21 Jun 18

Larkhall pupils give science a sporting chance

Pupils from two Lanarkshire schools have had a visit from an Olympic athlete for a physics lesson with a difference.

Scotland’s women’s curling skip, Eve Muirhead, visited Glengowan Primary School in Larkhall (19 June) as part of EDF Energy’s education outreach work to talk to them about the links between sport and science.

Primary 7 pupils from both Glengowan and Craigbank Primaries took part in a hands-on experiment to explore friction, momentum and distance before hearing about her career in curling and the ways that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are used in her sport.

The pupils made hovercrafts from CDs and balloons, and tested how different surfaces affected how easily toy cars rolled down and bricks could be pulled up a slope.

A study commissioned by EDF Energy, which has an engineering office in East Kilbride, found that there will be 142,000 new jobs in science, research, engineering and technology between now to 2023 but current figures show there will be a shortfall in the number of graduates and apprentices available to fill these roles. For example there will be a 40% shortfall in engineering.

Eve Muirhead, who is an Olympic Bronze medallist and former World Champion, said: “It was great to be able to talk to the pupils about my experiences and explain to them how science touches almost every part of my sport. Curlers use geometry and physics every time we take to the ice. We rely on doctors, physiotherapists, sports scientists and nutritionists to keep us fit for competition and design engineers ensure we have the right kit and equipment that will help us perform at our best”.  

Finance Shared Services Director from the East Kilbride office, Robert Gilhooly, said: “We are delighted to be working with Eve Muirhead to help children make the connections between STEM and sport and consider the variety of careers that are available to them by studying STEM subjects at school. EDF Energy is investing in the next generation of Scottish minds because we know that if Scotland is to address the energy challenges of the future it needs to have a workforce with strong skills in STEM.”

Lynne Gardiner from Glengowan Primary, said: “This event has allowed our pupils to see the significant impact of STEM in a real-life context. The children were enthused and inspired by Eve’s drive and commitment to her sport and they made clear links with how Eve uses knowledge of STEM, such as scientific concepts of friction, to achieve success. As young learners developing aspirations for future working life, this was a key opportunity to identify and raise awareness of potential careers in STEM.”

For more information

Fiona McCall
External Communications Manager (Scotland)
(T) 01355 846281
(M) 07813 232 347