PUPILS from Cumnock and Auchinleck Academies attended an event for young STEM specialists at Dumfries House.

A special guest joined the students, when the Duke of Rothesay took time to see what was going on as well as chatting to the young people.

Among the fascinating things they learned about was a support system for future astronauts on Mars as well as innovative medical therapies ­_ on earth.

They were part of a group of 36, invited from six schools across Ayrshire, who have a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Several workshops and engineering challenges were organised, including a race against the clock robotics test and how to control rising global temperature using specialised equipment.

Amanda McPheator, deputy head teacher at Auchinleck Academy, said: “The STEM workshops in which our pupils participated were very inspiring and it was great to see real-life engineering on show.

“It really hit home to our young people that engineering is at the heart of everything, and it gave them real food for thought.

“The workshops made our young people think about their career choices and the subjects they take in school.

“Pupils are now aware of the various routes into engineering and it has given them a renewed motivation for the subjects they are studying here at Auchinleck Academy.”

Email EducationAdmin@dumfries-house.org.uk to arrange a school visit to Dumfries House.