Outstanding pupils in Fife who are top of STEM subjects in their schools have been gifted cash and awards from a local technology firm.
Twelve youngsters at high schools Glenrothes, Auchmuty and Glenwood, were given awards from Glenrothes based tech company, Semefab.
Each school selected a winner – based on grades and achievements in STEM subjects – from S4 and S6, and a runner up for each of the years.
Glenrothes High School
Rachel Lee, 17, who recently finished S6 at Glenrothes High School, gained the top spot at her school, receiving an award and £500 cash.
Rachel, from Rimbleton, in Glenrothes, said: “I was excited when I found out I’d won. I didn’t know anything about it before so it was a great surprise.
“I’ve had awards in school for some of my Highers and doing well in exams – none of them had money so that was a nice surprise.”
Rachel studied four Advanced Highers this year – maths, chemistry, physics and biology – and she will attend the University of Glasgow, from September, studying mechanical engineering with aeronautics.
She said: “I’ve always preferred maths and physics and my brother does engineering and speaking to him I thought ‘I’d like to do that’.”
Fellow S6 pupil Erin Wardrope received the runner up prize for her year and Callum Clark won the top prize for S4, with Erin Wardrope as runner up.
Auchmuty High School
At Auchmuty High School the S6 winner was Callan Black, with Ciara McCulloch as runner up, and the S4 winner was Craig McGowan, with Maria Dastgir as runner up.
Ciara, who has just finished S6, was given the runner up prize in her school after excelling in her STEM subjects.
The 18-year-old, from Pitteuchar, in Glenrothes, studied Advanced Higher maths and biology this year, and a crash Higher in chemistry.
She said: “I’m delighted. I’ve worked hard throughout the year and you only find out the week before you get it so it makes it all feel worthwhile.
“I’ve got other awards in school before but this one is more difficult to get because you’re against hundreds of people and only two get it.”
As well as the award, Ciara received £350 for her runner up prize, which she plans to spend on textbooks for university.
She will study bio medical science at the University of Edinburgh from September.
Ciara said: “Bio medical engineers are the people who do the machinery in medicine, they make things like the MRI scanning machines.
“They’ve been doing a lot of studies into growing limbs at the moment – ears – that’s what I’m interested in.
“I’d like to do research related to that and help develop medicine.”
Ciara will also take up a student summer job at Semefab, where she will experience various roles within the company.
Glenwood High School
Winner of the S6 prize at Glenwood High School was gifted to Georrel Keith and Daniel Mills won the S4 award.
Runners up for each years are still to be decided by the school.
A great achievement
The awards were introduced by Semefab in honour of the firm’s late director, Dr John Bruce, himself a lover of STEM subjects.
As well as marking his memory, the awards aim to promote STEM subjects and related careers, and spark an interest in those in youngsters.
George Smith, the company’s production manager, said: “It’s a big thing for the company.
“The staff love seeing the awards go out to the students and Alison, John’s wife, enjoys seeing the pictures of them with their awards.
“It’s a great way to remember John and to promote STEM subjects – some of our staff are STEM ambassadors and involved in promoting science, not just Semefab, so it’s something that’s important to us as a company.”
The firm also welcomes school tours into their factory and carries out school visits, in a bid to promote STEM subjects, and engineering and manufacturing trades.