STEM Blog

June 8, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Fortnightly Planner – 8/6/2021

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 Education Officer – RAiSE

The Wood Foundation and Education Scotland are seeking a National Education Officer to lead the development and delivery of its Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) programme.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the continued successful delivery of the RAiSE programme which has engaged 16 local authorities to date.  The post-holder will be based in Education Scotland, reporting to a Senior Education Officer, and will be line managed by The Wood Foundation.

Deadline for applications 4pm Friday 11 June.

New National e-Learning Offer website is now live!

The new National e-Learning Offer website is now live: National e-Learning Offer | Education Scotland.

Developed through a partnership involving Education Scotland, e-Sgoil and ADES, all content previously hosted on Excel NeLO spreadsheets is now available through this new platform.  Content includes lessons, videos, calculations, assessment materials, West OS videos, Scholar, BBC Bitesize and e-Sgoil content and more. 23,000 resources are available with over 5000 sciences resources. Sciences and STEM teachers, networks and partnership organisations have played an enormously important role in initiating and supporting this work. Thank you from the STEM Team at Education Scotland – it has been a pleasure working in partnership with you. Further developments are being planned – please send feedback, suggestion and ideas to: stem@educationscotland.gov.uk

Scottish Learning Festival 2021

This year’s Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) will take place on Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 September. For the first time ever the festival will be an entirely virtual event, offering an amazing 3D experience over 3 days.

Each year we try to explore, review and adapt SLF to ensure we bring an event that’s current and inspiring. This year you will be able to enjoy the ever popular conference programme through a range of live and recorded sessions, take a tour around the exhibition area and find a space to network with colleagues in a fantastic digital arena – all from your own device. Find out more on our website.

SSERC STEM bulletin

SSERC STEM bulletin Summer 2021 – with a Chemistry Map of Scotland, Young STEM Leader Programme case study and more.

STEM Online Resource

Science Planning Resource – Context Planners & Remote Learning Resources

These planners were created to help develop rich contexts for learning.  There are examples for early, first and second level.  The planners follow a natural theme and weave in relevant curricular areas.  Care was taken to consider activities and approaches which could be shared in the classroom, alongside learning that could be delivered remotely.

 

Dates for your diary

11 – 13 June  G7 Summit, Cornwall

23 June  International Women in Engineering Day

28 – 30 September  UN Youth COP26 Milan

11 – 24 October  UN Summit on Biodiversity China

1 – 12 November  UN COP26 Glasgow

1 November  10th anniversary of One Planet Schools Working Group

4 November  Outdoor Classroom Day

As we are approaching the end of term, this is the last fortnightly planner this session.  Have a well earned rest, enjoy your summer and see you back in August.

May 28, 2021
by I. Menzies
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New National e-Learning Offer website is now live!

Education Scotland is delighted to pass on the news that the new National e-Learning Offer website is now live: National e-Learning Offer | Education Scotland. This has been developed through a partnership involving Education Scotland, e-Sgoil and ADES.

All the content that was previously hosted on Excel NeLO spreadsheets is now available through this new platform including West OS lessons, videos, calculations, assessment materials, Scholar, BBC Bitesize and e-Sgoil content and more. In all, there are 23,000 resources available with over 5000 of these being sciences resources.

Education Scotland has also worked in partnership with BBC, Napier University, IoP, Strathclyde University and SSERC to produce 149 practical NQ sciences videos and supporting assessment resources. Many of these are already available and we’re putting the finishing touches to the rest. Over the summer we’ll be doing more filming for the BGE phase. We are also planning future improvements and developments to NeLO over the course of this year.

Education Scotland’s STEM Team like to give a very special and personal thanks to all the teachers and partner organisations who supported this work by sharing their resources freely and by participating in the working groups and curation groups. Sciences and STEM teachers and networks have played an enormously important role in initiating and supporting this work throughout. Having the chance to work in partnership with you to support this work has been a real highlight for the team at Education Scotland, in what was otherwise a very challenging year.

We really hope this resource is of great use to you and your learners over the coming years. We’re looking forward to making further improvements to NeLO in the year ahead. Feedback, ideas, suggestions for the next stage of development are all welcome and should be emailed to: stem@educationscotland.gov.scot

May 27, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Fortnightly Planner 27/5/21

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.

National Education Officer – RAiSE

The Wood Foundation and Education Scotland are seeking a National Education Officer to lead the development and delivery of its Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) programme.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the continued successful delivery of the RAiSE programme which has engaged 16 local authorities to date.  The post-holder will be based in Education Scotland, reporting to a Senior Education Officer, and will be line managed by The Wood Foundation.

New National e-Learning Offer website is now live!

We’re delighted to pass on the news that the new National e-Learning Offer website is now live: National e-Learning Offer | Education Scotland. This has been developed through a partnership involving Education Scotland, e-Sgoil and ADES.

All the content that was previously hosted on Excel NeLO spreadsheets is now available through this new platform including lessons, videos calculations, assessment materials, West OS videos, Scholar, BBC Bitesize and e-Sgoil content and more. In all, there are 23,000 resources available with over 5000 of these being sciences resources. Sciences and STEM teachers, networks and partnership organisations have played an enormously important role in initiating and supporting this work throughout. A massive thank you from the STEM Team at Education Scotland – it has been a pleasure working in partnership with you. Further developments are being planed – please send any feedback, suggestion and ideas to: stem@educationscotland.gov.uk

Chemistry Festival

The inclusive and accessible Salter’s Chemistry Festival is running on-line on June 15 from 1-3pm, aimed at pupils working at third level. To book a place please email festivals@salters.co.uk . For any questions, please email the organiser, jane.essex@strath.ac.uk . This year’s theme is ‘the chemistry of a chocolate caramel wafer’ and there are a series of investigations for participants to carry out before the event. The investigations require ordinary kitchen equipment, so are suitable for groups who don’t have access to a lab.

STEM Conference

Dumfries & Galloway’s fourth annual STEM Conference focussing on all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is now available.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s event is an online conference.

With keynote addresses, workshops & marketplace on all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics – STEM Conference 2021 Participants.

All conference materials are available within Glow throughout Term 4 and into next session.

Dumfries and Galloway STEM Conference 2021 Access Guide.

Travel in(to) the Future

University of Dundee School of Science and Engineering with the Tayside & Fife branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers, have launched this year’s annual STEM poster competition aimed at primary and secondary school students. The topic is “Travel in(to) the Future”.

There are prizes in each category, in the form of Amazon vouchers.

The competition closes on 16 June 2021 (midnight).

STEM Online Resource

Improving Gender Balance and Equalities Resources

A range of resources to help improve gender balance, equity and equality.

 

May 25, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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National Education Officer – RAiSE

The Wood Foundation and Education Scotland are seeking a National Education Officer to lead the development and delivery of its Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) programme.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the continued successful delivery of the RAiSE programme which has engaged 16 local authorities to date.  We have the ambition to work with the remaining authorities in Scotland over the next five years, as appropriate. The post-holder will be based in Education Scotland, reporting to a Senior Education Officer, and will be line managed by The Wood Foundation.

A key responsibility will be to provide strategic support to a network of Primary Science Development Officers (PSDOs) based in local authorities. The post-holder will also work closely with other partner organisations.

Additional key responsibilities include:

  • Project manage the RAiSE programme and lead on national evaluation and reporting requirements.
  • Be responsible for the distribution of the RAiSE programme funding and work with local authorities to report on programme spend, ensuring value for money.
  • Provide regular updates to funders on the administration of the funding.
  • Provide high-level support to local authorities to support their planning and development of action plans and to engage with schools’ leaders and strategic decision-makers.
  • Develop and share case studies nationally to highlight effective practice in science and STEM.
  • Work alongside The Wood Foundation Learning and Evaluation Manager to develop local authority evaluation with consideration of how to measure impact and continually evolve the programme offer and support.
  • Provide guidance to participating local authorities to support learning, teaching, and assessment in STEM.

The successful candidate will display the following competencies:

  • Leading others
  • People management
  • Improving performance
  • Communications and engagement
  • Analysis and use of evidence
  • Financial management

Essential criteria for this role include:

  • Excellent knowledge of science and STEM within the context of Curriculum for Excellence
  • Proven track record in a leadership position within an education sector organisation
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, confidence in dealing with a range of contacts
  • Experience of partnership working with the ability to build and maintain strong and effective working relationships
  • Previous experience of managing the progress, delivery and budget of key education projects.

Deadline for applications:       4pm on Friday 11th June 2021
Interviews to be held:              Wednesday 23rd June 2021

Contact info@thewoodfoundation.org.uk for an application pack.

Please read the job description and programme briefing for additional information before applying.

May 20, 2021
by Hazel Gardner
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Survey results show increase in engagement with STEM partners

Earlier this year Education Scotland published a report presenting the key findings from the 2018/2019 Annual STEM Practitioner Survey for teachers and ELC practitioners. The survey provided valuable insights into the professional learning needs of practitioners; the challenges they face in accessing professional learning and their professional learning priorities.

A key finding from this survey was the significant increase in settings engaging with STEM partners. 42.1% of survey responses indicated that their school/ELC setting had established a partnership with one or more STEM partners from the private, public or third sector. This is an increase of 16.2% from the 2017/2018 survey. Furthermore, an additional 26.5% of 2018/2019 responses stated that their school/ELC setting hoped to have established a new STEM partnership by the end of the following academic session.

 

 

Over 200 practitioners reported that they found out about partner organisations through STEM Ambassadors with personal contacts and networking/collegiate events being the next two most popular responses. Educational settings looking to establish a STEM partnership can do so by contacting the following organisations:

You may also wish to view the infographic on the STEMnation.scot online resource to find out more about the professional learning opportunities available for STEM and DYW.

You can read more about the survey findings in the National STEM Data section on the A summary of STEM resources National Improvement Hub page. Education Scotland uses this data to help shape the national professional learning offer, including the projects supported through the . A wide range of partner organisations have also used the survey findings to help them align their professional learning programmes and strategies to the needs of practitioners.

May 16, 2021
by I. Menzies
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Quality Assurance for the SQA NQ Sciences Alternative Certification Model

Education Scotland hosted a series of webinars in May 2021 for secondary sciences teachers to support the SQA Alternative Certificate Model. The webinars provided practitioners with the opportunity to share practice and approaches with their peers. Attendees were also signposted to resources designed to support the SQA Alternative Certification Model (ACM).

The PDF document at the foot of this post contains some of the PowerPoint slides used to direct teachers to key sources of support and guidance including:

We’re grateful to all the teachers that attended and shared their approaches to verification and cross marking in the break out room discussions. Feedback from attendees was that they found this to be reassuring and supportive. Teachers were also offered support for further networking and matching up to other schools, where required, to support QA processes.

Some of the approaches discussed were:

  • Reviewing and discussing the Understanding Standards materials and SQA Academy
  • Standardising the marking scheme within our individual departments, peer assess papers within the department then verify a sample of papers externally across the cluster.
  • Cross-marking and verification internally and across the authority
  • Ways of chunking or splitting paper and subsequent decisions around grade boundaries

During the sessions, teachers identified areas where further detail would be helpful. Education Scotland collated these questions and shared them with SQA colleagues. The responses provided by SQA to these questions are attached below.

Downloads

Sciences SQA ACM Support May 2021

SQA Responses to ACM Questions 17May21

May 14, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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BCF Curriculum Investigation Grant

Funding available to educational establishments from the British Education Research Association. £5000 is available for projects looking at the theme of Race, Diversity and the Curriculum.

The establishments bid will be expected to:

    • Identify an issue impacting on the development of Race and Equality in Education in their school/college;
    • Design, implement and evaluate a response to the issue identified;
    • Disseminate the processes and outcomes of the inquiry/investigation within the school/college;
    • Develop a strategy to sustain curriculum investigation/inquiry within the school/college;
    • Contribute to research and scholarship in the study of the curriculum

More information and how to apply on the BERA website.

Closing date 7 July 2021.

May 13, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Improving Gender Balance and Equalities – webinars and podcast

 

Webinar – How does gender inequality affect attainment, wellbeing and participation?

This webinar is an introductory session, or a refresher for people who have attended one of our sessions in the past. Relevant to all settings, we will explore the impact of gender inequality, gender stereotypes and unconscious bias on children and young people, with particular focus on attainment, participation and wellbeing

Wed 26 May 16:30 – 17:30  – Sign up via Eventbrite

Thur 17 June 18:00 – 19:00 – Sign up via Eventbrite

 

If you can’t make one of the professional learning sessions, why not give our Improving Gender Balance and Equalities podcast a listen. This podcast is intended to give a brief introduction to gender stereotyping and unconscious bias as well as explore the impact of gender stereotyping on wellbeing, confidence, participation, attainment and achievement – listen here (28 mins).

 

Webinar – Introduction to gender stereotypes and unconscious bias

Strategies for addressing gender stereotypes and unconscious bias including the impact on participation in STEM and learner pathways.

 

Tuesday 1 June, 4:00 – 5:30 pm, Microsoft Teams

Click here to register via Eventbrite

We invite newly qualified teachers and ELC practitioners from across the Tayside region to join us for this introductory session.

This webinar will be relevant to all settings. We will explore the impact of gender inequality, gender stereotypes and unconscious bias on children and young people. We will also highlight strategies and practical approaches that help to address this including examples of good practice.

This session will be delivered by Mhairi Brodie (IGBE Education Officer) and Hazel Gardner (STEM Education Officer) from Education Scotland Tayside Regional Improvement Team.

Contact STEM@educationscotland.gov.scot for further information.

 

May 11, 2021
by C. Gillespie
0 comments

Fortnightly Planner – 11/05/21

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.

STEM Grants – apply now

£400,000 of new funding has been made available for professional learning to help deliver inspirational teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects across Scotland. Applications are now open and close on 24 May. Find out more and apply: bit.ly/STEMGrants2021

STEM Conference

Dumfries & Galloway’s fourth annual STEM Conference focussing on all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is now available.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s event is an online conference.

With keynote addresses, workshops & marketplace on all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics – STEM Conference 2021 Participants.

All conference materials are available within Glow throughout Term 4 and into next session.

Dumfries and Galloway STEM Conference 2021 Access Guide.

Outdoor Classroom Day – 20 May

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child’s day.  On two days of action each year in May and November, teachers take children outdoors to play and learn. Being outdoors and active is a vital part of growing up and living a healthy and fulfilled life; learning outdoors has benefits for children, young people and adults alike.

Four outdoor learning webinars are coming up this term – find sign up details of these on Education Scotland Events.

Glasgow Science Centre – free online festival

Glasgow Science Centre is holding its second online festival from May 19 – 21, and everyone aged 10 and upwards is invited to attend.

Curious About Innovation will celebrate the innovative spirit in all of us, and how that spirit can change the world. The three-day programme of live talks, interviews, games and resources will reveal how technology and innovation are solving global challenges.

Travel in(to) the Future

University of Dundee School of Science and Engineering with the Tayside & Fife branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers, have launched this year’s annual STEM poster competition aimed at primary and secondary school students. The topic is “Travel in(to) the Future”.

There are prizes in each category, in the form of Amazon vouchers.

The competition closes on 16 June 2021 (midnight).

Science Planning Resource

Supporting learning, teaching and assessment of science in early learning and childcare settings and primary schools, this resource has been developed through the RAiSE Programme with support from Education Scotland and Scottish Government.

This resource supports planning for science around the experiences and outcomes from early to second level. These activities and approaches should be viewed as useful starting points and suggestions.

Dates for your diary

National Numeracy Day – 19 May

Outdoor Classroom Day – 20 May

World Environment Day – 5 June

International Women in Engineering Day – 23rd June

 

May 4, 2021
by C. Gillespie
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Outdoor Classroom Day – 20 May

 

Outdoor Classroom Day- 20 May

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to make time outdoors part of every child’s day.  On two days of action each year in May and November, teachers take children outdoors to play and learn. Being outdoors and active is a vital part of growing up and living a healthy and fulfilled life; learning outdoors has benefits for children, young people and adults alike.

Events and resources for Outdoor Learning

Four outdoor learning webinars are planned for Term 4; you can find sign up details of these on Education Scotland Events.

Check out the recordings from our Outdoor Learning webinar programme. We have been delighted to deliver these with partners in local authorities, government departments and organisations such as Learning through Landscapes and Nature Scot.

Updated guidance on school visits and trips is available on the Scottish Government website

Our Outdoor Learning Wakelet has a great collection of resources – easy, one stop shop access to resources and support.

Our professional learning activity on supporting outdoor learning,  developed with SAPOE and supported by the Scottish Government, is the online portal .

A course on outdoor learning for support staff and partners is also available on the SAPOE website.

Find your local greenspace using the Outdoor Learning map developed by ENFOR (environment and forestry) staff in Scottish Government. Put in your establishment’s postcode and find local green space, with the “5 minute walk” filter a great addition. You can also use the map to discover green spaces near your home- ideal to share with parents and carers.

Let’s see some of the exciting learning taking place in your setting on Outdoor Classroom Day.

Share them with @STEMedscot using #Learnoutdoors #Outdoorclassroomday

 

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