Olnafirth pupils first in national energy competition

Olnafirth Primary School in Voe has scooped top prize in a national renewable energy competition – just weeks before the school closes.

The pupils won the 2014 Junior Saltire Award with their design for a  hydrokinetic generator suitable for Scottish waters, seeing off competition from all over the country.

The award of the Junior Saltire medal was made in Edinburgh yesterday, and the school also received £500 for its funds.

Olnafirth was one of nine schools shortlisted after being asked to create, build and test a simple hydrokinetic generator.

The finalists tested their models at the new FloWave facility at Edinburgh University on Wednesday, and the winners were announced on Thursday at the Celebration of Engineering and Science at Murrayfield Stadium.

But Olnafirth pupils thought they had missed their chance when they were stuck in Shetland waiting for a flight.

Teacher Rachel Colclough said: “We all feel so happy and proud as we sat in Sumburgh all day yesterday and missed our testing slot and thought it was all over. But again the bairns did a brilliant presentation and impressed the judges.”

The competition is managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in partnership with Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI). Olnafirth pupils won in the P5-P7 category.

The Saltire Prize was set up by the Scottish government to accelerate the commercial development of marine energy.


Add Your Comment
  • J Michael Hannah

    • June 6th, 2014 15:27

    Well done to the bairns and teachers at Olnafirth School for winning first prize in the 2014 Junior Saltire Award after reaching the finals in each of the past 2 years. This is a significant national award and shows that pupils in small primary schools can compete with children from larger schools in a very important curricular area.
    It also shows that the Curriculum For Excellance can be delivered in small primary schools. The area of the curriculum covered by Saltire Award requires teamwork, discussion, experimentation, presentation skills, etc, well as science and technology knowledge and understanding. Some of the very areas that Local Authority officials have said cannot be covered properly in the Curriculum For Excellance by small primary schools, leading to demands for their closure.
    Sad to say the Olnafirth Primary School is to close at summer. However those involved can hold their heads up high, pity the same cannot be said for those who manage the system.


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