A MAJOR national challenge to encourage children into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers has been launched at Bridge of Weir Primary.

‘Don’t Waste a Drop’ is a joint effort by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry’s (SCDI) Young Engineers and Science Clubs programme and leading national water retailer Wave.

The challenge will see 200 kits distributed to primary and secondary schools across Scotland, with teams being asked to design and build a pump and pipeline that can transfer water without wasting a drop.

Teams will be invited to showcase their designs and put them to the test during SCDI’s regional celebration of STEM events, with cash prizes awarded to winning entrants to invest in STEM resources.

Launching the event, Renfrewshire North and West MSP Derek Mackay said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for children to be creative and come up with innovative ways of conserving water, which is important for our economy, environment, health and wellbeing.

“These are exactly the types of projects that can encourage young people to take an interest in STEM subjects like science and engineering and that can help us ensure our future workforce is well-equipped and supported to make the most of the fast-paced technological changes around us.”

Rebecca MacLennan, director of the Young Engineers and Science Clubs programme, added: “Water leakage is an important issue for households, businesses and the environment and the theme of water conservation provides a topical context for pupils to develop an interest in science and engineering.

“Throughout the challenge, they’ll develop valuable skills for learning, life and work while also gaining a fantastic insight into the diverse range of career opportunities within Wave and the sector.”