April 9, 2021
by Janey Irving

Science Summer School at Edinburgh Zoo/Highland Wildlife Park

Science Summer School | RZSS

  • The Science Summer School at Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park is planning on running this summer
  • The week long course runs over the summer holidays and is completely free for students to attend
  • Open to 16-18 years
  • Application deadline is the 17 May 2021

 All the details are here Science Summer School | RZSS

  •  RZSS have a distance learning option this year too called ‘Zoo Studies’
  • Covers similar topics to the Science Summer School – please note there is a cost attached to this option
  • Accreditation: Students can earn a ZEBRA Award by successfully passing the assessments

April 7, 2021
by Janey Irving

“Science Insights Online” 2021 – Work Experience Week for Current S5 Pupils (Mon 26 to Fri 30 July 2021)

The University of Edinburgh’s cross-college (Medicine & Vet Med) work experience week, “Science Insights Online”, will take place again this summer during the last week of July.

“Science Insights Online” is an exciting work experience programme created for current S5 secondary school students (who will be entering S6 in August 2021). Successful applicants will spend five days (Monday 26 to Friday 30 July inclusive) following a varied programme of online activities hosted by staff and students from 4 different College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine campuses, gaining a real insight into research and work in many different areas of biological, biomedical and animal sciences.

Activities include: 

  • Virtual tours of a range of scientific facilities
  • Presentations, workshops and discussions on topics including research ethics, the use of animals in research and careers in science
  • Opportunities for online group chats with current University of Edinburgh PhD students and researchers
  • Skills session to help with future university applications

We welcome applications to Science Insights if pupils are:

  • Currently in 5th year of High School and will be staying on for S6
  • Able to attend all five days of the online programme: One full week 26-30 July 2021 from 11.30am to 5.00pm daily (with scheduled breaks).
  • Enthusiastic and interested in biological, biomedical and animal science, or biochemistry
  • Curious, keen to learn and ask questions

There are only 60 places available for Science Insights Online and it is being promoted to all schools in Scotland. Any current S5 pupils interested in science (especially those planning to apply to Biology / Biomedical Sciences / Animal Sciences at university) are welcome to apply.

We are very happy to receive applications from any of your S5 pupils, but pupils who fulfil one or more of the following Widening Participation criteria will be prioritised for places:

  • Attending a school of below-average attainment and / or progression to higher education
  • Residing in an area of low progression to higher education, as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)
  • Is / has been Care experienced
  • Is estranged
  • Is a carer
  • Is / will be in receipt of Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) or Free School Meals
  • Is/has been an asylum seeker or refugee

To apply for a place, pupils need to complete an online application form, which they can find on the Science Insights website:  Applications opened on Friday 26 February 2021.

The closing date for applications is Monday 26th April 2021 and places will be assigned on the basis of the applications received as well as the Widening Participation criteria above – NOT on a “first come, first served” basis – by early May.

As part of Science Insights Online, we will run two webinars on Monday 26th and Friday 30th of July.  We are delighted that all pupils who apply will be offered the chance to attend both webinars.  The proposed webinar themes are ‘Science is for Everyone’ and ‘All about Vaccines’, subject to speaker availability.

We realise that not everyone has the same ability to access online content and we are looking into ways to support pupils who may have difficulties accessing Science Insights Online. There are questions about online access in the application form, and if pupils do not have a reliable way to get online, we are asking them to tell us. It will not count against them in their application and we will try to help all successful applicants to access the programme, as far as we can.

Please promote this opportunity to your pupils. We will also be promoting this on social media, so if you are able to share from @UniofEdWPteam on Twitter that would be ideal.

April 1, 2021
by C. Gillespie

We are recruiting!

Education Officer – STEM (12 month secondment)

We are currently seeking applications for an Education Officer.  This is a 12 month secondment opportunity (maternity cover).  The secondment offers an exciting opportunity for an individual to support regional STEM programmes as part of Education Scotland’s Tayside locality team. They will also lead national developments and programmes to support the implementation of the STEM Education and Training strategy and help to make Scotland a leading STEM nation.

Closing date is 9th April.  For role description and application form click here.

March 30, 2021
by C. Gillespie

DYW Orkney supports learners’ STEM opportunities


Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Orkney has granted funding for science kits for each of the islands’ schools.

The organisation awarded the Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) programme £18,000 to purchase Meccano, coding creatures, minicomputers, toolkits, and workbenches.

These will be distributed to 19 schools, benefitting more than 1500 children.

Colin Nisbet, RAiSE Education Support Officer in Orkney, will deliver training to all schools on how to make the most of the resources, as well as developing resources to support learning experiences and opportunities. He said:

“This funding award is incredibly welcome. We want to bring STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to life for our learners. Educational toys and kits help to spark curiosity, ambition, and problem-solving skills in fun and accessible ways. I am going to work alongside our schools to offer training, advice, and ideas so we can get the most from these very valuable resources.”

In an effort to support the local economy, Colin has purchased the Meccano sets through Grooves in Kirkwall.

The sets will promote engineering through play, programming digital technology, and the use of tools. Local businesses will be profiled within the support materials and schools will be encouraged to connect with industry to bring these lessons to life even more.

Rachel Scarth, Project Manager, DYW Orkney, said:

“The DYW Orkney Board are very proud of our partnership and support of the RAiSE programme. We recognise that the development of STEM and digital skills is vitally important for the islands as we progress through a modern economy and we must be proactive in developing our young people for the future. Sparking confidence and excitement in these matters from a young age is a great way to do this.”

RAiSE, a programme of The Wood Foundation, Scottish Government, Education Scotland, and participating local authorities empowers primary teachers with the skills, networks, and confidence to develop and deliver motivating and engaging STEM learning experiences for children. More than half of Scotland’s local authorities have engaged and Colin has been in post focussing on the Orkney area for a year.

March 30, 2021
by C. Gillespie

RAiSE engages half of Scotland’s local authorities

A programme which empowers teachers with the confidence and skills to deliver inspiring and motivating STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) learning experiences for primary pupils has launched in the Western Isles.

RAiSE (Raising Aspirations in Science Education) and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have seconded two Primary Science Development Officers (PSDO), Catriona Gilchrist based in Lewis and Harris and Fiona Macgillivray in Uist, Benbecula and Barra. They will develop and deliver professional learning, create STEM networks, and organise community events for the authority’s schools. Their work will build upon and provide a central point for the STEM education efforts already underway at the islands’ 20 schools.

Catriona said:

“We want to build upon a lot of the great work already underway, and provide a structure which ensures we’re all sharing best practice and benefitting from the wealth of STEM professional learning and teaching opportunities which are available.”

Fiona added:

“STEM skills are so important in terms of local employment and we want to nurture curiosity and confidence from an early age.”

William Macdonald, Director of Education & Children’s Services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:

“We are delighted to be the next local authority to join the RAiSE programme and recognise that it will bring many benefits to our schools in the strengthening of primary sciences for both staff and learners. We look forward to supporting the development of the project over the next two years.”

RAiSE is a programme of The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is the 16th authority to embark upon the programme which has delivered more than 50,000 hours of professional learning since 2016.

Gayle Duffus, National Education Officer, leads the RAiSE programme. She said:

“We are delighted to have reached this milestone in our engagement of Scotland’s local authorities. To have engaged half of the country in five years and for interest in the programme to continue to grow is testament to the commitment to, and appetite for, meaningful STEM learning experiences for our young people. We’re looking forward to working with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.”

March 30, 2021
by C. Gillespie

STEM Fortnightly Planner – 30.03.21

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 update

£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:

Secondment Opportunity

We are recruiting! Could you help build a #STEMnation as one of our Regional STEM Education Officers?  We have an exciting 12 month secondment opportunity within @EducationScot #STEM Team. Closing date is 9 April. Apply here.

Geoscience outreach project

The University of Edinburgh and the Widening Participation team are holding a Geoscience outreach event.
Aimed at secondary school students aged between 15-17, the event will be a webinar where students will use existing knowledge to understand real world geoscience problems.
The webinar will take place on 9th April at 4pm.
Everyone welcome!
Geoscience – A career you’ve never considered?

TechFest’s STEM Next Essay competition

STEM Next – an essay competition exploring the future of STEM research open to all S5 and S6 pupils.  This is a solo project which will require independent research and writing.


1) Energy Transition 

2) Applications of Mathematics

3) Medicine & Life Sciences 

4) Technology & Computer Sciences 

5) Food, Drink & Agriculture

Online tutorials and webinars (including guidance on essay writing, how to reference and networking seminars) will be available to competing students.

All essays will be eligible for CREST awards and prizes.

Students wishing to take part should register interest no later than 26/05/21.

Apply here

Crest Discovery Day

A Discovery Day is an opportunity for learners aged 10-14 to learn about hands-on STEM projects. Primary and secondary learners can apply an open-ended, student-led project based learning approach with real world context to their STEM projects.

Teachers from eligible schools will take part in Teachers’ CPD training and online training on how to run a Discovery Day. The Discovery Days are to be run by the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.



Dates for your diary

World Earth Day 22 April

International Girls in ICT Day 25 April

Walk to School Week – 17 -21 May

Deaf Awareness Week – 4 -10 May

March 26, 2021
by I. Menzies

Quality assurance support for NQ Sciences – SQA Alternative Certification Model

Education Scotland will be running series of webinars after the Easter break to support the SQA Alternative Certification Model. The sessions for NQ Sciences have been scheduled for the following dates:

  • 5-6pm Wed 28th April – Biology/Human Biology
  • 5-6pm Tuesday 4th May – Chemistry
  • 5-6pm Wednesday 5th May – Physics
  • 5-6pm Monday 10th May – Environmental Science.

The purpose of these sessions will be to support local and national curriculum networks to share practice and quality assurance approaches. Please save these dates in your calendar if you’d like at attend.

Please remember to visit our Education Scotland DigiLearnScot blog for a helpful online tutorial of how MS Teams and OneNote can be used to support virtual quality assurance:

We realise too that some schools are, at present, actively looking for other partner schools to work with in relation to quality assurance for the SQA Alternative Certification Model. In many cases, arrangements will already be in place at local authority or RIC level. However, for those that require it, Education Scotland is hosting an informal online session from 5-6pm on Wednesday 31 March to facilitate an early opportunity for networking and matching with partner schools. This will take place in our Secondary Sciences Working Group in Glow. Please access this link to register your interest:

March 15, 2021
by Janey Irving

STEM Fortnightly Planner -15.03.21

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.

My World of Work Live: Virtual Meet the Expert

As part of the My World of Work Live programme, SDS are offering virtual Meet the Expert sessions for young people.

Experts from a range of sectors are taking part in the 40-minute sessions where young people will get the chance to gain valuable insight to the role.

Here’s a list of what’s coming up:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Please pass this information on to colleagues and careers advisers in schools and encourage schools to join the live sessions.

If timetables don’t allow this, all sessions will be recorded and added to the My World of Work Live YouTube channel for viewing at a later date.

Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning

Full details of all of the opportunities below can be found  at:

  1. New Online Partnerships offer:
  • – LfS Scotland recently co-delivered a webinar about this offer with the help of Education Scotland’s Digital Team  – you can view the recording here.
  • – More information about the Online Partnerships offer can be found here.
  • – This offer is ideal for schools who want to bring digital literacy to life by collaborating online on the big issues that shape our world.
  1. Take action on climate change in a Supported Partnership
  • – In November COP26 comes to Glasgow, and LfS Scotland has a great new offer for schools who want to collaborate locally and globally on climate change.
  • – This offer provides support and resources to help you learn about and take action on this vital issue.
  • – Helping  you find partner schools and  supporting you to work together on a short-term project during the coming summer term.
  •  – This offer is ideal for schools who just want support to collaborate with others without applying for funding.
  • Find out more and register your interest here by 22nd March.


NASA in Aberdeen: Humans Exploring Mars – Schools Presentation

As part of the NASA in Aberdeen series, TechFest joined with Aberdeen Science Centre and the Institute of Physics to hold an interesting NASA in Aberdeen: Humans Exploring Mars event last Friday which was a very informative presentation.

As we were unable to have our usual schools presentation this year, we would like you to view the video of the presentation and then submit questions to our presenter Tim Browett, of the IOP Scotland so that he can answer then in a second video along with his IOP colleague Alison McLure, which would then be accessible on YouTube as a class resource.

We have posted the recording from Friday on our You Tube channel for you to watch with your class and then submit your questions to us by email before 18.03.21.

Once you have viewed the video please help us to improve the event for next time by completing our online survey – please click here to complete our feedback survey 

Please remember to like and share our social media channels and if you would like to hear more of our events then please subscribe to our mailing list – click here


University of Strathclyde is offering a newly developed online course: Engineering Fundamentals 

This free course fully funded by SFC and taught exclusively online aims to provide an insight into studying engineering and an opportunity to develop skills relevant across different engineering disciplines.

Combining online materials developed by the highly acclaimed departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Design Manufacturing and Engineering Management and Civil and Environmental Engineering the course aims to contextualise what it means to be an engineer, the impact engineers have on the industry and environment around them and seeks to nurture and develop engineering habits of mind.

To find out more and/or enrol please click on the flyer below:

eng fundamentals flyer 15032021

February 18, 2021
by Lynn Yeneka

Senior Phase Sciences National e-Learning Offer Update

The NQ Sciences supported spreadsheets contains resource links for National 4 through to Advanced Higher for Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology and Physics and are being updated on a regular basis.

All subjects include:

  • Teacher created resources – narrated PowerPoints; activities, formative assessment
  • Practical science videos
  • Links to recorded lessons for National 5 and Higher from West Online School and e-Sgoil
  • A tab for recently-added links to BBC content
  • Scholar content also available so teachers can access the full suite of supported resources in one place.

Updates to the Biology supported spreadsheet this week include:

  • links to fascinating TEDEd and Amoeba Sisters videos
  • National 4 and 5 Biology resource links including auto and teacher marked Google Forms which can be sued for diagnostic assessment

Updates to the Chemistry supported spreadsheets this week include:

  • Past paper questions and answers for Units 1,2 and 3 at National 5 and Higher
  • New PowerPoints for National 5 Units 1, 2 and 3
  • Advanced Higher – homework with answers and past paper questions with answers

Updates to the Physics supported spreadsheets this week include:

  • Activity on the IOP Scotland Shared resources sheet
    • Screencasts of uncertainties at AH level and Nat 5 past paper revision question banks
    •  a set of homework questions for AH for most units.
    • a good number of eSgoil videos which do require a Glow login
    • It’s always good to see suggestions on the public access ‘right hand side’ which are usually moved to the left ‘protected’ cells once they have been verified by IOPS coaches.  Sometimes this process can take a few weeks. As the sheet is nearly one year old some of the links may change etc. If you do notice broken links please get in touch with Matthew Burke (email on the first tab of the sheet) or Martyn Crawshaw

National e-Learning Offer


February 1, 2021
by Janey Irving

EBSOC Lab Techniques in Action added to NeLO Biology Resources

Two brand new interactive videos, created by the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre and Roslin Institute, show the laboratory techniques Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis. They have been designed to contribute to Education Scotland’s National e-Learning Offer, supporting Higher pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of specific lab techniques. They also include real-life examples of how the techniques are used by Roslin Institute research scientists and technicians.

The videos are linked to the Higher Biology & Higher Human Biology Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and are accompanied by additional teaching materials including hands-on activities and pupil assessments.

You can also visit the EBSOC website directly to access these resources

There are lots of other exciting additions to the Biology and Human Biology resources section of  NeLO this week including links to new videos from West OS and Meet the Scientist videos from MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM)  at the University of Edinburgh.

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