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The department’s philosophy revolves around engineering and technology in action. Real world issues and solutions.
Engineering and technology may not be the easiest areas of study, but they are subjects that continue to be in demand, and because they are challenging, those studying them stand out from the crowd. An engineering-based education also allows students exposure to various technical subjects and skill sets which can be used in a number of different fields from agriculture to zoology. At the moment it is estimated that there will be a shortage of approximately 40,000 engineers by 2050. For example, nuclear power is one such sector where engineering roles look set to be plentiful. High performance engineering is also another area growing rapidly in the UK.
In the courses offered by the Technology Department, pupils will be taught a number of important skills including mathematics skills which are vital to engineering, organisational skills, time management, model building, communication, IT skills and problem solving. The pupils will learn about real world issues such as climate change, emerging technologies, power generation and distribution, electronics and communication, systems, renewable energy and civil engineering.
Forms 1 and 2 will complete the Technology course. This course allows the pupils to learn more about technology in the real world, with skills taught using the latest technology available. The pupils learn about energy, technological devices, electronic simulation, mechanisms, new technology and the engineers who have shaped engineering, systems, digital and analogue electronics, drive systems and programming. The pupils will also have access to the most up-to-date and best machines available to schools including a CubePro Duo 3D printer, Boxford A3HSRmi 3D router and a Trotec Speedy 100 laser cutter.
Pupils in Form 3 and 4 are offered the National 5 Engineering Science course where they learn more about energy, engineering projects such as the Queensferry Crossing, engineering and the effects on people and the environment, Ohms Law, transistors, power, analogue electronics, digital electronics, moments, pneumatics, drive systems and gears and the mathematics behind engineering. The course also allows for a practical project to showcase the skills the pupils have learned. The pupils will also have an opportunity to visit a number of sector-leading companies.
Forms 5 and 6 are offered the Advanced Higher and Higher Engineering Science courses where they begin to look in depth at operational amplifiers, transistors, power, analogue electronics, digital electronics, moments, pneumatics, drive systems and gears and the mathematics behind engineering. The courses also allow for a more detailed practical project to showcase the skills the pupils have learned. During this project the pupils must demonstrate a clear understanding of digital and analogue electronics and how to control complex mechanisms and structures.
Forms 5 and 6 can also opt to complete the Advanced Higher and Higher Graphic Communication courses where they will be taught skills in computer aided design (CAD), desktop publishing (DTP), design using different media, production of promotional material and technical drawing. This is an excellent course for those pupils who are interested in design, architecture, engineering or graphic design.
The pupils have great opportunities to visit the Queensferry Crossing and companies such as TechnipFMC, Babcock Engineering and Michelin. They also have numerous other opportunities to meet engineers from many areas including aeronautics, electrical, mechanical, marine, chemical and design engineers. In 2016, a joint Technology, Computing, Drama and Arts trip saw High School pupils visit San Francisco and Los Angeles to see engineering in action.
Exam results over the past three years have been exceptional. The department has produced pupils who have achieved the highest marks in Scotland for Engineering Science with an average pass rate of 71% at grade A. Over the past three years the pass rate at A for Advanced Higher Graphic Communication and Advanced Engineering Science has been 100%.
The pupils also have access to an extra-curricular club in which they can pursue electronics projects of their choice.
The current staff are qualified engineers who have a wealth of industrial and practical experience to impart to the pupils. This is invaluable and gives the pupils access to a great deal of knowledge, experience and above all enjoyment.