‘Girls Energy’ conference well attended

41 local Buchan students attended the conference.
41 local Buchan students attended the conference.

41 female students from Turriff, Mintlaw, Peterhead, Ellon and Meldrum Academies recently visited Shell UK’s conference facility at Woodbank for the fourth annual ‘Girls Energy’ conference.

The students are all part of North East Scotland College’s ‘Girls Energy’ Programme which provides training to encourage more women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers.

The theme for this year’s conference was Reducing Carbon Emissions where students were divided into teams representing Biomass, Offshore wind & Carbon capture.

Ian Barbour, Curriculum Leader, Fraserburgh Campus said: “This assignment was set to encourage team building, discussion, research, and presentation and negotiation skills, along with the added challenge of putting forward a point of view that was not necessarily the student’s own.

“This will all be invaluable to them when they enter the world of work.”

Each group was tasked with pitching for “virtual“ government funding.

Time was spent discussing the topic from respective angles followed by a presentation of their findings to the wider group with the help of Audio Visual technology. Each team selected a student to act as a negotiator; the aim was to work together across team boundaries to find a solution that was acceptable to the virtual government team for funding. At the end of the day members of the conference (government funding) took a vote to choose the winning team. The winners were the carbon capture team.

Building the future skills base of the oil and gas industry in Scotland is a key priority, therefore ensuring that young women see an opportunity in the industry is vital,” said John Raine, Communications and Social Performance Advisor for Shell.

He continued: “I’m always encouraged to see young people excited and fascinated by their first experiences of the business, and Shell is working to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists in our own backyard.”

The pupils are undertaking the Skills for Work Energy Course along with their usual subjects at school.

This course is supported by industrial sponsors from Shell U.K. Limited, Technip and Schlumberger, this sponsorship allows the girls to experience real-life examples of engineering and technology in action.