May 202019
 

Building STEM Capital in our young people; what is it and why would you want to?

STEM includes sciences (biology, chemistry & physics), technology (including digital and computing science), engineering (all types) and mathematics. We know that the skills learned through STEM are valued by many employers including those in non-STEM related industries. We also know that in Scotland there are many jobs opportunities for young people within STEM related industries and that the number of these are rising!

A big issue for some young people is that while they enjoy these subjects at school, they don’t see themselves continuing into later study in these subjects or that it might be a potential career. In their words: “It’s not for the likes of me”.

What do young people mean by this? How can we change this mind-set? How can we boost their STEM self-confidence?

Science capital refers to all the experiences in a young person’s life that might help them have STEM self-confidence: realising that STEM is in everyday life, knowing or seeing someone like themselves in that role, having an interest in STEM nurtured at school and at home.

It takes the shared actions of parents, teachers and organisations to help develop and grow a young person’s science capital over time. As a parent – talk to your children about where they see science and technology in everyday life and encourage them to think about how that relates to all sorts of jobs and careers (not just those in science and engineering). You don’t need to know the answers, just help them to grow in confidence asking the questions.

There are many resources available to inspire young people and to help them improve their science capital. Visit some of the links below for inspiration:

Apr 122019
 

Yesterday was World Parkinson’s Day – Parkinson’s disease  is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease, common in the elderly. More than 10 million people are currently living with the disease worldwide. STEM is contributing to help sufferers of the disease in a variety of ways.

In 2018, China launched its first outpatient service map for patients, which helps sufferers in China easily get information on hospitals with special clinics for the disease. The guidance map has helped patients easily locate outpatient clinics for timely treatment, and receive standardised and long-term treatment and disease management.

Besides personnel in the medical field, tech companies are making their own contributions to making the patients’ lives easier. A stabilising handle which can be attached to spoons and forks helps people counteract hand tremor so that the food won’t be shaken out of the utensil.

In advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, a patient may also experience a sudden inability to step forward. Dutch scientists from the University of Twente and Radboud University Medical Center developed laser shoes to tackle the problem. Each shoe has a laser projector and will let out a laser beam in front of the other shoe when stepping on the ground. They then give the wearer visual targets to step over.

Also in China, for those who don’t respond to medication or have serious complications, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is now being used. It consists of tiny electrodes implanted into a certain area of the brain to send impulses to specific brain nuclei to treat functional brain disorders. The brain pacemaker acts like a switch in the patient’s brain, which can significantly reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tardiness, movement disorders, muscle stiffness, and tremors, as well as the side effects of medication.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d3d414f7755544f33457a6333566d54/index.html

 

 

Apr 092019
 

On 25 March 2019 the Education Scotland STEM team hosted the National STEM Leads Network Event in Glasgow. The event was well attended by local authority, CLPL providers, practitioners and external providers of STEM across Scotland. The day blended national updates together with opportunities for discussion.

Ian Menzies (Senior Education Officer) shared progress towards actions in the STEM strategy following the publication of the first annual report.  Participants heard about the opportunities available through Phase 1 of the Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants awarded to 24 partners totalling £187 000 and were informed about potential funding for Round 2.

Participants shared what was happening locally and had the opportunity to network with others in regional areas and across Scotland. The 2018 STEM practitioner and provider survey data was shared and participants had the opportunity to reflect on the findings.

During the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to join in with a number of STEM Short Discussions. A variety of discussions were available including SSERC Young STEM Leaders Programme; RAiSE; Gender balance and equalities; Numeracy and Mathematics; Digital learning and teaching; the new Scottish STEM Award scheme; STEM learning in community learning and development settings; Early learning and childcare; Raising attainment; STEM Online directory and Computing science.

Participants were invited to complete evaluations and early indications from these are very positive. Watch this space for information about future network events.

Mar 282019
 

Children from the eight primary schools in the Lochaber High School catchment area attended a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fair at Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar.

More than 160 children took part in a STEM workshop, shared displays of their own class learning and spoke to local employers about local STEM careers.

The event for Primary 5 pupils was organised by the RAiSE (Raising Aspirations in Science Education) programme which is funded and delivered by The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. RAiSE increases the confidence, skills and networks of teachers in STEM education to motive and inspire learners.

RAiSE was supported in the development and delivery of the event by Lochaber Geopark and DYW West Highland.

Emily Brown, Primary Science Development Officer in the Highland region for RAiSE, said:

“The Lochaber STEM Fair provides a wonderful opportunity for young people, teachers and the local community to come together and inspire, excite and learn from one another about how STEM impacts the region.”

“The highlight of the day was hearing the young people talk so enthusiastically about their displays during the showcase. Motivating learners at a young age and providing the platforms to engage them meaningfully

in STEM is vitally important for creating the workforce the region needs for the future.”

Caol Primary School’s project showcasing computer games using digital technology platform MakeyMakey was named the winner of the showcase and the children were presented with a trophy. The judges were impressed by the children’s problem-solving and creativity skills.

Highland Wood Energy paid for transport for the pupils to attend and catering costs were met by DYW West Highland.

The attending primary schools were Caol, Lundavra, St. Columba’s, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar, Banavie, Inverlochy, Spean Bridge and Invergarry.

The Careers’ Hub featured employers including Mowi, BSW Timber, John Muir Trust, UHI STEM Hub, BAM Nuttall, Science Skills Academy, Liberty, Lochaber Geopark and Aberdeen Science Centre.

 

 

Mar 222019
 

Dippy the dinosaur will broadcast live from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Wednesday 27th March, 9:30 – 10:30.

Your class will see and hear about Dippy, as well as having the opportunity to ask questions about dinosaurs, fossils and endangered species.

Palaeontologist Neil Clark, geologist Ann Ainsworth and natural historian Richard Sutcliffe will be on hand to answer your questions.

Join at https://livestream.com/innerear/dippy or https://www.youtube.com/user/GlasgowMuseums

Questions will be taken in the live chat. Remember to include your school name and class and you’ll get a shout out if your question is answered.

Questions to clare.gray@glasgowlife.org.uk

Mar 082019
 

Thousands of young people across Glasgow will celebrate British Science Week at 25 events running in primary schools throughout the city.

STEM fairs, family events and career information sessions are being organised by the Primary Science Leaders of the RAiSE (Raising Attainment in Science Education) programme.

RAiSE is funded and delivered by The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. It increases the confidence, skills and networks of primary teachers to develop and deliver impactful STEM (science, technology, maths and engineering) lessons.

As well as supporting and developing these STEM lead teachers in schools, RAiSE has also provided funding to enable their delivery.

Alex McLaughlin, Primary Science Development Officer for Glasgow, said:

“British Science Week is a great opportunity to shine a light on STEM within and outwith the classroom, giving young people opportunities to be inspired and impacted by exciting events and lessons.

“We are incredibly proud of the development of the Primary Science Leaders in the Glasgow area and delighted they have the confidence and respect within their settings to lead on projects such as these.”

Events will include:

  • Family Code Club at Gowanbank Primary School where 94% of the pupils live in deprivation. The event is set to increase parental confidence with technologies and provide a positive family learning experience.
  • St Rose of Lima Primary School is hosting a family evening which will include STEM activities linked to the Global Goals and Malawi.
  • World of Work events which will see members of the school and business communities highlight their STEM career pathways.
  • St Benedict’s Primary School is asking their Primary 6 pupils to support younger classes throughout the week to develop a STEM showcase for the entire school.
  • St Roch’s Primary School will be crime solvers throughout the week, working in teams to solve a mystery.

For more information on the RAiSE team STEM Glasgow, visit https://www.stemglasgow.co.uk/.

British Science Week runs from 8th to 14th March.

A full list of the events:

British Science Week: The Power of Electricity Annette Street PS
World of Work STEM Week Avenue End PS
Space Exploration Barmulloch PS
STEM Community Event Caledonia PS
Big STEM Showcase Carmyle PS
STEM Week Cuthbertson PS
Science Day and STEM Family Afternoon Dalmarnock PS
Fun with Forces Darnley PS
Move It! Gaelic School
Family Code Club Gowanbank PS
CSI Hillington Hillington PS
Science Week Activities John Paul II PS
Think Science Show Langside PS
Science and Technology at Miller Miller PS
Raising Aspirations through STEM Careers Pirie Park PS
Science Week at Quarry Brae Quarry Brae PS
Sandwood Polar Explorer STEM Fair Sandwood PS
Science Day: Problem Solving using our Senses Scotstoun PS
STEM Week St. Benedict’s PS
The Big STEM Showcase St. Clare’s PS
Journeys in Science St. Marnock’s PS
All the Fun of the Fair St. Philomena’s PS
Whodunit/CSI St. Roch’s PS
Science Week and Beyond St. Rose of Lima PS
Science Fair Thorntree PS
British Science Week Wellshot PS
British Science Week Whitehill PS
Feb 262019
 

Education Scotland is pleased to share details of the twenty-four successful applicants who have been awarded a total of £187,000 grant funding through the Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme.

Launched in October 2018, the grants programme aims to to build the capacity and confidence of practitioners and to support the implementation of the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland. These exciting opportunities have been developed by a wide range of national partners to support practitioners working in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and community learning and development settings.  School-based technical support staff will also benefit from new professional learning. The programmes of professional learning that are being supported are aligned to the needs of practitioners as outlined in the 2017 annual STEM practitioner survey findings

To find out more information about the exciting and varied professional learning opportunities being supported by the grants programme, please download to the STEM Grants Overview document available below.

STEM Professional Grants Overview

At a glance STEM Grants

Feb 192019
 

We’ve arrived! Introducing the new Improving Gender Balance and Equality (IGBE) team within Education Scotland. We are a team of 6 officers (5 in post and 1 on their way) with a focus to embed the learning from the Improving Gender Balance pilot across all schools within Scotland. The pilot, supported by Skills Development Scotland, the Institute of Physics and Education Scotland, explored ways of addressing unconscious bias and tackling stereotypes. Its aim was to make education inclusive and accessible for all, regardless of gender.

What was the learning from the pilot?

  • Approaches impacted positively on practitioners’ practice, including but not limited to, language used, interactions, pedagogy and resources used in learning
  • The programme developed awareness and understanding of stereotypes and a willingness to challenge this among learners
  • Interventions led to a greater ethos of inclusiveness and fairness felt by learners in schools
  • There was an increased awareness of gender stereotypes and unconscious bias among practitioners and learners
  • The support provided through the programme was flexible, tailored and was aligned with all aspects of the curriculum

We have until 2022 to support all schools and early learning and childcare centres (ELCs) to ensure gender balance and equality is at the heart of learning and teaching. The timing couldn’t be better. Scotland is making great strides to tackle gender imbalances and inequality. In March 2017 the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) was initiated. The council brings a variety of women and girls, from the age of 15 years, together to raise awareness of gender inequalities in Scotland. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to champion positive progress and policy change and to be a catalyst for change by providing a challenging voice to the First Minister and her team. Regionally, the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Programme and the STEM Education and Training Strategy have received great support and continue to strive to develop skills for learning, life and work. Both of these areas have provided strong support for IGBE learning and have proven to provide excellent contexts for tackling gender imbalance and unconscious bias. Nationally, the Scottish Government has committed to become the first country to include LGBTI+ issues and topics within its curriculum.

UK-wide we are seeing progress too. The cracking down on sexist stereotypes in the media reflects the shift in public perception and understanding of the potential harm of perpetuating gender stereotypes. In 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) issued new rules regarding the content of adverts portraying gender stereotypes which could cause harm or offence. The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) released a statement in December 2018 stating that advertising has a key role to play in the depiction and reinforcement of gender stereotypes. The new rules not only apply to newspapers, magazines, television, cinema, leaflets and adverts on the internet, but also to paid-for promotional posts from celebrity endorsers or influencers on Instagram. CAP clearly states that the new code of conduct is not intended to prevent adverts from the following:

  1. Featuring glamourous/attractive/successful/aspirational/healthy people or particular lifestyles
  2. One gender only, including ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender
  3. Gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects

ASA conducted research which found that the roles and aspirations depicted were often reinforcing gender stereotypes.. Girls were often portrayed in a caring role and boys were shown being more energetic. Further information and research from ASA is available online.

Education Scotland is committed to improving gender balance and equality across Scotland. Our shiny new team, who come with a wealth of experience both within and outwith the education sector, would love to hear from you. If you have done some work on improving the gender balance and/or equality within your setting and want to share that with us, please email us or tweet using the hashtag #IGBE. If you are seeking a fresh pair of eyes to come and support you on your journey, then we would love to hear from you. You can contact us at heather.earnshaw@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk. There is also a wealth of information and support available at the national improvement hub. The IGBE team look forward to hearing from and working with you.

 

Literature used to form this Blog;

Improving Gender Balance Scotland Pilot. Summary of Key findings along with other supporting documents can be found at   https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/Improving%20gender%20balance%203-18

National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, https://onescotland.org/equality-themes/advisory-council-women-girls/

UK advertising watchdog to crack down on sexist stereotypes, 14th Dec 2019, The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/dec/14/uk-advertising-watchdog-to-crack-down-on-sexist-stereotypers

Advertising guidance on depicting gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence, CAP. https://www.asa.org.uk/uploads/assets/uploaded/f39a881f-d8c9-4534-95f180d1bfe7b953.pdf

Depictions, Perceptions and Harm, The full report including supporting research documents from ASA is available at https://www.asa.org.uk/resource/depictions-perceptions-and-harm.html

Jan 312019
 

With only 2 weeks remaining, Education Scotland would like to encourage your setting to apply for the Scottish Education Awards so we can celebrate your achievements and share your success with others.

The Scottish Education Awards recognise publicly-funded early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a passion and culture of improvement for sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Learning for Sustainability.

In addition to these categories there are a wide range of other awards available including

  • Digital learning and teaching
  • Raising attainment in numeracy
  • Employability and creativity skills across learning
  • Children and young people’s participation award.

Applicants for each award will have the opportunity to outline how they promote respect, ambition and achievement; improve outcomes for all learners; and tackle inequity. Settings will also have the chance to demonstrate how the relevant theme has been embedded across the life of the setting and the four contexts for learning:

• Ethos and life of the school as a community
• Curriculum areas and subjects
• Interdisciplinary learning
• Opportunities for personal achievement.

If you have interesting practice to share then we are very keen to hear from you. Applications and nominations close at 6pm on Thursday 14 February 2019.

To find out more about the Scottish Education Award categories, and how to apply, visit: http://www.scottisheducationawards.co.uk/ 

Download the flyers below:

Scottish Education Awards – Learning for Sustainability Award Flyer 2019

Scottish Education Awards – STEM Award Flyer 2019

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