Tag Archives: STEM

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


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.

Tim Peake Primary Project

The Royal Observatory Edinburgh is currently recruiting Scottish primary schools to take part in the second year of the Tim Peake Primary Project. The project is free to schools and provides £500 worth of resources and support to help schools use space as an inspiring context for teaching and learning across the curriculum. Participating schools receive:

* a space resource box containing a range of highly-rated cross-curricular classroom resources
* on-line CPD sessions delivered by Space Ambassadors
* a classroom visit by your Space Ambassador, or a visit for your class to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh

The project was a great success in its first year, with over 50 schools taking part across Scotland and teachers reporting great outcomes for both their students and themselves. Any schools interested in taking part this year or learning more about the project should contact Olivia Johnson at the Royal Observatory on  olivia.johnson@stfc.ac.uk  by 18 November.

My World of Work – exciting information

My World of Work Live! from Skills Development Scotland, is a set of interactive exhibits and activities designed to inspire young people’s interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Every free, fun My World of Work Live! experience is about hands-on learning – building, making, designing – and makes the best use of the latest technology to engage and inspire.

My World of Work Live! brings STEM out of the classroom and into real life and helps young people, parents, carers and teachers understand the breadth of opportunity STEM careers offer and the variety of pathways into STEM industries.

My World of Work Live! is designed for young people aged between 10 and 15 and for teachers and parents who are key influencers for this age group; they allow young people access to My World of Work Live! and influence the decisions they make on subjects and careers.

Bringing a real-life connection to Curriculum for Excellence, My World of Work Live! has accompanying learning resources to help teachers get the most out of a visit and to continue learning back in the classroom.  All activities are aligned to the Career Management Skills framework and support the realisation of Self, Strength, Horizons and Networks and support delivery of the Skills Investment Plans.

All of those working on My World of Work Live! have real life experience of industry, with a passion for education and learning.

My World of Work Live! is in locations where young people experience the world of science, technology engineering and maths, e.g. museums, science centres and other venues.

Locations for 16/17 are:

  • Glasgow Science Centre
  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • Digital Studio and Careers Lab, Inverness
  • Mareel Arts Centre, Lerwick
  • Schools can book onto our 90 minute Inspiring Activities – all developed in partnership with industry to provide fun job-related challenges designed to inspire young people’s interest in STEM careers. Activities on offer vary across venue and are designed for 10-15 year olds.   Please contact individual venues for availability and booking.
  • Hour of Code Video game development
  • DIY Gamer Games programming
  • Cracking Cryptography Cyber Security
  • Robot Sidekicks  Robotics engineering
  • Sonic Electronics Electronic engineering
  • Little Bits  Electronic engineering
  • Space Junk Space engineering
  • Mindstorms Renewables Engineering in the renewable energy industry
  • Mindstorms Driving Test Computing and programming
  • Land Yacht Challenge Design and automotive
  • Laser Cutting – CAD and industrial design
  • CreativITy Programming and film-making
  • My World of Work Time Machine Music technology
  • Digital Doctor  Careers in the health sector
  • DNA Extraction – Bioscience
  • Roboplast – Environmental science and recycling
  • Who Needs Science? All STEMInteractive Exhibits are designed to be self-serve with little to no instruction needed in how to use them.  They are accessible to all age groups (apart from Virtual Reality, restricted to over 13’s). Exhibits vary across venue.
  • Virtual Reality Careers in Construction Narrated career learning scenarios are linked to the ‘My World of Work’ website content with three mini games highlighting different roles within the industry. Coming soon – a downloadable version of the game on the google play store.
  • Minecraft Careers World Minecraft is a computer game that gives players a unique and completely interactive, digital world in which to play and learn. Designed to facilitate careers learning, the Minecraft Careers World is complete with a city of industry, commerce and residential areas, agriculture, energy, food production and more.  There are a multitude of learning opportunities and ways to interact and users can spend minutes, hours or even days exploring, completing challenges and building their knowledge of STEM careers.
  • Magic Mirror Visualise yourself as a scientist or engineer by ‘trying on’ uniforms in our virtual dressing room.
  • Infowall A 70 inch touch screen that uses a fluid, gesture based application to give users the opportunity to explore careers information. The user can explore each sector through job descriptions including salary information, key facts and videos of industry professionals talking about their careers.
  • Self-Led Careers Trails Visitors are guided around the new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland to find out about careers in local STEM industries.
  • What makes me tick A game designed to challenge and entertain users as they explore their personality in relation to careers. The game is accessed via iPads and is similar in content to aptitude tests and ‘brain training’ games. For more information on how to book FREE activities for your school or to find our more, please contact:Glasgow Science Centresusan.meikleham@glasgowsciencecentre.orgMareel and Shetland emma.chittick@sds.co.uk
  • Inverness kirsty.wright@sds.co.uk
  • National Museumseilidh.christie@sds.co.uk or chris.trotter@sds.co.uk

TWIG player is now available

TwigPlayer is here, and the Learning through Technology team have logged a call to have the software installed onto teachers computers, however if you use Twig or Tigtag at home you could download the software (link is below) and keep videos to watch offline at home..no more buffering!

Twig World has just released the TwigPlayer, an application uniquely designed for Scottish users of the science, maths and geography resources available from the Twig On Glow, Tigtag and Tigtag Junior websites.

The player allows users to download and play films offline without being connected to the internet.

Everyone can now log into the Twig website of their choice using their Glow credentials, select and download films onto the desktop of the computer they are using and then play them back directly. The films will remain available locally as long as the computer has connected to the internet (via Wi-Fi or ethernet) at least once within 30 days. If a computer has not connected to the internet for over 30 days (e.g. over the school summer holidays), the films will disappear and will need to be downloaded again from the relevant website.

To download films users must first install the TwigPlayer software application for Windows machines.  This is a very simple and quick process, but it requires admin access for the machine that is being used. It may therefore be preferable for the school IT Coordinator or the local authority IT department to install the software via the IT network. Users at home can of course install the software onto as many of their own devices as desired.

Please find below a link to the webpage containing further information about the TwigPlayer (Windows only).  The same information appears on the Tigtag and Tigtag Junior sites for users who log in with Glow credentials.


Technologies: Assessing progress and achievement in significant aspects of learning

Education Scotland have published a revised version of the progression framework  (Click here to access the document)

This document is incomplete but Education Scotland hope to add the progressions for the computing science SALs before the summer holidays. They apologise for the delay in this publication.




STEM Careers

Real STEM Careers : Engineering Presentation Series

Interested  in a career in engineering? Would you like to know more about what it involves? Why not join a live interactive Atkins Engineering Consultancy STEM Ambassador Career Presentation with Niall Hamilton.

Niall is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer currently working for Atkins Consultancy in Glasgow. He will give a brief talk on his route into an engineering and his experiences gained working in Aerospace and Oil and Gas sectors. He will also highlight some the challenges young engineers will have to tackle in the future.

Join us live in Glow TV on Wednesday 27th January at 11am. Sign up Real STEM Careers : Engineering Presentation Series

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

STEM grants from the Royal Institution


The Royal Institution STEM E&E Grant Scheme offers UK-registered state schools a grant of up to £500 to experience a STEM activity taken from the STEM Directories. The scheme is designed to help integrate STEM Enrichment and Enhancement activities into school practice and to support teachers’ professional development.

Please click on this link for further information , including how to apply for the grant.

Hour of Code 7th -13th December FREE RESOURCES

hour-of-code-logoThe Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organise an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 30 languages. No experience needed.


Here are a few comments about coding and computer science from well known persons

Will I am ( in 2013)

Musician/The Black Eyed Peas and Entrepreneur

“Here we are, 2013, we ALL depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code. It’s important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.“

Mark Zuckerberg

Founder, Facebook

“Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren’t enough people who are trained and have these skills today.“


How can you get involved

Go to code.org and stat the tutorials. It is as easy as that! You could work through tutorial together as a , or learners could log on at home and complete  tutorials. Anyone can do this from primary 1 to S6.

Hour of Code this year is  December 7-13, why not go to the site  (scroll down for registration form ) register your class or school and get coding!