Category Archives: Learning in Context

Port Ellen Primary at the Celebration of Science and Engineering

On 9th June six of us from Port Ellen Primary School; Scott, Ewan, Jason, Emily, Ellen and Eilidh, went to Glasgow Science Centre for the Celebration of Science and Engineering. On the journey there we got to travel on the new MV Finlaggen ferry and had a tour round the bridge to see all the shiny gadgets and gizmos. The next day we got up early and set up our presentation at the Glasgow Science Centre along with 53 other primary and high schools from around Scotland. We went to see a science show, where they made things turn invisible, and got to play with the amazing science exhibits, finding out loads of information in a very fun way.
Next we had to present our science project to 4 judges from science industries around Scotland. Our teacher was told “Bye, Bye!” by the judges as she wasn’t allowed to see what we were doing. Our presentation was Mission SOS! Save our seas, and talked about biodiversity, the marine tank we set up in class, oil spills, beach cleans and tidal turbines. We had made a tidal turbine and wired our own electronic quiz on rock pool biodiversity. I think the judges really liked the puppet we made to help present, called Jim the Scientist. We also had videos of the lobster and crab we had in our tank.
Afterwards we had to compete in 5 STEM challenges put on by companies around Scotland. This included a Shell oil change task, a Lloyds Register ship’s ballast test, working with lasers and operating a mini ROV. The challenges were fun and we did quite well.
Finally we went to the IMAX for the presentation of awards to schools. Heather (the Weather) Reid was presenting the awards, along with Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy. There were nine awards altogether, and we hadn’t entered most of them. Then she announced “And the award for the best presentation of a showcase, sponsored by BT, goes to Port Ellen Primary School.” We were extremely amazed, and our faces showed it! We had to go down and get a cheque for £250 and had our picture taken. At last we got home, having enjoyed the best trip ever!

The Global Water experiment

For the International Year of Chemistry in 2011, the Scottish Local Sections of the Royal Society of Chemistry are co-ordinating Scotland-wide participation in the International Year of Chemistry Global Water Experiment.

The Global Water Experiment consists of 4 simple hands-on activities for you to carry out on a sample of rain-water:

•Measuring acidity •Measuring salinity (salt content) •Purifying water by filtration •Purifying water using the sun’s energy

All experiments have links to Curriculum for Excellence in science, social studies, health and well-being, technologies.

Results will be electronically showcased as an interactive global data map at the end of 2011, demonstrating the value of international cooperation in science.

Full instructions are available on the International Year of Chemistry website:

STEM elibrary – The solar spark

The Solar Spark educational resources are produced by the SUPERGEN Excitonic Solar Cells Consortium. This is a group of research scientists from eight UK universities working together to do scientific research on Excitonic Solar Cells. Researchers work in the areas of polymer solar cells, dye-sensitised solar cells and tandem cells. They explore lots of relevant chemistry, physics and engineering behind the structure and design of these cells.

The educational resources in this collection include practical activities that illustrate how solar photovoltaic cells work, future applications and the need for sustainable energy.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Heather Reid has shared this photograph diary of an interdisciplinary topic that took place at St Ninian’s primary in 2010 with Primary 6 pupils.  As part of the project the learners took part in a whole day event where they learnt more about Climate Change and Renewable sources of energy.  The main challenge of the day involved them in working in teams to find out about different possible sources of renewable energy that Mr Willy Wonka could use to power his factory and they were also tasked with presenting possible plans.

Click below to see the learning story.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Urban Village

Krysia Smythe a craft, design and technologies teacher, from The Royal High has shared this photograph diary showing the progress over 12 weeks of an enquiry based project where learners were given an open project brief and asked to work in groups to present a solution to the brief which asked them to develop a proposal for a new urban village.

Click below to see the learning story.

Urban Village

Renewables project

In 2010 S1 pupils at Inverness High were involved in an interdisciplinary learning project relating to the learning context of Renewable energy.  This involved the sciences, social studies and technologies departments in planning for learning relating to a scenario where the learners were presented with the scenario of an island which had been cut off from its fossil fuel supply and had to find the best solutions for generating electricity by harnessing energy from renewable sources.  The power point shared here was presented by Ben Sparham from Inverness High and Real Project at the Learning and Teaching Scotland Climate Change seminars during a workshop seminar to share with other practitioners the thinking and experiences behind this project.

Click below to see the learning journey.

Energy Challenge

Energy Efficient Housing

Sheena Telford, Physics PT from Tarbert Academy, has shared this photograph diary of primary 7 and first year pupils who were involved in a project to learn about energy transfers and energy ‘saving’ devices.  Learners carried out a range of practical investigations before applying their learning to a challenge where they had to build a model energy efficient home.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="450" height="450" allowfullscreen="true" /]

‘Doosan Power’ and ‘Steel Engineering’ to create more than 800 green jobs

Scotland’s renewables sector has received another jobs boost as major companies continue to invest.

The Korean firm ‘Doosan’ intends to locate its research and development centre for renewables at its current site in Renfrew, creating up to 200 jobs.

They are also in talks with Scottish Enterprise to set up manufacturing and assembly facilities in Scotland – its favoured location for wind turbine development and production.  Doosan expects its offshore wind plans in Scotland to create up to 1,700 new jobs.

Steel Engineering, also based in Renfrew, aims to create 120 jobs by expanding its business servicing a range of clean energy sectors, including offshore wind, wave and tidal power.

They are also in talks with Skills Development Scotland about developing a training school with Anniesland College in Glasgow.