Primary two Ulva pupil wins national engineering competition

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Published Date: 

28 Jun 2017 - 16:04

A pupil from Ulva Primary School has won a national engineering competition.

Bruce Cutlack fought off stiff competition from over 12,000 entries, to win the primary two age category of the Scottish Engineering Leaders Award.

These awards ask primary and secondary schools across Scotland, 'If you were an engineer, what would you do?' It is part of the wider Primary Engineer Programmes and is supported by Scottish Engineering, the University of Strathclyde and the RAF.

The whole of Ulva Primary School took part in the competition, and pupils were asked to design something that could be built to help solve a problem.

After discussing a range of issues in class, Bruce decided to focus on the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.

The talented youngster designed a submarine which sucks up tiny plastic balls known as nurdles and then uses these nurdles to power the craft. He was invited to a prize giving ceremony at Barony Hall, the University of Strathclyde, where he was presented with a glass award and certificate.

All the children at Ulva had fantastic, original ideas and, prior to designing their entries, two local engineers visited the school to talk to them about what a career in engineering involves. These were John Nicolson, TSL Contractor’s Regional Construction Manager, and Moray Finch, the general manager of Mull and Iona Community Trust.

These visits enabled the pupils to take part in some hands-on experience. Mr Finch also took the children on a guided tour of the Garmony Hydro Electric Scheme, which the class and staff all thoroughly enjoyed.

Talking about his achievement, Bruce said: “I found making up my idea quite easy when I decided on the problem of nurdles. I was very pleased to win my group. I really hope we can do something about plastic in the sea.”

Acting shared head teacher at Ulva Primary, Susie Carmichael added: “We are very fortunate to have such good, strong partnerships with the local community and business organisations, and it was highly motivating for the pupils to get input from these experienced engineers. All the pupils worked very hard to design something original and I am delighted that Bruce’s design won his age category.”

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Yvonne Mcneilly, said: “Well done Bruce. His design not only helps to address the very real issue we have of plastic pollution in our seas, but it is also environmentally friendly and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.

“Bruce has obviously put a lot of thought into it. This is a massive achievement for someone so young and I would like to offer him my sincerest congratulations.”

Ann Marie Knowles, the Council’s Executive Director of Community Services added: “Bruce is a true credit to his school. He is only in primary two, yet he managed to design a very detailed product which involved a lot of thought and creativity.

I would like to congratulate Bruce on his achievement and look forward to seeing what new designs he creates in the future.”