A team of talented Buchan secondary school engineers are gearing up for an international showdown in America’s Thunder Bay.
The Mintlaw Academy pupils triumphed over their regional rivals at the Scottish final of the annual internation ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) design challenge last week - their second victory in as many years.
Now the six-man team will travel to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan this summer.
The water in the bay is known as ‘Shipwreck Alley’ due to its treacherous and this year’s competition is focused on how ROVs can be used to study shipwrecks and conserve maritime heritage sites.
Technology teacher Ally Hynd, who is coordinating the Mintlaw team, told the Buchanie: “Everybody here is over the moon.
“In a way the guys missed out on the recognition they’re getting from everyone here at the school when they won the competition last year because it was during the holidays so this is great.
“They’ve been working on their ROV every single day during lunch time as well as afterschool and on Saturdays testing it in the pool.
“They deserve this because they’re really dedicated.”
The Scottish final was held at Robert Gordon University’s Aberdeen campus and saw 12 secondary school teams from across the country come together to compete.
Engineering lecturer Graeme Dunbar, who leads RGU’s involvement in the event, said: “The ROV schools competition is always a lot of fun and it has been great to see its popularity continue to grow year on year since we first started running it in 2008.
“One of the competition’s main aims is to get pupils interested in engineering and help them to apply their knowledge of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in a practical environment.”
The team from Mintlaw Academy won the competition for the second year in a row and will travel alongside RGU’s successful student team to the international final in June where they will compete against the winners of more than 20 other regional competitions around the world.
This latest triumph is another feather in the cap of a team of remarkable young people who can already lay claim to the 2013 Scottish title, a Pride of Buchan award and the knowledge that they are the 14th best team in the world.
Liam Forbes, a member of the team, reflected on last year’s trip to Seattle for the final: “The whole team thoroughly enjoyed the trip to America for the international competition, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was really interesting to hear the stories of the teams and engineers from the other countries.
He added: “Turns out it’s actually a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Mintlaw team are eager to bring new sponsors on board for their project. Visit: www.mintlawtech.co.uk..