A team of twelve pupils from Keith Grammar School have won a national engineering competition and, with the help of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), are now preparing to represent Scotland in the international final in California this month. 

The pupils set up a company, ‘impROVise’, for their entry to a nationwide school challenge, organised by MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) to construct a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which are used underwater in the oil and gas, defence, oceanology and marine renewables industries.

Keith Grammar School came out on top against seven other schools in Scotland. A panel of industry experts scored the teams on how well they completed the missions, as well as taking into consideration the technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations the pupils were required to produce.

Winning the competition provided enough funding for six pupils to attend the international finals in Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California. To enable all twelve members of the team to travel to the west coast of America , they needed to raise £8,500 in eight weeks. The team raised over half of this through different initiatives in Keith and SSEN donated the remaining £4,000 to give the team additional time to focus on refining their ROV, while also studying for their national school exams.

Lesley Dow, Community Liaison Manager at SSEN, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to help Keith Grammar School during this STEM initiative and really enjoyed the presentation and live demonstration from team impROVise.

"The finals require the team to demonstrate that they have collaborated with large organisations and that they have built their corporate profile. We are therefore working closely with them to share working examples of where we use ROVs in our projects, most recently the subsea cable between Caithness and Moray.

"The pupils have done an amazing amount of fundraising and our donation will now enable them to prioritise their preparations for the finals and of course their exams."

Steven Tubbs, Principal Teacher of Design and Technology at Keith Grammar School, said: "We couldn’t be where we are today without the help that SSEN has given us. The team is incredibly grateful for their support. The pupils have all worked really hard to get into the finals and we’re delighted that the whole team can now go to the finals in America."

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