All posts by I. Menzies

Senior Education Officer for Sciences, Education Scotland

Annual data gathering 2019 – Providers of STEM-related professional learning

Closing date for returns -16 December 2019

Education Scotland is inviting organisations that provide professional learning in STEM, including numeracy and mathematics and digital skills, to participate in our annual data gathering exercise. By submitting your data you will help us recognise the contribution your organisation makes to building the confidence and skills of practitioners and technicians nationally. The information you provide will play a key role in supporting the implementation of the STEM Education and Training Strategy and also the Making Maths Count Report.

Who should submit data?

This invitation is for organisations that provide external career-long professional learning support in sciences, technologies, engineering, mathematics/numeracy (STEM) and digital skills to the following groups and sectors:

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

This invitation will, therefore, be relevant to a wide range of organisations including: local authorities, colleges, universities, employers, STEM providers, third sector organisations, science centres and festivals and national agencies. Educational establishments that have secured STEM grant funding from Education Scotland to provide professional learning to other centres are also encouraged to submit data. Please see our Defining STEM document for a list of courses and frameworks included in STEM.

Why are we asking for this data?

Both the STEM Strategy and Making Maths Count Report seek to enhance the provision of high-quality professional learning to the groups listed above. The findings from previous annual STEM practitioner and provider surveys have proven invaluable in helping to shape the national offer and to address the gaps and challenges practitioners face in accessing high-quality professional learning. In 2018, Education Scotland launched The Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme to promote innovation in this area and build further delivery capacity for STEM, and also numeracy and mathematics and digital skills. Over £1.9 million in funding is being made available in 2019/20 through this programme, benefitting more than 700 establishments and nearly 14,000 practitioners. The information you provide will help us get the offer right and secure further improvements.

How to submit your data

We are providing two options for returning your data this year. Please choose either option 1 or option 2 from below. To avoid double-counting, please only submit data for professional learning that your organisation has led on delivering.

Option 1 (For those organisations that have used the Excel STEM CLPL Provider Tracker)

Many organisations will have used Education Scotland’s STEM CLPL Provider Tracker 2018/19 to record the professional learning that they have provided between 01 August 2018 and 31 July 2019. If this is the case, we are inviting you to simply email your completed Excel Tracker to stem@educationscotland.gov.scot by 16 December 2019. Please also complete and submit the attached Data Submission Form (attached below) with your return.

Option 2 (For those using their own recording process)

We have prepared an online survey for those organisations that have gathered partial information or have used their own system for recording their professional learning data. The survey can be accessed through this link: https://bit.ly/2JcOUFd. The closing date for the survey is 16 December 2019.

Once again, we would like to invite your organisation to use the STEM CLPL Tracker 2019-20 (attached below) to record your professional learning delivery for this current academic year, from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020. It may be helpful to update this on an ongoing basis in preparation for the next Annual Data Gathering in September 2020. Please refer to the first worksheet tab in the Excel document for guidance on using the updated tracker.

A separate Annual STEM Professional Learning Practitioner Survey 2019 has been launched and provides practitioners and school/centre leaders with an opportunity to share information about their professional learning needs and priorities.

STEM-CLPL-Provider-Tracker-2019.20

Data-Submission-Form-2019

Help shape the future of STEM professional learning

The Annual STEM Professional Learning Practitioner Survey 2019 is now live: https://educationscotland.formic.com/i/STEMPractitioner2019

Early learning and childcare, primary, ASN and secondary practitioners and school/centre leaders are being invited to complete our 10 minute online survey by Monday 16 December 2019.

Education Scotland has provided almost £2 million in grant funding this financial year to enhance the professional learning offer in sciences, technologies, engineering and also in mathematics and numeracy. The funding issued in our latest round of grants will directly benefit over 700 establishments and nearly 14,000 practitioners. The direction of this grants programme has been shaped by the practitioners and school and centre leaders who completed our Annual STEM Practitioner Surveys in 2017 and in 2018. These survey findings have helped us identify the challenges that practitioners face in accessing high-quality professional learning and have also given us a clear idea of your priorities.

Education Scotland and the Scottish Government are inviting practitioners to complete our Annual STEM Professional Learning Practitioner Survey for 2019. The information you provide will help us 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?

Practitioners and school/centre leaders in the following sectors are being invited to complete the survey:

  • early learning and childcare
  • primary
  • additional support needs
  • secondary (all subject areas including those not normally associated with STEM).

Please note: community learning and development practitioners and school-based technical support staff should not complete the survey at this stage. Education Scotland will issue separate surveys by November for these sectors.

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: https://educationscotland.formic.com/i/STEMPractitioner2019

FREE tickets for TEDxGlasgow! How will you spread the ideas?

Update!

The winners of our TEdxGlasgow competition were Rosshall High, Douglas Academy, Drumchapen High and Renfrew High School. Congratulations to all involved who won a total of 150 FREE tickets for their schools!

If you still want to be part of the TEDxGlasgow event then remember you watch the livestream on the TEDxGlasgow YouTube Channel on Friday 14th June! at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4R8DWoMoI7CAwX8_LjQHig

Download the Livestream Help Guide below:

TEDxGlasgow-2019-Livestream-Toolkit

 

Competition – Now closed!

The very kind people at TEDxGlasgow have given Education Scotland FREE tickets to give away for their major event at the SEC in Glasgow on 14 June 2019.  The event will feature a range of top speakers, including Annie Lennox, as well as stimulating workshops and exhibitions. Over 12 million viewers have engaged with TEDxGlasgow’s talks to date.

TEDxGlasgow is all about ideas worth sharing.

If you would like to win the FREE tickets for your class or youth/community group then we want to know how you will share the ideas from the TEDxGlasgow event:

·         Will you be taking part in the live stream?

·         Will you run your own TEDx event on the same day in your school/community?

·         How will the talks shape your thinking, inspire or help you make the connections?

·         Will you use the talks, video archive, resources to develop your skills in presenting, communicating, connecting? 

Tell us what you will be doing through Twitter using hashtag #ESTEDx @EdScotSciences

The competition is open to young people aged 16-19 years. There are up to 30 tickets available for each winning group. Groups have to be accompanied by a teacher/youth worker, and they should be included with the group of 30 tickets.  Competition entries can be in the form of a tweeted image or video. Entries have to be posted on Twitter in by 3pm Friday 7th June.

Winning schools or groups will be responsible for arranging and covering the costs of their own travel on the day.

Can’t make it on the day? Don’t worry – you can still be a part of the event through the TEDxGlasgow livestream. Get in touch with the organisers to find out how to do this at hello@tedxglasgow.com

Find out all you need to know about the event here: http://www.tedxglasgow.com/

Any questions, please contact the STEM Team on email: stem@educationscotland.gov.scot

Download the flyer below:

FREE Tickets for TEDx Glasgow

 

Two weeks to go! Apply for the Scottish Education Awards

With only 2 weeks remaining, Education Scotland would like to encourage your setting to apply for the Scottish Education Awards so we can celebrate your achievements and share your success with others.

The Scottish Education Awards recognise publicly-funded early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a passion and culture of improvement for sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Learning for Sustainability.

In addition to these categories there are a wide range of other awards available including

  • Digital learning and teaching
  • Raising attainment in numeracy
  • Employability and creativity skills across learning
  • Children and young people’s participation award.

Applicants for each award will have the opportunity to outline how they promote respect, ambition and achievement; improve outcomes for all learners; and tackle inequity. Settings will also have the chance to demonstrate how the relevant theme has been embedded across the life of the setting and the four contexts for learning:

• Ethos and life of the school as a community
• Curriculum areas and subjects
• Interdisciplinary learning
• Opportunities for personal achievement.

If you have interesting practice to share then we are very keen to hear from you. Applications and nominations close at 6pm on Thursday 14 February 2019.

To find out more about the Scottish Education Award categories, and how to apply, visit: http://www.scottisheducationawards.co.uk/ 

Download the flyers below:

Scottish Education Awards – Learning for Sustainability Award Flyer 2019

Scottish Education Awards – STEM Award Flyer 2019

STEM professional learning – Help us get it right for you

Education Scotland and the Scottish Government are inviting practitioners to complete our annual STEM professional learning practitioner survey by 5pm Friday 11th January 2019. The survey is available online: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/BZFYE/?dm_i=LQE,5ZV9L,LHKCJ0,NIMBW,1

Your response will play a crucial role in shaping the implementation of the STEM Education and Training Strategy. It will also guide key decisions about the national and local support that is provided through our Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme. The information you provide will ensure that practitioners in relevant sectors, and in various geographical locations, have access 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 findings from the survey will be shared widely to ensure transparency and to help STEM partner organisations align their programmes to your priorities.

Who should complete this survey?
School/centre leaders and practitioners in early learning and childcare settings, primary, ASN and secondary schools are being invited to complete this survey. Other staff in these settings are welcome to complete the survey too, including: classroom assistants, school librarians and practitioners who teach in curriculum areas not normally associated with STEM. Please note: a separate survey has been developed by Education Scotland for the community learning and development sector (closes 7 December). A survey specific to school-based technical support staff is being developed by SSERC and the Science Technicians Advisory Council and will be made available from early in 2019.

The annual STEM professional learning survey for early learning and childcare and school practitioners is available online and should take 10-15 minutes to complete: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/BZFYE/?dm_i=LQE,5ZV9L,LHKCJ0,NIMBW,1

Please find time to complete the survey to help us get the STEM professional learning offer right for you and for colleagues in your setting. Thank you for any support you are able to provide.

New Grant Programme launches to support professional learning in STEM

Education Scotland is pleased to announce the launch of a new grants programme to support professional learning in sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

This programme is one of a range of initiatives being launched to further the aims and ambitions of the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland.

The grants programme has been established to meet the professional learning needs of practitioners in a number of sectors including: early learning and childcare, primary, ASN, secondary and community learning and development. School-based technical support staff are also a key target audience for the scheme.

The grants have been developed following extensive consultation with practitioners and technicians regarding their priorities. Surveys and focus groups in 2017 revealed a clear demand from practitioners for more localised support and more opportunities to work collegiately within their schools and clusters. Working in partnership with employers, colleges and other providers over a sustained period was also recognised as having a high impact on practitioner confidence. In addition, there was strong support for modular, online learning to give technicians and practitioners easy access to the professional learning they need, at a time that suits them.

Engagement with stakeholders has helped to identify a number of priority themes for professional learning activities such as:

  • Awareness of science and STEM careers
  • How STEM learning can help to raise attainment in numeracy and literacy
  • Tackling stereotypes and addressing unconscious bias
  • Support for the national qualifications in STEM subject areas
  • Development of effective skills progression
  • Improving pedagogy in STEM.

In the initial phase of the grants programme, bids for funding are being invited from organisations and providers that can deliver professional learning support strategically at regional or national level. Should further funding be available in financial year 2019/20 then it is hoped the grants programme can be opened up to school clusters and other organisations to bid for funding.

To find out more about the Enhancing Career-Long Professional Learning in STEM Grants please refer to the grant Guidance document.

To bid for funding, please return your completed grant Application Form to grants@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk by 09:00 on Monday 26 November 2018.

Any questions about the grants programme should be directed to Ian Menzies, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland on email: ian.menzies@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk or Tel: 0131 244 4799.

Downloads

Enhancing STEM CLPL Grant Guidance

Enhancing STEM CLPL Grant Application Form

 

Homeward Bound – submit your questions to Antarctic scientist

I’m a postdoctoral researcher (and STEM Ambassador) working on antibiotic resistance and drug discovery at the University of Strathclyde.  I’m very honoured to have been selected as part of Homeward Bound, a year-long, global women in STEM leadership initiative culminating in a 21 day voyage to Antarctica with 80 other women from across the planet.  The programme will enable me to build skills in leadership, science communication and visibility.  It will enhance my capacity as a microbiologist working in Scotland and enable me to be a more effective leader and communicator – skills that will also help me in my role as STEM Ambassador.  Part of my reason for doing this program is to inspire young people that they can do anything they want to do and that anything is possible – I never believed I would go to Antarctica as a little girl from small west coast town in Scotland.

As part of my Homeward Bound mission in relation to science communication and visibility, I would like to collect questions from school children (primary and secondary) relating to STEM subjects, climate change, sustainability and Antarctica.  I will take these to Antarctica and try to answer the questions in a video.  Anything goes really.  If I don’t know the answers I will interview one of the 80 other women on the ship with me.  When I come back in February (we have no internet in Antarctica) I will upload the videos to Vimeo and send the link to the schools so they can get their answers.

For more information and to submit questions, see below:

Homeward Bound Interactive Schools Initiative

Education Scotland is recruiting

Education Scotland is looking for individuals who are passionate about equality and equity to join our exciting new team.

Our Gender Balance and Equalities Team will comprise six posts, including one Education Officer and five Development Officers. The successful candidates will play an important role in meeting the ambitions of the national STEM Education and Training Strategy, in relation to equality and equity.

Their key task will be to ensure that the learning from the successful Improving Gender Balance pilot programme is embedded in all early learning and childcare establishments and schools by 2022. The officers will be expected to work in close partnership with the Regional Improvement Collaboratives and other key partners to lead and coordinate professional learning programmes and to support effective cross-sectoral collaboration.

Important aspects of the programme will be as follows:

·         Helping practitioners to challenge stereotypes and address unconscious bias.

·         Challenging gender-based decisions around subject choices, learner pathways and career ambitions.

·         Supporting efforts to improve gender balance in Foundation Apprenticeship and Modern Apprenticeship routes.

·         Building collaborative networks of practitioners who will come together to learn, share and develop effective approaches.

·         Enabling practitioners from early learning and childcare, additional support needs, primary, secondary, community learning and development and further and higher education to work together to ensure a consistent approach to gender and equality across a learner’s journey.

·         Helping settings and schools to engage effectively with parents and their wider community in relation to gender balance and equality. 

·         Promoting effective wholeestablishment approaches to equality and equity.

To view the suite of Improving Gender Balance resources developed in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and the Institute of Physics, please visit: http://bit.ly/NIHIGB 

To apply for the above posts please visit the following pages on the Work for Scotland website:

·         Education Officer, Improving Gender Balance and Equalities

·         Development Officer, Improving Gender Balance and Equalities

These posts can be based in any of Education Scotland’s offices located across Scotland. These are 47 month fixed-term and pensionable appointments. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria will be invited to the assessments. The closing date is Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at midnight.

STEM Professional Learning Survey 2017

In June 2017, Education Scotland issued an online survey to the early years, primary and secondary sectors to find out more about the STEM career-long professional learning (CLPL) landscape and to identify the needs and priorities of practitioners and school-based technical support staff.

The survey findings provided important information and evidence which helped to shape the development of the national STEM Education and Training Strategy. This was published in October 2017 and is available from the following link: http://bit.ly/STEMstrategy

Key findings include:

·         Lack of funding, time, workload and geographical barriers remain the biggest barrier to practitioners and technicians accessing career-long professional learning

·         Strong support for online learning and modular learning to allow people to access professional learning flexibly anytime, anywhere

·         More localised support including from mentors would be welcomed

·         Practitioners and technicians want more opportunities to learn and collaborate with peers in their schools and clusters

·         Partnerships with employers are an important source of professional learning and learning about STEM careers is seen as a high priority.

The information provided by practitioners and technicians through the survey responses has been extremely valuable. The findings have helped to inform decisions about the ‘coherent national offer’ of professional learning that is being planned in relation to STEM subjects.

Education Scotland is excited about the potential for increasing support in relation to STEM over the course of this academic year and beyond. We are already in the process or recruiting a team of new STEM Education Officers and Numeracy officers to support this. We are also just about to recruit a new team of Improving Gender Balance and Equalities officers to provide further support within the new Regional Improvement Collaboratives.

We’ll be releasing further details in the months ahead as plans are finalised and approved and as new resources and programmes go live. In the meantime, we’d like to give a sincere ‘thank-you’ to all those who promoted and completed the survey. In doing so, you have played a significant role in shaping the plans and decisions that will help to make Scotland a STEM nation.

Download the key findings:

STEM CLPL Survey Findings June 2017

STEM CLPL survey results overview 2017

Glasgow Science Centre awarded £2.9 million from Inspiring Science Fund

Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) has received funding of £2.9 million that will revolutionise the visitor attraction. As well as improvements to existing facilities and exhibition spaces and the development of its community based learning programme, the funding will transform the exterior of the centre by the Clyde at its Pacific Quay location.

Awarded through the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Wellcome Trust – it is the biggest single investment in GSC since it opened in 2001.

The money will fund GSC’s Connect project that will deliver a range of new interactions and experiences to make GSC more attractive and accessible to a wider and more diverse audience and aims to cement GSC in the fabric of Glasgow as a community hub.

Dr Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive at Glasgow Science Centre said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have been successful in our application to the Inspiring Science Fund. Connect aims to empower the people of Glasgow to make positive changes in their lives and communities through learning and engagement with science.

It will build upon and expand our successful community engagement programmes to better serve the diverse communities across the city and will permeate throughout all of our activities to make us more relevant to Glasgow citizens – helping to raise attainment and develop skills for all.”

Elements of Connect:

·         Targeted community learning and development programme– GSC will enhance its needs-led engagement programme, serving the diverse communities Glasgow is home to. This will allow the GSC team to work alongside community groups to identify needs and develop relevant STEM engagement programmes. A new dedicated Community Learning Hub will also be built in the centre to allow groups to meet and take part in activities.

·         Enhanced exhibition spaces– “Explore!”, a new exhibition gallery, housed in the main atrium space and Ground Floor of GSC will be created. This will build the anticipation and excitement of visitors from the moment they arrive at GSC.

·         Improved facilities- in growing a more diverse audience, GSC identified that visitor facilities required to be updated to ensure individual needs are met. A key improvement will be the introduction of a Changing Places toilet that will give visitors access to extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably.

·         Programme of Inclusive Cultural Science Events- building on the successes of the Planetarium events programme and adult only Science Lates, GSC will create an ongoing events programme that are attractive to a broad audience.

·         Transformation of Pacific Quay– the creation of a new outdoor learning space filled with exciting hands on exhibits, seating and sculptures along the Clydeside. The aim is to bring the fun of GSC outdoors and build a free to access, unique and welcoming outdoor space for play, discovery and social interaction.  This space will also act as a venue for cultural science events.

The enhancements to the visitor attraction will be underpinned by organisational change that will create policies and practices that embed inclusion, diversity and equity within GSC. Connect will embed the practice of Community Learning and Development into the heart of GSC to create and nurture diverse and aware staff.

 

Over the next few months, the team at GSC will work with stakeholders to source the match funding required as part of the Inspiring Science Fund and plan the implementation phase of Connect. Visitors will start to see changes from spring 2019 with the addition of the Changing Places Toilet.

Dundee Science Centre also received £1.45 million to transform their centre into a local community hub. This is addition to the £2 million that has just been spent on expanding the exhibit and learning spaces in the centre. Together with the funding allocated to Aberdeen Science Centre last year, it represents a significant investment in science and STEM in Scotland as we embark on plans to deliver on our national STEM Education and Training Strategy.