Kirsten Leask

Nov 292018
 

Help us track progress in the provision of career-long professional learning in STEM so we can meet your needs and ensure equity of access and provision.

  • Early learning and childcare, ASN, primary and secondary sectors – please complete our annual STEM practitioner survey by 14 January 2019.
  • Community learning and development practitioners – please complete the STEM CLD survey by 7 December 2018.
  • Organisations that provide STEM professional learning – please help us capture your contribution.
Nov 192018
 

1.Introduction

Does your organisation provide career-long professional learning support in STEM (sciences, technologies, engineering, mathematics) and digital skills to any or all of the following groups and/or sectors?

  • Early learning and childcare practitioners
  • Primary school practitioners
  • Additional support needs practitioners
  • Classroom assistants
  • Secondary school practitioners
  • School-based technical support staff
  • College/FE practitioners.

If so, then we’d be very grateful for your support in helping us to recognise the contribution your organisation makes to this.

 

2.Why are we asking for this data?

In 2017, the Scottish Government published the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland. A key ambition of the strategy is to enhance the provision of high-quality career-long professional learning (CLPL) to the groups listed above.

Education Scotland consulted many of the target groups to find out more about their STEM CLPL needs and the findings are now being used to shape the national offering. A new Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme has recently been launched by Education Scotland to promote innovation in this area and build further delivery capacity.

On an annual basis, we will be gathering data to track progress against the following STEM Strategy Key Performance Indicator: Increase the cumulative hours of STEM professional learning accessed by early years, schools, college and CLD practitioners annually. If your organisation provides STEM CLPL to the target groups listed above, then we’d be very grateful for your support in helping us measure progress against this KPI.

The commitment in the STEM Education and Training Strategy is to enhance the existing provision of professional learning in STEM. As we progress with our plans we want to be sure that there is an equity of provision across all sectors and geographical areas and that the needs of various groups are being met. The tracking process and annual return survey will help us to allocate resources to where they are needed most to address gaps and imbalances.

What will we do with this data?

We will produce an overall analysis of the data provided to us and will be sharing this with key partners such as Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council to inform decision-making and planning in relation to the STEM strategy. The analysis will also be shared widely with the education system through Education Scotland’s communication channels.

The data provided by your organisation will not be identifiable from the analysis. However, you will be given the option of being listed as one of the participating organisations.

 

3.About the tracking process

The following two-step process is designed to make the on-going capture of this data as easy as possible. If you already have systems in place to capture the relevant data (as outlined in Appendix 1 in the attached Guidance notes) then please disregard Step 1 and proceed straight to Step 2.

Step 1: Collate your STEM & digital skills CLPL data throughout the year

  • We have created a CLPL Tracker Template (attached) to help you track the STEM professional learning your organisation provides. This Excel-based tool automatically tallies data on your CLPL activities; making it easy for you to capture the quantitative information required.
  • Instructions on how to use the Tracker are contained within the document itself – see the How to use this tracker worksheet/tab. Further notes have been embedded in the sample table and the Enter Data worksheet. Just hover your mouse over the relevant table heading to reveal the notes.
  • We are inviting your organisation to use this Tracker on an on-going basis to capture data on your CLPL activities from 1st August to 31 July each year. If you are willing to support this then we’d be grateful if you could start this process by entering data on your CLPL activity from 01 August 2018.

Step 2: Enter your cumulative CLPL data totals in our annual return survey

  • In August each year, we will send you our annual return online survey to complete.
  • If you have been using the STEM CLPL Tracker, then you can find the data to be entered into the survey in the My Totals worksheet/tab in the Tracker.
  • If you will be using your own internal processes to track the professional learning your organisation provides, then please refer to Appendix 1 in the attached Guidance Notes to see the data that will be required.
  • The annual return survey that we will issue will also contain free-text options for you to enter any qualitative data you would like to share.
  • Please ensure that you only enter data on the CLPL that your organisation has led on. We are keen to avoid any duplication or double-counting of CLPL activity undertaken.
  • We will send you more details about the 2018/19 annual return in due course.

 

4. Help us to establish a baseline with your retrospective CLPL data

We are also keen to establish a baseline of activity for academic year 2017/18. We, therefore, would be very grateful if you could provide us with retrospective data for STEM CLPL you provided between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018. We appreciate that this may be a challenge given the time that has elapsed since then, so we have created a simple survey to capture this data. We are happy to receive estimated figures.

The survey can be accessed at: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/STEM20172018/

We would be very grateful if you could complete this retrospective survey by Friday 14 December.

This online survey also asks if you would like to be included in this annual data return process so that the contribution your organisation makes to STEM learning in Scotland can be captured on an on-going basis. If you would like to be involved in the coming years, then please complete the relevant section to ensure that we have the most up-to-date contact details.

You may be interested to know that we will shortly be sending out a survey to practitioners in early learning and childcare, school and community learning and development sectors to capture information about the professional learning they have accessed and to identify their priorities for the year ahead.

 

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you provide for STEM learning in Scotland. If you have any questions then please get in touch.

 

Click on the following links to access the Tracker and Guidance notes referred to in this document:

Guidance Notes STEM CLPL Tracker

STEM CLPL Tracker Template

Oct 112018
 

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week  provides a unique opportunity for engineers, employers, universities and schools to help inspire the next generation of engineers.

Download toolkits of ideas on how to take part.

This year’s plans include the first Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly; offering schools across the UK the chance to take part in the same assembly at the same time.

Oct 112018
 

The PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC is an exciting and unique opportunity for schools to participate in a dedicated primary science conference. The event will take place on Friday 7th June 2019 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre as part of the international Primary Science Education Conference (PSEC).

The theme of the conference is Climate Change, Sustainable Living and Environmental Science. Schools will be encouraged to develop their own projects focused on finding a local issue and developing solutions for it and then share their work: either by attending the Conference or submitting a poster/film of their activity.

Schools can register their Interest at https://www.primaryscienceconference.org/childrens-conference and download the free Climate Change Teachers’ Project Pack. The pack has ideas for projects in ten different areas; as well as advice on developing partnerships, planning projects and a Climate Change Special Topical Science Update.

Look out for more information in late 2018 when schools will be able to apply to present their projects at the PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC in June 2019.

Keep up to date with what’s going on:

Follow @pstt_whyhow on Twitter

#PSECchildrensconf

Join our ‘PSTT Children’s Conference at PSEC’ Facebook group

Aug 222018
 

SLF 2018 is taking place this week and we cannot wait for our STEM Live Expo! –  a fantastic new, interactive experience with STEM demonstrations and inspirational keynote speeches.

SLF 18 STEM LIVE Demo Programme

Please  note: the sessions below may be marked as ‘full’ when you register but stand-by places are usually available – just stand outside the relevant room on the day to make use of the free spaces!

Hosted by award-winning science communicator, Dr Heather Reid, the action starts at 09.30 on Thursday 20th September in the Lomond Auditorium, and the programme is as follows:

09.30 – 10.15:             ‘Making Scotland a STEM Nation’

Hear the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Mr Richard Lochhead MSP, set out the Scottish Government’s vision for STEM and the ambitious plans in the national STEM Education and Training Strategy published last year.

You’ll also hear from three inspiring young people who’ll share their STEM experiences with you.

10.45 – 11.30:             STEM Expo – Part One

Get STEM-inspired! Take part in our wide range of STEM demonstration sessions; hosted and delivered by children, young people, practitioners and experts from across Scotland. In a first for this festival, these sessions are packed full of practical ideas to inspire and motivate STEM learning across early years, primary, secondary and community learning settings.

12.00 – 12.45:             ‘Improving engagement with STEM: A science capital approach’

How do we improve, increase and widen engagement with STEM – particularly once learners leave formal education? Join Professor Louise Archer from University College London to hear more about an exciting ‘science capital’ approach which is having a significant impact on young people’s understanding of and engagement with STEM.

13.15 – 14.00:             STEM Expo – Part Two

If you enjoyed Part One, then be sure to come along to Part Two to take part in even more interactive demonstration sessions from another selection of inspirational children, young people, practitioners and experts from across Scotland.

14.30 – 15.15:             ‘The Art of Science Communication’

Join Dr Jamie Gallagher – scientist, science communicator and salsa dance teacher – as he explores how to make STEM subjects memorable, exciting and accessible for all. Discover how fusing STEM with storytelling, art and dance can empower everyone – including even the most STEM-phobic learners and practitioners! – to connect with STEM in new and interesting ways.

15.15:                          Closing remarks

STEM Live! 2018 will be brought to a close by Gayle Gorman, the CEO of Education Scotland.

 

Click here to find out all you need to know about STEM Live! and the 2018 Scottish Learning Festival.

Aug 202018
 

Just weeks after unveiling the outcome of a £2M fundraising campaign, in the form of a new exhibition and science learning suite, Dundee Science Centre has secured £1.45M to transform the visitor attraction into an even more accessible community hub.

The Inspiring Science Fund is co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome. The scheme supports science centres to rethink what they do and what they offer to the public. Dundee Science Centre is currently fundraising for an additional £340K to reach its ambitious targets.

The news comes hot on the heels of the re-opening of the top floor following an ambitious redevelopment which doubled the upper floor space through a mezzanine extension, now housing the Medical Marvels exhibition and much improved facilities for the Science Learning Institute.

This latest tranche of funding will transform Dundee Science Centre into an inspiring community hub and lifelong learning resource which brings people together and attracts new audiences within the region. The spaces and programmes will be co-designed with communities from the design stage right through to prototyping and testing, and influenced by their needs to ensure it will feel welcoming, safe and accessible for people of all backgrounds.

Rebecca Erskine, Head of Development, Dundee Science Centre said, “We are incredibly excited to build on our existing relationships with our dynamic partners and community groups and invite in new audiences who may feel as though science isn’t for them to join us on a journey to truly shape and co-design exhibits, environments and programmes which are all influenced by their needs.”

Not only will the ground floor be developed into a custom-built hub with improved scope for events, talks and workshops celebrating community work, but made more user-friendly to those affected by sensory and other conditions.

The transformation will also see the creation of a brand new welcome / reception area, dedicated under 7’s exhibition area focused on child development, a sensory zone and new exhibition space with exhibits which encourage social interactions.

The coffee shop will also be replaced by ‘The Gathering Place’ where visitors can socialise and relax with intriguing injections of science, again all shaped by the community.

Linda Leuchars, CEO, Dundee Science Centre said, “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this new funding which will allow us to take all the work we’ve done over the last 18 years to the next level.  We are already proud to be leaders in the field of community engagement but now it’s about exploring where we can take that, and really pushing the barriers of science engagement.”

Echoing the sentiment of inclusion is Paul Clancy, Executive Director of Children and Families Service from Dundee City Council, one of Dundee Science Centre’s partners – “Dundee Science Centre’s ambitious plans will play an important role our aims to tackle social inequalities and provide our children and young people with the best start to life. CONNECT will be an excellent opportunity for Dundee Science Centre and Dundee City Council to explore new and greater ways of working together and to learn from each other’s practice. CONNECT will firmly place Dundee Science Centre and science within the tourism, education and cultural fabric of the city and we are excited to be involved in this journey.”

In addition to the physical transformation, a new website will also be developed, again underpinned by the themes of CONNECT – inclusion, accessibility and diversity.  The Science Centre team will also be trained  by specialist organisations to ensure that the products and programmes on offer are fit for purpose, accessible and address local needs.

It is hoped that talks with local community groups will commence during Dundee Science Festival in October 2018.  The new look Centre should be unveiled in Spring 2021.

The project partners bring expertise from a range of sectors from community learning and development, academia, formal education and health care. They are – Dundee City Council, Education Scotland, Dundee and Angus ADHD Support group, V&A Dundee, University of Dundee, Abertay University, University of St Andrews, Dundee and Angus College and NHS Tayside.

For more information, telephone (01382) 228800 or visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk.

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