Currie Primary pupils put Heriot-Watt students to the test



Pupils from Currie Primary School put Heriot-Watt University students on the spot last week, by setting their own Year of Sea global challenges.

Instead of being set briefs by academics, the young people put their heads together and came up with their own global challenges. The students then had a week to solve the problems.

From brewing and distilling, marine biology and planning and engineering, the students worked in 40 groups to come up with solutions to the challenges set by pupils.

Challenges ranged from getting rid of all pollution in the sea to stopping the ocean warming.

The students presented their solutions and pupils then picked winners during an interactive event at Oriam – Scotland's Sports Performance Centre.  

The overall winner was team 39, who came up with bright ideas to tackle over-fishing. While team 21, took the runner-up spot with their 'Solution to Pollution'.

Dr Laura Wicks, Public Engagement Lead at the university, said: “It's so important that students have the opportunity to learn how to communicate their research and what better way than thinking on their feet when faced with an enthusiastic and knowledge cohort of 9-10 year olds.

“The undergraduates were incredibly impressive in how they worked together to come up with solutions and how best to engage their young audience – a great effort from all involved'.

Alex MacLaren, from SDOS Architectural Engineering, added: “The project linked up first-year undergraduates with our PHD/research students, raising the profile of our world-leading research across all our disciplines across the school.

“The lessons in interdisciplinary team-working will have huge value to our students as they progress their studies.”

All the challenges were related to the university's current Year of the Sea campaign – a calendar of engagement with schools, public, academia, industry collaborators, funders and policy makers.

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