November 17, 2020
by C. Gillespie

STEM Fortnightly Planner 17/11/20


Welcome to our fortnightly STEM blog post. Keep reading to find out more about exciting STEM developments across Scotland. Please feel free to share this post with colleagues and school partners.

  • National e-learning offer – Education Scotland, working with practitioners, has posted subject spreadsheets (for NQ subjects) with links to resources for practitioners and learners. Sciences and Mathematics spreadsheets have initially been uploaded to the blog. We would encourage practitioners to send any resource suggestions via the suggestion form located within the National e-learning offer blog.
  • Science planning resource – planning science learning for early to Second Level? Our RAiSE science planners for each science experience and outcome will get learning off to a fabulous start and are only a click away.
  • My World of Work Live – a set of fun, interactive activities that help young people understand future careers. Aimed at 8 – 18 year olds, activities are designed and delivered by experts with a passion for education and learning. MyWoW live here.  MyWoW live team also have a series of Meet the Expert sessions
  • STEM in a Nutshell – this simple guide for parents explains what STEM is and why STEM skills are important.
  • Skills Development Scotland YouTube Channel – careers information, advice and guidance, skills for the future, work based learning and apprenticeships and more on the SDS YouTube channel.
  • #STEMforall – Book your tickets @transportgovuk and @Stemettes invite you to a celebration of #WomenInAviationHear from an exceptional panel of Aviation role models – 26 November 5pm
  • i meets Escher: mathematics in art – M C Escher was a Dutch graphic artist famous for mind-bending artistic creations such as ‘Print Gallery’. In this Facebook live event, Aislinn Borland, a final year Mathematics student at the University of Dundee, will discuss with  Dr Philip Murray how the art of M C Escher can be interpreted using complex numbers.   Register here

Dates for your diary

2021 – The United Nations has declared 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust, the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, and the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.

The World Health Organisation has designated 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers


STEM Fortnightly Planner 3/11/20



November 3, 2020
by C. Gillespie

STEM Fortnightly Planner 3/11/20


Welcome to our fortnightly STEM blog. Keep reading to find out more about exciting STEM developments across Scotland. Please feel free to share this post with colleagues and school partners.

  • Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2 – 6 November – providing inspiring and exciting opportunities for young people to experience the world of engineering on digital and social media.
  • Engineering in the Primary Classroom – really useful Sway from Hilary Gorman at Harrysmuir Primary School West Lothian
  • Outdoor Classroom Day (5th November) – a global day to inspire and celebrate outdoor learning at school and at home. How are you getting involved. More info at: Check out our outdoor learning Wakelet and Improvement Hub Summary Page.
  • Royal Society of Edinburgh – book a free online school talk to inspire your learners on a wide range of areas from astronomy to zoology! Available for P6 to S6 learners until December:
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful Community Climate Asset Fund  – Local authority and non-profit schools and nurseries are eligible to apply for equipment to support community food growing, up to £10,000 maximum. A fantastic opportunity. Apply by 9 November.
  • Safer Internet Day 2021 planning event for Scotland  11th November (online).  The UK Safer Internet Centre and partners will talk about plans for the day and the free education packs being developing for use with young people and parents.  More info and booking is at
  • #STEMforall Rachael Akano, 15, Margaret Akano, 17 and Joy Njekwe, 17, developed an app which uses music to comfort people living with dementia

Dates for your diary:

21 November World Television Day

1 December World Aids Day

7 -13  December Computer Science Week

October 29, 2020
by C. Gillespie

Tech Fest Digital Festival


2020 Digital Festival runs from 5th November – 25th November

Please click here for your TechFest Digital Festival Programme  and here for your Digital Schools Programme 

Welcome to the TechFest Digital Festival 2020, possibly Scotland’s most ambitious digital science festival!

As with so many things this year, the method of organising and developing the festival has had to change.  Whilst many of us continue to work remotely, this year has been a great example of how we can adapt to change in difficult circumstances.

TechFest has embraced theses changes in order to continue our mission to promote STEM to a wider audience.

Click on the links above to launch into our first ever digital TechFest programme. Three weeks of digital presentations and activities from presenters old and new to inform and entertain you.

Further details on how to book a place at one of the digital presentations are just a click away.

Everyone is invited, there is no geographical limit this year as it’s all online!  Go to the website for more details, all events are free to attend.

For a copy of the programme go to our website and join the mailing list.

For further information:

Tel: 01224 274348


October 28, 2020
by C. Gillespie

Glasgow Science Festival: Science on the Sofa

Join us online – our free, digital programme will be full of hands-on activities, talks, shows, workshops, exhibitions and more. Designed to entertain and inspire. All from the comfort of your own sofa!

Content will be available on from the 9th September right through until the 9th November, so you have plenty of time to browse.

October 22, 2020
by C. Gillespie

Introduction to the STEM Ambassador Programme for CLD Practitioners


National online session: Tuesday 17th November 4pm – 5pm

The STEM Ambassador Programme is FREE to access. Ambassador opportunities mostly take place in schools across Scotland, and we are now seeking to create further opportunities in local CLD settings.

This session is being hosted in conjunction with the Education Scotland CLD Team, and is open to anyone delivering CLD services to young people. It will provide you with information about the STEM Ambassador programme, and how it can support local CLD groups – with a focus on young people and family learning. Examples of recent opportunities will be discussed, and information on how to request STEM Ambassadors for your own projects.

The STEM Ambassador Programme in Scotland is led by three regional hubs:

North of Scotland: Aberdeen Science Centre

West of Scotland: Science Connects

East of Scotland: STEM Ambassador East @SSERC

Ambassadors come from all types of STEM backgrounds, and can support a wide range of STEM activities for children and young people. On joining the programme all STEM Ambassadors attend induction training and a PVG for working with children.

The information session will take place on Zoom. Joining instructions will be distributed shortly before the session.

Registration: Introduction to the STEM Ambassador Programme Registration


If you have any queries, please contact

For more information on the STEM Ambassador Programme visit







October 8, 2020
by C. Gillespie

SCHOLAR support for Blended Learning

Through SCHOLAR, the partnership of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland and Heriot-Watt University, Scotland’s local authorities are providing access to interactive, online learning materials to support 41 SQA National Qualifications spanning Art & Design, Business Education, English, ESOL, Gaelic, Modern Languages and STEM, with further resources available to support level 3 of the Broad General Education including a Gaelic-medium Science resource.

  • If the course(s) you teach are included in SCHOLAR’s list of Available Courses, you will be able to access online course materials packed with activities for your learners to work on including: video clips, listening tasks, animations, simulations, drag-and-drop exercises, matching and ordering tasks, practice exam questions etc.
  • For learners without home internet access, paper-based versions of course materials and exercises can be produced using the downloadable PDF Study Guides.
  • SCHOLAR exercises can be assigned as homework using platforms such as Google Classroom, MS Teams or Firefly.
  • Data supplied by SEEMiS is used to automatically populate the class lists for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher learners in S4-S6. The ‘Reports’ feature provides teachers with detailed information on the progress of each of the learners in their classes.
  • As part of its series of Video Tutorials for Teachers and Lecturers, SCHOLAR will shortly be releasing a video demonstrating how to insert SCHOLAR animations, videos or activities into PowerPoint presentations.
  • Learners and teachers can use the SCHOLAR tile in Glow to access their account. Learners enrolled on any SCHOLAR course can access their account through Glow without the need for a separate SCHOLAR username and password.
  • Teachers wishing to log in directly to the SCHOLAR site can obtain their login details using the Forgotten Password
  • Some National 5 SCHOLAR activities are suitable for supporting learning at CfE level 4. Schools who wish to use SCHOLAR materials with S3 learners to support BGE learning should contact


SCHOLAR is currently available within all secondary schools in: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, Na h‑Eileanan Siar, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Scottish Borders, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

Guide to SCHOLAR support for Blended Learning (A4 version)

October 6, 2020
by C. Gillespie

World Space Week 2020

World Space Week is a UN declared celebration of space held annually, every October 4 to 10. It is the largest space event on Earth, with over 8,000 events in 2019 held in 96 countries. These events are organised by thousands of organisations, including space agencies, aerospace companies, astronomy clubs and museums. In 2020, World Space Week is dedicated to satellites and their benefits under the theme “Satellites improve life.”

There are safe and exciting ways to participate and celebrate World Space Week. The Highlights section below showcases some of the creative, innovative and popular events bringing people together to celebrate space.

  • Celebrate World Space Week and its theme of Satellites Improve Life by simply looking up and observing satellites from home
  • The International Astronomical Union & Shaw Foundation are hosting the 2020 Workshop on Astronomy for Education, focusing on an overview of education world wide.
  • SpaceWatch.Global are organising a Space Café WebTalk on 6 October.
  • SMART Edu Club are organising a Space Week Workshop on 8 October filled with discoveries and activities for children aged 7 and higher
  • Women in Aerospace Europe (WIA-E) invite people from around the globe to participate in the virtual events organised by their local groups throughout Europe.
  • Society for Space Education, Research and Development (SSERD) will be organizing a 7-day (Oct 4-10) FREE Online Program for students of all ages, which will include lectures, workshops, competitions, and hackathons.

October 2, 2020
by C. Gillespie

Safe and Empowered training

The Safe and Empowered training programme is open to all teaching staff in Scotland, including early years, primary, secondary, community learning and college staff. If you teach young people, this course is for you.

The programme includes 1-day training events, online training webinars, a Team Intensive webinar for collaborative learning and the Bitesize Video Set.

SWGfL is providing the Safe and Empowered programme. The programme is funded and endorsed by Education Scotland. SWGfL is a charity ensuring children benefit from technology, free from harm. SWGfL is a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre.

For further information, please contact Jess McBeath at or see the Safe and Empowered flyer available from the link below:



September 24, 2020
by C. Gillespie

Improving Gender Balance and Equalities – programme of professional learning

Education Scotland’s IGBE Professional Learning Programme has three areas:

  • Live Professional Learning Sessions
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Professional Learning Courses

The next event is on 6th October 3 30 – 4 30pm –  Gender Balanced Interactions

This session explores the impact of unconscious bias on interactions which practitioners have with learners in everyday practice. We will examine what unconscious bias is, and how it can shape expectations and perceptions of learners of different genders. We will then explore how learners of different genders may be treated differently as a result. Practitioners will also be asked to reflect on their own unconscious bias and the interactions they have with the learners in their settings, and to consider the following questions:

  • What examples of this specific issue have you seen in your setting?
  • What do you think the impact of this is on the children and young people you work with?
  • How could you address this moving forward?

Target Audience: All practitioners – ELC, primary, secondary, CLD


Download our pdf summary here for an overview of our programme of professional learning.

September 8, 2020
by Gayle Duffus

The power of partnerships in STEM education Gayle Duffus, National Education Officer for RAiSE

The Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) strategy made clear the commitment to give young people exposure to careers and pathways in order to develop their own potential. This is particularly important in the STEM subjects where there is a raft of perceived barriers and a lack of understanding of the subjects’ application in the world of work.

Striking up meaningful partnerships is key to giving young people experiences which excite and resonate. One of the lessons I have learned through managing the RAiSE programme is that establishing partnerships is far more than a one-off, tick box exercise. In order for any relationship to flourish and grow, the investment of time is vital.

Over the past few years, we have worked closely with the UK Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh. They were committed to primary outreach and had developed materials but were keen to extend their reach and impact. Astrobiology is such an exciting topic and, looking at the opportunities and expertise from a primary practitioner perspective, we were able to develop an offering which addressed a wide range of curricular drivers, promoted creativity and innovation, engaged pupils, upskilled practitioners, and addressed issues such as gender balance in an age-appropriate way. That is where the collaboration between expertise and education is imperative to develop an offering of real potential.

The feedback from practitioners and pupils was incredible. Together we brought space and technology into the classroom, profiling cutting-edge research in extreme environments for children. To see the excitement on the pupils’ faces was wonderful and it’s these STEM experiences that will stay with them.

From this relationship, throughout which we have spent a lot of time cultivating mutual respect and understanding, we are now working with another university developing a suite of materials for a fellow RAiSE authority.

Effective networking, which involves more listening than asking, is a strategic investment in the depth and breadth of current and potential relationships.

It is about mutual offering of support. Many of the partners we work with will check in on all manner of educational outreach, not just directly RAiSE activities. We appreciate their trust in us and know this cultivates commitment to our programme and objectives.

It is through conversations which are open and flexible that opportunities flow. Renewable energy company Quaybridge wanted to work with schools. With them, we identified that there was a lack of awareness of the diversity of roles relating to wind farms, and issues with gender balance of the workforce within the sector. Through this process, we have moved from an initial, welcome, resource focus, to the company developing an interactive website with child-friendly graphics showcasing the careers and pathways related to the renewables sector.

I value the time these companies and organisations have committed and want to ensure they, and the practitioners and young people, are getting the most from the opportunity. We want them to share our objectives and feel pride in the part they’re playing in developing our young people. To achieve these goals, partnerships must be treated as respected, invested relationships.

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