Case Studies

Currie High School Take on the Water Supply Challenge

Currie High School Take on the Water Supply Challenge

Name of School/Project

Water Supply Challenge with Scottish Water

What is your role?

Acting Depute Head Teacher (Creativity & Employability)

Key Facts

As part of Currie Community High School’s long-running World of Work Week, the school invited Scottish Water to get involved in delivering a session to their S3 students.

Students had to design, plan, build and test a water network as part of the Water Supply Challenge. Teams were provided with a kit which included a map and the materials they’d require - such as pipes, connectors and valves - to build their network and supply their customers; all against a tight time limit.

It is designed to test skills such as time management, budgeting and team work in order to complete the challenge successfully.

The Scottish Water team facilitated the session, giving advice and revealed how they faced similar challenges in their own roles, supplying more than 2.9 million households and businesses.

How did the project develop?

Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer – an ex-student of Currie Community High School – had the opportunity to participate in the school’s World of Work Week to share his knowledge of how the country’s water network operates.

Peter Farrer worked with S3 students to highlight the work that goes into creating, testing, building and maintaining a drinking water network fit for a city and beyond.

First delivered in 2019, the Water Supply Challenge was halted in subsequent years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and so due to the possibility of in-person sessions, the school was keen to further develop the partnership with Scottish Water.

“We are delighted to partner with Scottish Water as part of the Developing the Young Workforce initiative. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge to create the water supply for a town. The students enjoyed working in a team and using a range of skills to be solution-focused, to a brief. Scottish Water have engaged a range of staff that have been able to share their experiences to enhance the experience.” John Schmidt 

What did pupils gain from taking part? How effective was the project?

The pupils benefited from hearing how their current situation could lead into a career similar to that of Peter’s, and how his interest in becoming a Civil Engineer was sparked whilst at school.

“It was great to come back to my old school and see what could be a potential new generation of engineers engaged with such a hands-on activity. It brought back a lot of good memories.

I’m really proud of how Scottish Water is helping promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) events for young people who are maybe just starting to think about their future careers. I know how much my teachers at this very school shaped my thinking and helped start my journey into the water sector.

“This specific challenge is a great way for the youngsters to develop skills they will need later in their careers and they all thoroughly enjoyed taking part, with many surprised just how complex the work is. It was a great way to provide an insight into some of the challenges Scottish Water faces to provide our vital service to our customers
”. Peter Farrer

It was great learning some new problem-solving skills and I got to flex my brain muscles. I also enjoyed learning how Scottish Water works and how we get water.” Student

Is the project sustainable?

Yes it is sustainable. We also see this potentially being offered to a wider group of students, including potentially linked to our Meaningful May period linked to final exams.

Did you incur any costs?

No financial costs incurred,

Did you get other organisations/partners involved?

Scottish Water

Do you have any advice for practitioners thinking about organising something similar?

Definitely take advantage of this great resource, as it gives students the opportunity to explore problem-solving, managing a budget, while working in a team and communicating to a brief.


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