A 15-year-old Stem enthusiast and would-be astronaut is urging high school pupils to take part in a competition to meet astronaut Tim Peake.
The schools’ competition, organised by The Data Lab – Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI – challenges S1-S3 pupils from across Aberdeen to come up with ideas for tackling climate change.
The winning team of young pupils will get the opportunity to lead a question-and-answer session with British astronaut Tim Peake.
The Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) event will take place at Robert Gordon University on March 18 as part of DataFest 2020, which celebrates and showcases Scotland’s role in data science and AI on the international stage.
Kenzie Young, an S4 pupil at Linlithgow Academy who will attend the event as a guest , hopes the competition will spark an interest in Stem.
She said: “I first decided I wanted to become an astronaut in primary school after watching a BBC Newsround episode about a girl who went through space school. Ever since then I’ve been doing everything I can to become an astronaut myself.
“Meeting Tim Peake and learning from his experience in becoming an astronaut will be invaluable for me and I hope that entering this competition could be the spark that hundreds of young people need to ignite a passion in Stem subjects.
“I think more young people, particularly girls, should be aspiring to be engineers, scientists, academics or astronauts.
“Opportunities like this will give them the confidence that I have in my future in Stem.”
To take part pupils need to make a short video on a potential solution for tackling climate change, explaining why the problem needs to be addressed and how they proposed to solve it.
Pupils can use props, diagrams, flip charts or models to explain their ideas. Teams will be marked on the overall presentation of the video, the solution provided, and the creative use of technologies. Winners will be notified at the end of February.
Jude McCorry, head of business development at The Data Lab, said: “We want to challenge school pupils to come up with an imaginative and creative solution to climate change that will push boundaries and tackle the most important issue facing our planet. We’re not looking for a fully implementable plan, but for a ground-breaking idea from bright young minds.”
Around 200 pupils will get the chance to attend the special Stem event with Tim Peake, which is a new addition to DataFest for 2020.
Now in its fourth year, it has grown to become the UK’s largest data festival.
Running from March 9-20, it features multiple events in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen.