STEM Blog

October 21, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Techfest update

TechFest Digital Science Festival 2021 

Techfest are holding their Digital TechFest again this November. Techfest Digital Science Festival 2020 had presenters from as far away as San Francisco, USA and reached an international audience from the UK, France, Canada, South America, USA, Cyprus, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Slovakia. This year TechFest aim to reach even bigger audiences across the globe. Dates for this year are 5 – 25 November, the programme will be online soon.

Techfest are excited to announce a strategic partnership with Skills Development Scotland and will be holding Scottish Careers Week from 15-19 November as part of the Festival schools programme. This week will promote the skills needed to ensure Scotland’s young people are equipped with the tools to thrive in the digital world.

TechFest Talks – Podcasts by students for students 

A new venture for TechFest, as part of the Festival and the Scottish Careers Week – a series looking at new technologies influencing our future careers, not only in the energy industry but in agriculture, manufacturing and transportation.  A recent series of podcasts linked to Explorathon 21, which looked at the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Insulin, are still available, more details here.

Explorathon 

Explorathon 2021, is an initiative with researchers from universities across Europe joining together for events and presentations.  TechFest were invited by the University of Aberdeen and The Rowett Institute to collaborate with Explorathon 2021.

The Rowett Institute delivered a series of workshops for schools on the discovery of insulin.  TechFest also curated a podcast series with students interviewing researchers involved in developing new diabetes treatments and helping to better understand how this condition develops, and the factors that influence it. They also interviewed people living with diabetes who had experienced the changes in technology and influenced the management of their condition. These podcasts are still available online.

October 19, 2021
by I. Menzies
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Annual STEM Professional Learning Practitioner Survey 2020-2021

Help shape the future of STEM professional learning by completing our 10 minute online survey by Monday 20 December 2021

Education Scotland is inviting you to complete our Annual STEM Professional Learning Practitioner Survey for 2020-21. The information you provide will help improve the access that practitioners in relevant sectors, and in various geographical locations, have to high-quality professional learning that meets their needs. It will also help us to track improvements in the provision of professional learning over the lifetime of the STEM Strategy (2017-2022) and will enable us to identify where further support may be required.

Your individual response will not be shared with other organisations. However, the anonymised analysis from the survey will be shared widely to help STEM partner organisations align their programmes to your priorities.

Who should complete this survey?

Separate surveys have been developed for specific sectors. You should only complete one of the surveys below:

Practitioners in early learning and childcare, primary, additional support needs and secondary sectors (all subject areas including those not normally associated with STEM) are invited to complete this survey:

https://forms.education.gov.scot/i/STEMPractitioners2021

School-based technical support staff should complete this survey:

https://forms.education.gov.scot/i/STEMTechnicians2021

Community learning and development practitioners should complete this survey:

https://forms.education.gov.scot/i/STEMCLD2021

Did you know?

We would be very grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete our online survey to help us get the STEM professional learning offer right for you and your setting.

October 7, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Fortnightly Planner – 7/10/21

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.

 

Secondary Sciences Network

Join us as the Linlithgow Academy Science Team share their thoughts and experiences about how they have developed their BGE Science curriculum, their successes and plans for the future.

BGE Science Curriculum Rationale, led by staff from Linlithgow Academy, supported by the Education Scotland STEM Team.

Tuesday 2nd November 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Sign up via the Eventbrite link HERE

COP26 – Use Data Science to reduce your school’s carbon footprint

Just launched  – a new live lesson for learners P7-S4.

The free event ‘Use Data Science to reduce your school’s carbon footprint’ is on 9 Nov and aligns with COP26. Each live lesson focuses on a data science topic and brings together a YouTube livestream event with a series of guided web-based activities.  The first live lesson, ‘Defend the Rhino’, focused on machine learning (training cameras to spot poachers and save rhinos!).  The second ‘Data Selfie’ live lesson supports learners to explore data visualisation.

Access both lessons from the events page in the Data Education in Schools website: Events for data education – Data Education in Schools (dataschools.education)

 

STEM Online Resource

Spotlight on Professional Learning

As practitioners we need to keep up to date with what is happening in the STEM landscape.  Within this PL section we have selected reading material which can support you to deepen your professional knowledge and understanding and help you develop progressive and innovative practice. Here you will find policy documents and reports relating to STEM, Improving Gender Balance and equalities, Digital, Developing the Young Workforce and research demonstrating effective approaches to STEM education.

A professional learning offer from the STEM Education Officers at Education Officers is available and further details can be found in the section titled STEMedscot professional learning.

STEM Summary page

The STEM Summary page provides a summary of key information, resources, and exemplification relating to Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

This page aims to support policy makers and practitioners from all sectors with an interest in, or responsibility for, STEM-related learning.

 

Technologies Wakelet

With Computing Science, CDT, Home Economics and Business Education – there are materials stored online which can be used for each curricular area. The links take you to the National Improvement Hub, Glow, websites or YouTube – easy to access materials in one place.

Technologies – DigiLearn (glowscotland.org.uk)

 

National e-Learning Offer

The National e-Learning Offer complements the delivery of teaching and learning by schools and settings, local authorities and Regional Improvement Collaboratives in Scotland. You will find resources to support learning across the curriculum.

 

Dates for your diary

Secondary Science Network Linlithgow Academy  2 November

STEM in the North Professional Learning September 21 – June 22

COP26  Glasgow   1 November – 12 November

 

October 5, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Primary Science Capital Teaching Approach – online launch

The Primary Science Capital Teaching Approach (PSCTA) project invite you to the launch of the brand new ‘PSCTA: Primary Teacher Handbook’. This free to use handbook and resources are the result of two years of collaborative working between researchers and primary teachers across England. The social justice oriented teaching approach works with any curriculum and provides a reflective framework for teachers to support science engagement among all their students.

This virtual event will introduce teachers, school leads, education professionals and policy makers to the new approach and resources. Attendees will get to hear from the UCL/KCL research team, the primary teachers who helped co-develop and trial the approach and the funders, PSTT and The Ogden Trust. Details will also be provided of plans for cascading the approach to regions and schools over the coming year.

Venue: Online

Date: 19 Oct 2021

Time: 4.00 – 5.30 pm

To attend the event register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/primary-science-capital-teaching-approach-launch-event-tickets-17332702479

 

September 23, 2021
by Janey Irving
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Secondary Sciences Network – Welcome back session

The Secondary Sciences Network was set up in MS Teams in Glow in June 2020 in response to the COVID pandemic. It provided over 300 science teachers with an opportunity to collaborate and to co-develop resources to support remote learning. Within the space of 12 months, some 5,000 learning resources had been shared through the network and published on the National e-Learning Offer (NeLO): https://education.gov.scot/nelo/

The leadership provided by science teachers through the network was instrumental in the development of NeLO.

I hope you’ll agree that there is a lot to build on as we navigate new classroom challenges.

Education Scotland’s STEM Team is hosting a “Welcome Back” Session on Wednesday 29th September from 4:30pm – 5:30pm in the Sciences Network Teams Group on Glow. If you have not signed up to the Secondary Sciences Network yet, you can do so using the MS Teams joining code uh9sf32

This initial session will be to review our progress over the last 18 months and to discuss next steps for the Secondary Sciences Network. There will be brief inputs from various members of the Education Scotland STEM Team as well as an opportunity for you to share your ideas on how you would like to see the network dev

secondary sciences network

September 16, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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A STEM Pathway – SLF Online – 21 – 23 September

A STEM Pathway – Scottish Learning Festival Online 21 – 23 September 

As SLF 2021 fast approaches, please find below a suggested STEM Pathway through the SLF Online programme this year.

Tuesday 21 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 3 14:00 – 14:45

Developing independent digital learners

Building learners skills for independent learning in a digital world – modelling, scaffolding and support for pupils to enable self-regulation. What might this look like as we move through primary->secondary, why is this important and what are the benefits?

Dundee City Council Pedagogy Team

 

SESSION 5 16:45 – 17:30

Building a STEM Nation through professional learning

A showcase of the professional learning programmes and approaches developed through Education Scotland’s STEM grants programme – covering all sectors.

Education Scotland STEM team

 

Wednesday 22 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 3 12:30 – 13:15

Introducing the New Higher Applications of Mathematics

This session will highlight the new Higher, its benefits for students and how to access the support available. Practitioners will share their plans for delivering the course for the first time.

Working group Secondary practitioners from across Scotland

 

SESSION 5 15:45 – 16:30

Evolving Digital Thinking

An overview of the evolving digital thinking programme. Short and medium term groups of leaders at all levels are enabled to problem find and crowd source questions and possible solutions to digital issues in learning and teaching. Kirsty McFaul and Brian Clark, Education Scotland

 

Thursday 23 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 3 12:30 – 13:15

Inspiring and developing young people through STEM

The Young STEM Leader programme is an exciting new award for all young people in Scotland. This session provides on overview of the award, its impact and how to get involved.

Jamie Menzie, SSERC

 

SESSION 4 14:00 – 14:45

Engaging families in literacy and numeracy at home

This session explores how developing positive relationships with families has supported literacy and numeracy learning at home during COVID-19. It will consider ways to build on this progress moving forward.

Primary practitioners

SLF Online website

 

September 14, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Fortnightly Planner – 14/9/21

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.

Countdown to COP

Education Scotland is delighted to be working together with our partners to help practitioners and learners engage with COP26 through Countdown to COP ahead of the United Nations COP26 Summit taking place in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November.

Focusing on the key themes of nature, finance, energy transition, clean transport and adaptation and resilience, Countdown to COP provides a range of resources which practitioners can use to support their learners.

Visit our Countdown to COP webpage for more information.

 

Scottish Learning Festival 21 – 23 September

As SLF 2021 fast approaches, please find below a suggested STEM Pathway through the SLF programme this year.

Tuesday 21 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 3 14:00 – 14:45

Developing independent digital learners

Building learners skills for independent learning in a digital world – modelling, scaffolding and support for pupils to enable self-regulation. What might this look like as we move through primary->secondary, why is this important and what are the benefits?

Dundee City Council Pedagogy Team

 

SESSION 5 16:45 – 17:30

Building a STEM Nation through professional learning

A showcase of the professional learning programmes and approaches developed through Education Scotland’s STEM grants programme – covering all sectors.

Education Scotland STEM team

 

Wednesday 22 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 3 12:30 – 13:15

Introducing the New Higher Applications of Mathematics

This session will highlight the new Higher, its benefits for students and how to access the support available. Practitioners will share their plans for delivering the course for the first time.

Working group Secondary practitioners from across Scotland

 

SESSION 5 15:45 – 16:30

Evolving Digital Thinking

An overview of the evolving digital thinking programme. Short and medium term groups of leaders at all levels are enabled to problem find and crowd source questions and possible solutions to digital issues in learning and teaching. Kirsty McFaul and Brian Clark, Education Scotland

 

Thursday 23 September SLF 2021 Programme Update 5

SESSION 3 12:30 – 13:15

Inspiring and developing young people through STEM

The Young STEM Leader programme is an exciting new award for all young people in Scotland. This session provides on overview of the award, its impact and how to get involved.

Jamie Menzie, SSERC

 

SESSION 4 14:00 – 14:45

Engaging families in literacy and numeracy at home

This session explores how developing positive relationships with families has supported literacy and numeracy learning at home during COVID-19. It will consider ways to build on this progress moving forward.

Primary practitioners

 

SCDI Energy Quest Workshop

Embed learning about energy sources and energy transfer

Help students uncover engineering skills they didn’t know they had with Energy Quest.  This free 2-hour workshop challenges young people to put themselves in the shoes of engineers to design a solution to power a mobile phone.

The workshop is designed for secondary students aged 11 to 14 and is designed to fit into a 2 hour / double period time slot. Energy Quest unlocks students’ inner engineer as they explore sustainable energy sources. During an interactive workshop, they’re immersed in a real-life situation and challenged to save the day.  The workshop is fully linked to the curriculum, students gain an understanding of:

• A range of sustainable energy sources and the role engineers play in green energy/sustainable technology
• How to generate energy, and how they can work as a team to respond to a challenge
• How their skills and interest can lead to a career in engineering

Register here

 

A Scientist Just Like Me – Primary Science Teaching Trust

A Scientist Just Like Me is designed to raise awareness of diversity in science-related jobs and to provide illustrated examples of a wide range of science-based careers. It consists of a series of short slideshows, each one ‘telling the story’ of a particular scientist or person working in a science-related job. The people included share details of their work and their everyday lives, making their stories relatable to learners. They describe their job, what they like about it, and the challenges they have faced on their career journeys.

The resources focus on the skills, attitudes and habits that are needed to carry out the work, rather than on any expert knowledge, which may be daunting or seem out of reach to young learners. At the end of each slideshow, the learners are encouraged to imagine and discuss what it might be like to do that job.

The slideshows are intended to be used as discussion prompts, guided by a teacher. They can be used in different ways and for different purposes, for example,

  • to show learners an example of someone from a particular ethnic background working in a science job
  • to challenge gender stereotypes about science jobs
  • as part of a science topic that relates to the work of the scientist
  • as stand-alone fifteen minute discussion activities
  • with a small group or the whole class, or in a whole school assembly

A scientist just like me | Primary Science Teaching Trust

 

Dates for your diary

Scottish Learning Festival   21 – 23 September

STEM in the North Professional Learning September 21 – June 22

COP26  Glasgow   1 November – 12 November

 

September 9, 2021
by C. Gillespie
0 comments

New Improving Gender Balance and Equalities professional learning programmes

 

 

 

New Improving Gender Balance and Equalities professional learning programmes starting soon:

 

Gender aware leadership: an enquiry based approach to more inclusive leadership

6 session course. Runs Sept 2021 – March 2022. For aspiring leaders, and leaders to explore and lead whole setting approaches to gender equality via enquiry. 1:1 support provided throughout.

Start date: Thurs 30th September

More information and sign up here

 

Gender aware practice: an enquiry based approach to more inclusive learning and teaching.

Online learning modules with 4 live collaboration sessions and 1:1 support to carry out and reflect on small changes to practice. Runs Sept 2021 – May 2022. Suitable for all practitioners.

Start date: Tues 28th September

More information and sign up here

September 3, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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COP26 Project Science

 

To celebrate the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) taking place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021, Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre are inviting schools from the Edinburgh City Region (Edinburgh, Lothians, Borders and Fife) to take part in COP26 Project Science.

This project is for Second Level pupils and their teachers, and is based around the Big Balloon Blow-Up, one of their Project Science investigations. The project aims to increase pupil and teacher confidence in using the scientific method, increase understanding of the scientific method and how it is used by local scientists, improve data handling skills, and increase awareness of contemporary research and its links to combatting climate change.

30 schools will receive a COP26-themed Big Balloon Blow Up reusable toolkit which has a value of £100, free of charge, which includes everything required for all of your Second Level pupils to carry out the practical investigation. The kits will remain with your school as a resource that we hope will support more hands-on science activity in future. We suggest that World Environment Day (5 June) would be a useful focus for repeat activity in future years.

In addition to the physical toolkit, participating schools will also receive links to following downloadable resources:

  • Pupil worksheet for each learner to follow and document their investigation
  • Teaching Guide to provide support and information for teachers using the kit. Includes information on the scientific method, how to support pupils to ask and answer their own scientific questions, links to other relevant research about climate change happening at the University of Edinburgh, health and safety considerations, and terms and conditions of use.
  • Class Presentation to support pupils and teachers to use the investigation pack and explore COP26 themes linked to real-life research in Scotland.
  • Real-Life Research Case Study to be used to talk about the real-world research addressing the contribution of livestock to greenhouse gases.

 

This is a great opportunity to partner with the University of Edinburgh and support Learning for Sustainability in your school. To find out more about this project and to apply, please visit the website the closing date for application is Friday 24 September at 5pm.

September 3, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Glasgow Science Festival: Glasgow Connects, 1 – 30 September

 

Glasgow Science Festival returns to the city throughout September with Glasgow Connects, offering a hybrid programme of events with a distinctly green tinge, inspired by the COP26 climate conference. The festival will showcase themes such as sustainability, health & wellbeing, and the environment.

Online Content
The digital programme, Science on the Sofa, features dozens of activities suitable for the classroom.
Created with partners, including the University of Glasgow, Strathclyde, GCU, UWS, Edinburgh,
The Open University and Manchester.

All content is designed to be self-led and readily available for you to engage with at your leisure.

Science on the Sofa is divided into four strands:

1. Hands-Online: dozens of experiments, activities, demos and workshops, covering a range of
subject areas including a COP26 feature. The activities are supported by instructional videos,
how-to guides and activity packs. Designed for use at home, in the classroom or community
settings, using readily available and inexpensive materials.

2. Citizen Science: introducing Spot a Bee and the Gulls Eye Project. Two citizen science
projects created by University of Glasgow researchers, inviting you to take part and help
collect valuable data.

3. COVID: Glasgow Responds: informal talks and resources exploring the contribution local
research teams have made to the ongoing efforts to tackle the pandemic.

4. Talking Science: talks on two themes, COP26 and Health & Wellbeing

In Person Events
Unfortunately, there is no specific schools programme this year due to the ongoing challenges. There are
however some public facing events,  including the programme at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens from 4 – 12 Sept, 11-2pm where there will be socially distanced activities in outdoor gazebos.

Open to the public, and most suitable for primary school aged pupils, the organisers would be delighted to welcome a school per day to this event .

All events and content are FREE!

The programme of live events and digital content is available at:

www.glasgowsciencefestival.org.uk

email: sciencefestival@glasgow.ac.uk

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