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‘Pump It Up’ Competition Promotes West Lothian Schools Innovation

Ross Kelly


Judges have been “blown away” by the level of exceptional creativity among this year’s finalists. 


Young people from schools across West Lothian will have a chance at creating novel ways to use a heat pump in the annual ‘Pump It Up‘ School Challenge.

The programme will see the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce once again join forces with Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning to encourage and promote innovation among school kids in the region. The competition also aims to foster closer ties between industry and schools, with the aim of supporting skills development among schoolchildren.

Over the past few weeks, engineers from Mitsubishi have visited all of West Lothian’s 11 secondary schools to choose this year’s entries. Each school will be granted a place for one team to take part in the competition.

The pioneering project forms part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020.

Selected teams will now head to the grand finale, which will be held at Howden Park in Livingston on the 4th of June. Guests present at the event will include Yoshiro Sumia, the president of Mitsubishi Livingston; Nozomu Takaoka, Consul General for Japan in Edinburgh; and Fiona Hyslop, MSP for Linlithgow.


Elaine Cook, Deputy CEO of West Lothian Council, and West Lothian Provost Tom Kerr will also be present at the event – along with representatives from local schools and businesses.

Linda Scott, Chief Executive of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, said both Mitsubishi and the Chamber have been “blown away” by the level of exceptional creativity among this year’s finalists.

“Their heat pump ideas are all different but devised in such a way that every concept promotes a better understanding of science and technology in ‘green’ energy, as well as integrating product development and design into their presentation strategies,” she said.

“Projects like the ‘Pump It Up Challenge’ help set our sights on future business innovation skills and fresh creativity being injected into the future of Scotland’s industries to help boost our economy,” Scott added. “Regionally, school engagement from businesses helps us to ensure the next generation of workers are skilled and informed about future career choices.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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