A GROUP of 50 Gourock school pupils are ship-shape after a visit from senior CalMac staff.

The ferry operator’s crew resources manager Jane Dolan, marine manager and ship’s master Captain Lachie Wotherspoon and chief engineer Daniel Barton called in to St Ninian’s Primary to bring their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning to life.

The fun lesson was packed with information about Gourock-based CalMac’s network and boats, as well as talks and practical demonstrations about engineering and navigation.

It coincided with the 281st birthday of Greenock’s world famous engineer James Watt.

Captain Wotherspoon said: “The children were great fun to work with.

“They were thoroughly engaged throughout and a pleasure to chat to.”

The staff met with P7 pupils and St Ninian’s head teacher Lesley McCabe says it is important to build bridges with local companies.

Mrs McCabe said: “This valuable STEM experience with CalMac has helped to achieve connectivity and co-operation between education and the world of work.”

The children also gained more of an understanding about the engineering and science applied at sea, as well as information about the jobs of their special guests and what inspired them to pursue their various careers.

They were then given the opportunity to try on life jackets and the ever-popular captain’s hat.

Chief engineer Daniel said: “The experiments we carried out all help with elements of the STEM curriculum.

“I was so pleased to see how interested they were - I took a steam engine model with me and ran it for them.

“James Watt came from this area, so it seemed appropriate.”