Academy team takes runners-up prize

Students success
Students success

Pupils from secondary schools across West Lothian went head-to-head for the ultimate ‘‘green’’ energy competition hosted by West Lothian Chamber of Commerce.

With over 1000 pupils from 11 schools having competed for a spot in the 2015 final, it was Inveralmond Community High School which took the top spot with Linlithgow Academy coming in second and Deans Community High School taking third place.

Teams consisting of five or six pupils from each school were tasked to come up with an innovative creation for an energy efficient heat pump that can turn cold air into hot air and vice versa.

Linda Scott, chief executive officer for West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, said: “This competition is all about encouraging Scotland’s younger generation to think outside the box and come up with clever and innovative ideas that give them a greater understanding of technology and engineering.

“Ultimately, we are looking to help our younger generations learn and develop new skills and competitions such as these are great for this because they tap into a number of different skill sets such as creativity and teamwork.

“It was fantastic to see so many pupils take part in this year’s event and we were all very impressed by the creative ideas that were presented to the judges.”

After a hugely successful pilot competition in 2014 with Armadale Academy, the joint venture between local employer, Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning System Europe and the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce expanded to 11 schools across the area, making the competition bigger than ever before.

On the day of the final, pupils pitched their ideas to a special panel of judges, including local Angela Constance MSP, Atsuhiro Yabu, president of the Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning System, Mr Kitaoka, Consulate General of Japan and other senior representatives from the public and private sector, who collectively decided on the overall winner.

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Rodney Ayre, Senior Department Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Air conditioning Systems Europe Ltd, said: “The schools project has created a link between Mitsubishi Electric and the local schools within the West Lothian area developing the workforce of the future and ensuring students get first-hand experience of manufacturing, environment and renewables. This activity promotes Mitsubishi Electric’s commitment to Scotland and the local community.”