Tag Archives: STEM

Making Scotland a STEM Nation

STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland has now been published

A STEM (Sciences Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) Education and Training Strategy was launched in the Scottish Parliament last week by Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.  The strategy, together with a STEM Evidence Base Report, is now available to download from: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/10/1386/downloads

The strategy sets out the vision for STEM Education and Training for the next five years around the themes of Excellence, Equity, Inspiration and Connection. The ambitious actions for early learning and childcare, schools, colleges, universities and community learning and development (CLD) sectors have been developed through an extensive process of engagement and consultation.

Key commitments within the strategy include:

  • Improving the supply of high-quality STEM graduates into teaching
  • Recruiting a new network of STEM specialist advisors to support practitioners and raise STEM attainment
  • Enhancing opportunities for children in early learning and childcare (ELC) to learn about STEM and their natural environment through outdoor play
  • Delivering an enhanced programme of career-long professional learning for practitioners and technicians to improve STEM learning and teaching
  • Launching a new on-line STEM resource and directory for practitioners
  • Embedding best practice from the successful Improving Gender Balance project to improve participation by under-represented groups in STEM learning, courses and training, particularly for women and girls
  • Establishing a new Young STEM leaders programme to grow and spread inspiration and enthusiasm for STEM, starting in the early and primary years of education
  • Launching STEM Awards for ELC settings, schools and CLD settings
  • Growing successful STEM partnerships between schools and employers through the Developing the Young Workforce Programme
  • Helping science centres and festivals to attract under-served people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Creating a STEM hub network to strengthen regional-level collaboration between partners, including universities, science centres and employers.

A central focus on the strategy is to enable everyone to develop STEM skills for learning, for life and for work. Also included are commitments to expand Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship Programmes to enable many to pursue jobs and careers in STEM through these pathways. This strong focus on skills and careers will further enhance national efforts to Develop the Young Workforce (DYW) and embed employment and career management skills in the curriculum through the Career Education Standard.

Education Scotland would like to take this opportunity to thank the many practitioners, authority staff and partners who helped to shape this strategy by participating in on-line surveys or by taking part in consultation and engagement events. We are very much looking forward to working with key partners to realise the bold ambitions within the strategy and to improving outcomes for learners, of all ages, across Scotland through STEM.

We would be grateful for any help you can give in disseminating the strategy to your colleagues and networks. Please remember too to share your ideas, practice and approaches in relation to STEM through Twitter @EdscotSciences #ScotSTEM and through our national STEM Yammer Group: http://glo.li/2A7gCgr.

STEM Survey

You may be aware that Government Ministers launched a consultation at the end of 2016 on a National STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland. The many responses received clearly articulated the importance of having a coherent strategy for career-long professional learning for practitioners in STEM subjects (Sciences, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics).

Education Scotland and Scottish Government are currently undertaking further engagement with key stakeholders to help shape the actions for career-long professional learning to appear in the final strategy to be published later this year.

We’re very keen that these considerations are guided by the views and experiences of practitioners across the country. We’d like to gather practitioners’ views about their professional learning needs and the most effective way for them to access professional learning.

I’d be grateful if you could  complete the following online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7YF22GR

We’re keen for this to be completed by practitioners at all levels in early learning and childcare, additional support needs, primary and secondary school settings.

The survey should only take a few minutes to complete but will be of enormous value helping us to support practitioners more effectively and to improve outcomes for learners in relation to STEM.

The survey will remain open until Thursday 22nd June.

Computing Science…..without a computer!

This site has a great collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.

The activities introduce students to Computational Thinking through concepts such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details of having to use computers. Importantly, no programming is required to engage with these ideas!

CS Unplugged is suitable for people of all ages, from primary school to senior phase learners. Unplugged has been used around the world for over twenty years, in classrooms, science centres, homes, and even for holiday events in a park!

The material is available free of charge, and is shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence, which makes it easy to copy, adapt and share it.

BBC Live Lesson – Doctor Who and the micro:bit

Remember to join us LIVE and face one of The Doctor’s greatest foes in our latest Live Lesson all about the BBC micro:bit, hosted by presenter and comedian Iain Stirling and Radio 1’s gaming expert Julia Hardy.

Aimed at 11-13 year olds, the lesson is devised around curriculum areas that cover computational thinking skills and features expert guests from Google, games company Ubisoft and the Department of Computer Games at the University of Teesside.

When: Tuesday, 28th March 2017

Time: 11am (approx. 50 mins)

Where: bbc.co.uk/livelessons (visit the website on the day to access the live stream)

Computational Thinking and Coding Twilights

dashThe fantastic double act of Dash and Dot have now arrived . Those schools that have attended the CS twilights over the last few weeks keep a look out for them arriving in the school mail.

We will continue to issue a Dash and Dot and a Beebot mat to each school that can attend CS twilights now and in term 4

Using School iPads Dash and Dot can be programmed via a number of free apps including Tickle, Wonder Workshop and Tynker. These robots are perfectly at home in Nursery / Early Years but because of the innovative design can be equally at home and challenging  for older students to program.

If you haven’t already done so, then please check Aberdeenshire Events and book onto a CS Twilight in your Cluster

 

Free Micro:bits, but you need to move quickly!

img_2725Another chance to get your hands on micro:bits!

Over the summer we gave away free BBC micro:bits to active Code Clubs across the UK. We’re really pleased that we are now able to run another micro:bit giveaway to clubs that may have missed out the first time!

The micro:bit, measuring just 4cm by 5cm, is a micro controller which children can use to code and create anything they set their minds to. It’s intended as a starter device to give children a basic introduction to physical computing and tinkering.

In order to qualify for micro:bits, you’ll need to make sure your club is registered and active on our website by Wednesday 14 December. If you applied for micro:bits over the summer, unfortunately you won’t be able to apply again.

In the new year, each eligible Code Club will be able to apply for micro:bits. Applications will open at midday on 11th January, and close on 1st February at midday, so stay tuned for more information then.

As before, clubs will need to pay £5 for postage, and shipping will be fulfilled by our lovely friends at Pimoroni after the applications close.

In the mean time, why not check out Code Club’s micro:bit projects at jumpto.cc/microbit. You can also find out more general information about using the micro:bit here.

Bloodhound Scotland : STEM Opportunity

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As part of the College/Secondary School STEM hubs ESP(Energy Skills Partnerhship) have been working with Education Scotland, SSERC, Bloodhound, the Army and Microsoft to launch Bloodhound Scotland’s Model Rocket car competition 2016-17 ‘Race for the Line’.

The Model Rocket Car Competition is open to secondary school students (11–16yr olds) and you can find your nearest college Bloodhound Scotland hub here https://www.dendrite.me/content/view/contentid/57349a24851dc6c9410ba839

92 Secondary schools got involved last year and we would like to see even more schools, teachers and young people engage with their local college this year.