A budding engineer from Buchlyvie Primary won a national design competition by using pedal power to create a food production machine.
Buchlyvie pupil

David Adam, Primary 6/7, used a bike chassis to power a silage-mixing machine as part of his winning design for the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) competition.

The competition was a collaboration with the Royal Highland Education Trust and Peachy Keen, a Fife-based company that specialises in making human-powered energy-generating machinery. 

David built a working model of his machine using K-NEX and recycled plastic materials. As a prize, David earned his class tickets to the Royal Highland Show and got to see a full-scale working prototype of his machine, built by Peachy Keen, at the Royal Highland Education Trust's stand.

It featured two bikes that generated enough electricity to power a silage mixer that could feed cows. It also featured a slurry removal machine to show how the whole system could be sustainable.

David said: "Cows need different vitamins and different feeds at different times of the year, so you have to mix these in with the silage. My machine mixes it all up in a chamber."

Convenor of the Children and Young People Committee Susan McGill said: “It is a real thrill to see the ingenuity that David brought to his competition entries. As the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers our pupils are able look at things from a fresh perspective.

“I hope that by participating and succeeding in this competition it will inspire, not only David, but pupils throughout Stirling to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world problems and become the future scientists and engineers the world needs to meet our energy demands.

Vice Convenor Margaret Brisley said: “This competition was a great way to encourage young people to engage with STEM and David showed great creativity and enthusiasm to come up with a fantastic idea.

“We want to see more young people engaging with science-related career paths. By showing pupils how engineers make a difference to the world through solutions to real-world problems, we hope it will encourage more of them to pursue STEM studies now and in the future.”

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