewable electricity and heat plant for your school’.

Kirkland’s team came up with an alternative to biomass – burning wood using old chip fat, from an adjacent chip shop as fuel, in exchange for supplying it with excess energy. The team also proposed planting willow trees in the garden as a back-up fuel using the ash to fertilise new tree regrowth.

Findings were presented, with the help of a model from Quaker Oats, at a Celebration and Achievement Day on May 4. This was held in the Renewables Awareness Centre within the school set up as part of the Comenius Regio Partnership with Fife Council to provide resources and encourage learning of renewable energy skills and employment opportunities.

Kirkland was awarded first place and went on to the finals at the Scottish Parliament a fortnight later but were unsuccessful before entering ‘Big Bang Scotland’.