Real World Scenario Engages the Next Generation

17 May 2019

Pupils at Millburn Academy in Inverness took on a Water Supply Challenge to help develop vital skills they will need for entering the job market or continuing in further education.

The exciting day was part of Scottish Water's commitment to the Scottish Government's Developing the Young Workforce programme.

The Water Supply Challenge offers a great opportunity for us to engage with S3 pupils and connect classroom learning with real life Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) examples and scenarios. 

It's a fun and interactive hands-on activity, designed to test and enhance a number of different skills, where young people design, plan, build and test the water network. Teams are supplied with a range of materials including pipes, valves, connectors and a large map where they build their network, working under constraints that mimic the real world regulations and restrictions Scottish Water face.

Leanne Mackenzie, People Consultant for Scottish Water, said: “S3 is a key age to target with this kind of activity and engagement.

"With pupils having recently chosen their subjects for their National Five qualifications, the challenge offers great opportunity to start showing pupils how the skills they’re developing in a classroom environment have relevance in the outside world and in their future career paths. That’s something Scottish Water is very proud to be able to support in such a hands-on and engaging way.

“On top of that, the challenge is also a great way for the pupils and teachers to learn what Scottish Water does every day to maintain and invest in infrastructure, as well as the wider water industry.”

A Scottish Water team were on hand to support the event, helping guide pupils through the activity and provide context of how such challenges are faced in day to day operations.

Skills such as budgeting, planning, negotiating and design are essential across a range of roles and are essential life skills for the youngsters to develop. Activities such as this offer a great way for staff to engage with local young people, sharing their expertise and experience.

Andy Maxtone, Programme Manager for Inverness and Central Highlands, Developing Young Workforce (DYW) added: “DYW aims to bring work based skills into the classroom.

"This is a tremendous example of where young people can get to grips with something they may relate to later in life, but at the same time they are learning about their subject, how to work as a team, problem solving and budgeting.

"These are very broad spectrum skills which are incredibly valuable not just in work life but in life as a whole.”

If you are interested in learning more about our partnership engagement work with schools or would be interested in getting involved in future workshops and events, please Get in Touch

For more information visit Scottish Water Careers and Educational Resources