Pupils from both Earlston and Hawick High School recently took part in the RAF’s Operation X programme, undertaking a humanitarian mission on the island of Martillo.
Unfortunately for the pupils, they did not travel to the remote island in the Southern Hemisphere but undertook the mission via an interactive multi-media portal.
The scenario faced by the pupils was that the country had been severely damaged by storms and the forecast indicated that more extreme weather systems were on the way. Martillo’s emergency services were struggling under the pressure, much of the infrastructure had been destroyed, the hospital were unable to deal with the volume of casualties and many of the towns were without power, pupils were faced with a variety of challenges and Earlston pupil, Daisy Chalmers, S3, said: “It was great fun but also highlighted the need to work as a team, make decisions and raised awareness of all the different skills needed to make things happen.”
Designed in line with the Curriculum for Excellence, Operation X engages pupils in a variety of problem-solving tasks, developing skills that will be required in the world of work, including, literacy, working with others, communication and health and well-being. The programme is also informative and stimulates discussion around career opportunities.
Sara Ward, DYW Borders Programme Manager said: “We were thrilled to work with the RAF to deliver Operation X to pupils at both Earlston and Hawick High School. The aim of our programme is to prepare our young people for the world of work and Operation X is an innovative and stimulating way to develop essential life-skills such as the ability to adapt, the importance of communication, interpersonal skills, using your own initiative and working under pressure.”
Over 300 S2 pupils from across the Scottish Borders recently attended The Big Bang Event at Borders College which took place over 2 days, participating in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities and finding out about related career opportunities.
One of a number of Big Bang events put on across Scotland in June for secondary pupils, the two days offered ‘marketplace’ sessions covering a wide range of STEM sectors, including construction and engineering, health care, food and drink technology, digital, science and maths. Popular interactive activities were Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality, drones, and programmable ‘Dash’ robots. One pupil said the VR headsets were his favourite activity, enthusing about his ‘score of the day’ on the virtual welder.
Among the inspiring and engaging 90 minute workshops on offer were Bloodhound rocket car racing, programmable Lego Mindstorm robots, RAF Operation X, Microsoft Ltd, and MTa STEM kits. Wendy Findlay of Energy Skills Partnership (ESP), took the groups through the MTa STEM kit, which was recently trialled by Borders STEM teachers at the College’s Construction Hub in Tweedbank.
The inaugural event was organised by Borders College in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Borders and ESP, all of whom were delighted by the uptake.
The College’s Engineering department also offered a fun pit-stop challenge using the Greenpower electric race car (styled like the bat mobile!) allowing pupils to try their hand at a timed wheel change, a challenge they also took to the Big Bang Scotland event in Perth earlier in the month. One pupil was delighted to be the fastest to complete the wheel change in her group.
Other exhibitors hosting activities and demonstrations included the University of Strathclyde, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Skills Development Scotland, and Scottish Borders Youth Voice, who were raising awareness of the Year of Young People. Local employer Farne Salmon showcased activities including engineering problem solving and a crossbow shooting challenge, as well as giving pupils an insight to the potential employment opportunities available to them in the future. Pupils could even be seen walking around with dry peas in their shoes as part of the healthcare session, designed to demonstrate what it would feel like to live with arthritis.
Article from Borders College.
On 30th May 2018, DYW Borders in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and Borders College hosted an event at Springwood Park, Kelso to celebrate the activity and impact in developing the young workforce over the last eighteen months.
Over 200 people from education and industry came together to enjoy a morning of celebration through presentations, an interactive marketplace and a Q&A session. David Ferguson (MC) started the morning off well by getting the audience to participate in a fun stand up/ sit down quiz. Four great perspectives were given from Donna Manson (SBC Service Director Children and Young People), Rob Woodward (Chair of National DYW Group), Justin Sinclair (Headteacher at Earlston High School) and Peter Murphy (Vice Chair of DYW Borders and Managing Director at Turnbull & Scott). As well as four insightful presentations, Hawick High News filmed a news report showing all the exciting things which have happened over the last 18 months. The interactive marketplace seen education, college and industry showcase the work they have been doing to develop the young workforce. To finish off what had been a brilliant morning, attendees had the chance to participate in a Q&A session with Angela Cox (Principal and CEO Borders College), Ant Barlow (Chair of DYW Borders and Managing Director of Inforgen) and Donna Manson (Service Director Children and Young People - SBC). With the audience really enjoying the interactive way of being able to submit their questions via their mobile devices on sli.do.
Developing the Young Workforce Borders (DYW) in partnership with Hawick Men’s Shed would like to inspire young people in the Scottish Borders to consider working in textiles as a possible future career option.
And today marks the day that every school in the Scottish Borders will receive an exciting bag of materials kindly organised by Hawick Men's Shed.
Supplied by House of Cheviot, Schofield Dyers, Johnstons of Elgin, Lovat Mill, Lochcarron of Scotland, Anthony Haines, and many more. We want to help inspire and allow pupils to show their creative flair over the 2018-2019 academic year. We hope for 2019-2020 with more materials kindly donated, that pupils will be creative and create something to represent their local town or village. With the finished product coming together from every school to be displayed locally or in the new Tapestry building being built in Galashiels.
Along with the materials we included a 5-minute textile DVD made by DYW Borders and Ronald Yule Media to showcase careers within textiles.
We would like to encourage community engagement in the creations made by pupils and DYW Borders and Hawick Men’s Shed can put you in contact with local embroidery, sewing and knitting groups who could bring their expert skills and knowledge into the classroom. Please contact us on 01750505058 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to find out more.