Hamilton councillor congratulates St John Ogilvie pupils on engineering awards

HAMILTON West and Earnock's Councillor Mark McGeever congratulated pupils from St John Ogilvie High School after the bright youngsters won two awards for an innovative science and engineering project.

The team designed a high-tech version of their school blazer, which included electrically-heated lining, a microchip with medical alert information, and a charger for mobile phones.

It even offered pupils the ability to buy meals from the canteen using contactless payment.

Over 12 weeks Emma Kate Gallagher, Hanna Forde, Francesca Hamilton, Thomas Geddes and Matthew Plant devised and designed the blazer to meet the needs of their fellow pupils.

They presented a prototype at Go4Set competition in the County Buildings and drew widespread praise for their efforts.

Competing against schools from across South Lanarkshire, they received the Innovation Award from judges. Recognition also came from the other teams as their fellow competitors voted to give them the Pupils’ Choice Award.

The ward's Scottish Conservative councillor attended the event to meet the pupils and show his support for their efforts. 

Cllr McGeever said: “It was great to meet the team and see how their blazer design would work.

“They came up with the concept to help with common problems like feeling cold during the winter months and their phones running out of power, but they also wanted to include features that could improve safety, and they clearly produced something that would be very useful.

“It was a tremendous effort and they and their teacher Lynsey fully deserve this recognition.”

He added: “I hope this experience sparks a passion for careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, because these fields now contribute to virtually every aspect of daily life.

“If young people in Hamilton and across South Lanarkshire can look at everyday problems and think how simple technology would provide solutions, then they will have skills and abilities employers crave.”

St John Ogilvie chemistry teacher Lynsey McClintick said: “This is an outstanding achievement and the team should be really proud to have won two awards.

“The point of the project was to give the pupils an idea about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as a better understanding of the excellent opportunities that are out there for them.

“They led this project themselves and worked together to develop innovative solutions to issues they encounter. It has certainly improved their confidence and I’m delighted to see their hard work has been recognised.”