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Arnold Clark apprentices win Glasgow Apprenticeship Challenge

Arnold Clark Apprentice Louis Kane and Darren McCaig with Dawn Ritchie and instructor Patrick Rooney

Two Arnold Clark apprentices have won the Glasgow Apprenticeship Challenge with innovative ways to help bring STEM subjects to life at Abercorn Secondary in Cowcaddens. 

Garage Equipment apprentices Louis Kane and Darren McCaig have been working on a number of interactive STEM learning tools, which they handed over to the pupils and staff at Abercorn Secondary on November 28, at a special assembly.

The showpiece was a modified bicycle connected to a voltmeter, which shows how much electricity is being generated when pedalled.

Just to add a little extra wonder, the bicycle also talks when someone is pedalling.

On top of that, it’s been coated with some thermochromic paint which changes colour from black to yellow with the help of a hairdryer.

Arnold Clark’s school and employer liaison, Dawn Ritchie, said: “The Glasgow Apprenticeship Challenge has been an excellent opportunity for our apprentices to use the engineering skills they have gained throughout their apprenticeship, as well as additional interpersonal skills that they may otherwise not have had the opportunity to learn had they not participated in the challenge.

“The project has also helped them give back to the community by providing Abercorn Secondary with an ongoing learning platform which will help pupils learn about STEM-focused subjects in a fun and engaging way.”

Kane and McCaig also developed a STEM wallboard which showcases Scottish inventors and their work, and features a number of related puzzles. If the pupils can answer all of the questions, they get a code which unlocks a website full of puzzles and games.

“It was amazing finding out how big Arnold Clark actually is and how many separate departments we have,” said Kane.

“I enjoyed using the skills I have gained from my apprenticeship and meeting new people across various departments in the business.”

In addition, the apprentices also donated a number of engineering-based toys and games, allowing pupils of all ages and abilities to get involved.

Chamber of Commerce’s senior director, Alison McRae, said: “A huge congratulations to the apprentices from Arnold Clark, who demonstrated a great deal of skill and consideration for their local community with their education-based project, which combines many practical, visual and web elements to enhance Abercorn Secondary School students’ understanding of STEM, and promote its importance as a subject.

“Their hard work is a fantastic example of how apprenticeships can enrich Glasgow’s diverse workforce, and are beneficial to employers, communities and young people alike.”

The apprentices attended the Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow Futures event at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre where it was announced they had taken first place in the challenge.

The Glasgow Apprenticeship Challenge is coordinated by Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow and hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. 

Pictured: (L) Apprentice Louis Kane and Darren McCaig with Dawn Ritchie and instructor Patrick Rooney

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