Mackie Pupils oil and gas challenge

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Pupils from Mackie Academy recently delved into the world of oil and gas when they embarked on a project which will see them use their skills in physics, maths, chemistry and geology to solve an industry challenge.

Supported by BP, Chevron, E.ON Exploration & Production, ConocoPhillips and the University of Aberdeen, TechFest’s STEM In The Pipeline scheme was launched at the university last week, with an introductory day for the pupils and energy industry professionals, who will act as mentors.

The team of four senior pupils were set an oil field challenge to work on over the next few months, culminating in a final event in December.

They will work with their mentors and gain a valuable insight into careers in engineering and the oil and gas industry as well as undergoing significant development in their interpersonal and team skills.

The introduction at the Fraser Noble building saw the pupils attending four hands-on workshops in geology, drilling and reservoir, finance and processing, working together in their newly formed teams.

TechFest is a charity based at the University of Aberdeen which aims to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities to young people and the wider community.

TechFest co-ordinator Lesley Weston said: “The STEM in the Pipeline project is a great way for secondary school pupils to put all of their knowledge and skills into practice to solve a problem which is relevant to the oil and gas industry.

“Along with the support of mentors and academics, the students will come together in small teams and each spend more than 40 extracurricular hours working on their project, which they will then present to the judges in December.

“Year on year the students excel in this project and always demonstrate very high levels of passion, intelligence and ingenuity.”

Teams will be expected to work together and take part in a challenging series of tasks to produce a Field Development Plan for the fictional STEM oil field.

The tasks cover subsurface work, production profiling, separator design, safety and the calculation of CO2 emissions.

After submitting a report to TechFest, each team will give a presentation to a panel of assessors. They will then be awarded prizes and given certificates.

Pupils who take part in STEM in the Pipeline will also be eligible for the Silver CREST Award, Britain’s national award scheme for work in the STEM subjects, which this year is being sponsored by global energy services group Senergy.

Each year, TechFest runs the highly popular TechFest In September festival which attracts tens of thousands of children and adults to a series of STEM based events in and around Aberdeen City and Shire.