STEM Blog

July 23, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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Space Champion online sessions

Space Champions, supported by ESERO-UK and the UK Space Agency, are delivering online sessions for teachers and technicians; using space as a context in teaching with space-themed experiments and linking to featured resources.

Regional deliverers of space-related training have launched workshops exploring how to use space as a context in teaching, the different ESA education programmes on offer and how to get recognition through the Space Education Quality Mark. They will guide educators through the resources and tools available and how to run space-related experiments for students.

Online sessions this summer:

04 August –  Join Teacher, Paul Hill, for a free CPD session that looks at how Space can be used to inspire in your science curriculum and how you can make use of the fantastic, free resources available from ESERO-UK. Find out how you can look for life on Mars, run a mission to the moon, explore Antarctica, launch rockets and design spacesuits. There will be a chance to see how simple, exciting and inexpensive experiments can be run in class and have a chance to ask those pressing space and science questions.

Free resources are available that can be used in the classroom and beyond. Areas covered but not limited to, include:

  • primary level earth and space, literacy, numeracy and how Science works
  • secondary level biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geography and DT

 

Space Detectives CPD – The topic of space holds fascination for many people of all ages. Did you know that we can use “space” as a context of delivery through which much of the primary science curriculum can be taught? This is a super way of engaging young primary pupils and inspiring them in those all-important STEM subjects:

 

July 10, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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RAiSE case studies – Primary STEM opportunities

 

Primary Science Development Officer (PSDOs) from across the Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) network have shared case studies of initiatives undertaken across the country to develop engaging and motivating STEM opportunities for learners.

 

RAiSE is a programme of The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities which delivers professional learning, promotes opportunities and develops networks to promote enhanced STEM learning and teaching in primary schools.

 

These case studies are available to read and download on Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub.

 

Gayle Duffus, National Education Officer leading RAiSE, said:

“These case studies provide examples of practice that could be replicated across other settings; highlight the planning, resource implications and impact of work undertaken so that practitioners could be inspired to deliver something adapted to suit their context.

“Collaboration, networks and a willingness to share best practice are integral parts of the RAiSE programme. By sharing these case studies, we hope to promote this value and stimulate further inspiration for primary practitioners.”

 

The case studies are available here and will be regularly updated.

June 26, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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STEM webinars and online resources – June 2020

Last week we held our first STEM sharing practice blether – a rich and energising discussion with practitioners from all sectors across Scotland

Collated notes and links from each of the virtual rooms can be accessed via a shared Google Doc.

This was part of a series of STEM webinars in June:

Presentations and materials from these sessions can be accessed from our STEM Nation Webinar Teams site – we use MS Teams within GLOW. The joining code is: kz41xx4

Accessing MS Teams in within GLOW: Local Authorities which use MS Teams outwith GLOW may find that they need to access GLOW using a different browser or incognito tab to allow them to access GLOW MS Teams.

The senior phase sciences webinar has led to the formation of short – life working groups looking to develop resources to support learning in secondary sciences (including BGE). We have created a specific  MS Teams site within GLOW to support this work – the joining code is: uh9sf32. Materials produced from these working groups will be widely promoted to practitioners through ES Comms channels as well as through the online science teacher groups: Synapse, Strontium and Sputnik.

We are looking to develop more online professional learning opportunities for the coming term both nationally and more locally; please feel free to get in touch if there is anything that you think would be of interest to practitioners in your area.

Contact us at – STEM@educationscotland.gov.scot

June 26, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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STEM in a nutshell – National Parent Forum of Scotland

The National Parent Forum of Scotland have launched their latest nutshell for parents. 

This latest in the series of nutshells explains what STEM is and why STEM skills are important.

The nutshell encourages parents to talk about STEM in a positive way, to help boost young people’s self esteem and their ability to understand and enjoy STEM.

 

 

June 26, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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Sciences – Senior Phase webinar available online

 

Our popular Sciences – Senior Phase webinar with presenters from across Scotland sharing and discussing approaches in sciences is now available to view at your convenience.

The webinar is available here.

So settle down with a cuppa and revisit this popular webinar whenever you choose.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at STEM@educationscotland.gov.scot

June 23, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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Virtual STEM mentoring opportunities – NY Academy of Sciences

 

The New York Academy of Sciences is looking for the best and brightest high school students passionate about changing the world through STEM! These programs are completely virtual and students can participate from anywhere in the world.

Students ages 13-17 are being recruited from around the world to participate in pioneering virtual STEM mentoring programs: 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures and The Junior Academy. Accepted students become Young Members of the Academy and gain access to the world’s smartest network! While both programs use online mentoring platforms enabling participants to interact from anywhere in the world, there are a few key elements that make each opportunity unique:

  • 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures connects STEM-focused high school girls to dynamic, motivated female mentors during a year-long virtual science education program. Participants gain access to innovative programming focused on developing essential 21st century skills and become part of a strong network of female STEM leaders from around the world!
  • The Junior Academy introduces exceptional students to an online community where they gain access to best-in-class STEM resources and work together to solve real-world problems. STEM professionals mentor student teams during 60-day innovation challenges, with multiple challenges a year for participants to choose from.

This is an incredible opportunity – please help in spreading this message to students in your network.  Any 13-17 year old with a passion for STEM and proficiency in English can learn more about the programs or start their application here. Applications are due by July 31st, 2020.

Students are welcome to apply to both programs, if eligible. If you have any questions about the programs, please contact apply@nyas.org.

June 16, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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2020 STEM Academy Scotland 15 – 19 June

 

On Monday 15 June, a week-long series of online workshops and activities begin. The 2020 STEM Academy is an innovative University and Industry led programme bringing together teachers of STEM subjects, their students and parents, academics and industry.

The event provides a fabulous variety of ‘hands on’ workshops and activities, working with experts and experiencing the real and exciting world of STEM beyond school. Workshops range from Astrobiology, HYPED Hyperloop- the fastest transport on earth, racing cars, viruses and our defences, to 5G Communication, robotics and AI.

Teachers and pupils attending previous STEM Academies reported significant increases in confidence and ability in STEM Engagement, Learning and Leadership.  We hope that participants will enjoy similar benefits by joining the very first 2020 online STEM Academy. Join in the fun on the 15 June at www.stemacademyscotland.org

June 12, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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NEW – Primary Science resources

 

We’ve been updating the Science Planning resource to support teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Home learning links have been extracted from each planner and collated in one file, to make it easy for you to find what you need right now.  Links to the excellent Glasgow Science Centre videos (GSC@home) which have been produced for learning at home have been added too.  Everything is linked to specific experiences and outcomes so that you can make links to your planning..

 

We’ve also shared an interactive version of the benchmarks document which hyperlinks from each experience and outcome, directly to the science planning resource.

 

Hope these are helpful additions – check them out here!

June 4, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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Webinars to support learning at home

Education Scotland is delighted to offer a programme of webinars for practitioners, hosted by our education officers. These webinars cover a range of topics which are relevant to learning at home in these challenging times.

The webinars are listed on the National Improvement Hub

Upcoming webinars include Science – Senior Phase, Primary Science planning resource, Outdoor Learning, Numeracy and Mathematics, Technologies and STEM Sharing Practice blether.

For digital skills webinars please visit the Digilearn site.

 

 

 

 

June 2, 2020
by C. Gillespie
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RAiSE network providing vital online support to teachers delivering home learning

The Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) network of Primary Science Development Officers (PSDOs) has developed a suite of resources, lesson ideas, professional learning events and tailored sessions to teachers during the lockdown period.

Throughout the country, primary STEM leads within the network have used a variety of digital technologies, tailoring their communications strategies and outputs dependent on local need and context.

Gayle Duffus, National Education Officer for RAiSE, said:

“RAiSE has been designed with flexibility at its core. Our aim is to offer an equitable approach to primary STEM learning opportunities that is firmly driven at a local level to ensure maximum impact in learning communities.

“With the announcement of lockdown and a move to home learning for the majority of pupils, our agile network rallied to enhance its digital footprint and deliver a series of innovative solutions which would support teachers to deliver impactful online learning.

“The role of the PSDO provides strategic support to the authorities within our network. These specialists offer a central point in which to foster networks, opportunities, professional learning and lesson ideas which can be effectively cascaded throughout the entire authority and beyond.”

RAiSE is a programme of The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. Following a successful pilot, it is now being offered on a rolling basis to all local authorities in Scotland, with 14 having already joined the network.

Interventions by the RAiSE network in response to Covid-19 have included:

  • The hosting of the third annual Dumfries & Galloway STEM Conference moved online with 32 professional learning opportunities hosted with themes designed following a survey of local need.
  • Falkirk hosted a #STEMatHome Week and developed a range of resources linked to Star Wars Day which were very popular. Falkirk has grown its Teams group by 50 and had more than 30,000 impressions on tweets since lockdown began – showing its content is reaching practitioners in the region and beyond.
  • South Ayrshire is developing a new website and hosting a number of professional learning opportunities virtually.
  • North Lanarkshire PSDOs hosted professional learning for the rest of the RAiSE network to share their learning on breakout room-themed STEM lessons which could be conducted online. They provided this professional learning to 150 practitioners from all sectors using GLOW.
  • Angus secured First Lego League Junior kits for eight learning hubs and is issuing a newsletter focused on home learning and professional learning opportunities.
  • North Ayrshire has developed and promoted a range of online resources which have been viewed more than 1000 times.
  • Clackmannanshire has created a new resource hub website, with professional learning tailored to responses from teachers on local need.

The online science planning resource, prepared by the RAiSE network, was published by Education Scotland.   The resource forms an integral part of Education Scotland’s ‘Scotland Learns’ campaign supporting practitioners and communities to continue to best support learners during current extraordinary circumstances.

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