Local pupils quiz top University Professor

editorial image

Pupils at Portlethen Academy had the opportunity last week to quiz the University of Aberdeen Principal Professor Ian Diamond as part of the national Speakers for Schools week.

Professor Diamond, an eminent statistician, spoke to the class of S5 and S6 Geography pupils about the challenges posed by our booming world population, the consequences of differences in population structure and the implications for the UK including possible government response.

The pupils then had a chance to ask Mr Diamond any questions they had on the issues he had been speaking to them about.

The Scottish Speakers for Schools week was launched on Friday 9 November with talks in various schools by First Minister Alex Salmond, and Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland.

The initiative is the brainchild of BBC Business Editor Robert Peston who wants young people in state schools and colleges to have the same opportunities to hear from inspirational speakers as those who attend independent schools.

Across Scotland, leaders in Scottish business, media culture, academia and politics have pledged to give a talk to students in a state secondary school once a year to raise aspirations and broaden horizons.

Across the UK over 800 speakers have so far agreed to participate and they will be addressing the big topical issues such as technological, scientific, political, economic, historical, cultural, artistic, ecological and ethical.

Following the inspiring presentation, Professor Ian Diamond said: “It went fantastically and these pupils are a very clever, well taught group of young people. People of Portlethen and the surrounding area should be proud of the pupils it has here and I hope I have inspired them in some way for the future.”

Neil Morrison, Head Teacher at Portlethen Academy said: “We are delighted to participate in the Speakers for Schools scheme as it links the school with people, places and topics that inspire young people. It reinforces the message that schools and their partners are working together on common issues and develops common understanding for young people and the speakers by bringing them together. It’s great to have speakers coming in to the school as we want young people to be really inspired.”