BSW Group teamed up with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCID) and Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC) to deliver knowledge of the timber and forestry industry to 140 pupils across Scotland.
50 young people from primary and secondary schools descended on Aberdeen Science centre for a Regional Celebration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), in partnership with BP and Shell UK Ltd, and a further 90 students attended Dundee Science Centre for a Celebration of Engineering in partnership with Shell UK Ltd.
BSW Group has been supporting the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor), in partnership with the Scottish Forestry Trust, to help educate children on STEM jobs. During the sessions, the firms’ teams of volunteers set five-minute, hands-on challenges with a focus on teamwork and problem solving.
Dave Mills, Mill Manager at BSW Boat of Garten, who organised the event on behalf of BSW and Confor, said: “I really enjoyed being asked to represent BSW Group and Confor to help some of the really bright kids from North East Scotland to understand what we do in the timber sector. It helped to make the link between planting trees, sequestering carbon and then converting the trees into sustainable building products that we can all use in our daily lives, and which continue to lock up carbon for the future.
“It’s so important for us as a sector to stand with the other businesses in the region, representing what we do and what we stand for, so we can inspire and attract the future stars of our industry. When I was leaving school 30 years ago, I was inspired myself by someone in the sector that recognised my interest and helped me to be the manager I am today, so I recognise the value in paying that back.”
The challenges set through the Aberdeen and Dundee events allowed the students to gain an understanding of the different career paths available in the STEM industry, while Digital Xtra Fund showcased the future of the sector by providing drop-in robotics activities on the day.
Thomas Wild, Programme Manager YESC at Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), was delighted to see the return of face-to-face events in Scotland.
“These events are crucial in showing young people how exciting a career in STEM can be,” said Wild.
“The buzz and excitement, as well as the levels of engagement at a live event, have been sorely missed over the last two years. This year we welcomed a fantastic range of new industry partners to support the event including BSW Timber.
“The BSW team were fantastic in setting STEM challenges to the young people attending. It gave them the chance to speak about the work they do and highlight the exciting opportunities in their industry. Ensuring that young people interact with employers in a fun and informal setting is crucial if we are to reduce the STEM skills gap and boost diversity within the sector.”
The events were aimed at engaging with those currently under-represented in the engineering community, specifically girls, and those from geographically remote or deprived communities, while also working to raise engagement levels with STEM subjects in school.
Elgin High School teacher Duncan Johnston said the workshops provided a great experience for pupils and the students were equally impressed. A pupil from Aberdeen Grammar School said: “I liked being able to talk to people in the field and see what they do. I enjoyed getting tips from them and it gave great insight.”
Aberdeen – Aberdeen Grammar School, Clerkill Primary School, Danestone Primary School, Elgin High School, Lochside Academy, Peterhead Academy, Riverbank Primary School.
Dundee – Bellyeoman Primary, Blackness Primary School, Canmore Primary School, Carnoustie High School, Crail Primary School, Dunbog Primary School, Fintry Primary School, Kinross High School, Lumphinnans Primary School, St Joseph’s RC Primary School, St Paul’s Academy, St. Margaret’s Primary School.
About BSW Group (www.bsw.co.uk)
BSW Group is the largest integrated forestry group in the UK with six operating divisions including tree nurseries, forestry, harvesting, sawmilling, timber manufacturing and energy. The group has seven sawmills across the UK and supply and manufacture FSC certified sawn timber for a wide range of industries and uses.
BSW Group is committed to supporting sustainable forestry, utilising the entire log and planting three trees for every one harvested. BSW are a member of Grown in Britain and employ over 1,900 workers across the UK and Europe. They are passionate about creating a sustainable future for British forests and woodlands. Their products have featured on the BBC series DIY SOS, for a Children In Need special filmed in summer 2020.
About The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) (https://www.scdi.org.uk)
The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) is Scotland’s Economic and Social Forum. It is an independent membership network representing a cross-section of the private, public and social economy sectors in Scotland with an aim of influencing the agenda to ensure long-term sustainable economic growth and flourishing communities everywhere in Scotland.
About SCDI’s Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC) (https://www.scdi.org.uk/yesc)
SCDI’s Young Engineers and Science Clubs programme has played a leading role in growing interest and sparking enthusiasm in STEM subjects for over 30 years. There are now more than 1,500 primary and secondary schools in our network throughout Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, engaged in a variety of both curriculum linked and extra-curricular projects.
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