Category Archives: Citizen Science

SEPA – Rainfall school education project

SEPA LogoSEPA is looking to expand its existing volunteer rainfall observer program. This work includes the development of an online data entry portal and data visualisation facility.

To complement this work, SEPA is piloting collaboration with around 40 schools nationally. For the pilot we would like a good mix of both primary and secondary educators.

As well as providing useful data for SEPA and the Met Office, the project will hopefully develop a variety of skills and educational opportunities

What’s involved?

SEPA will supply a raingauge and the school will be required to find an optimal location within the school grounds. The raingauge is supplied with a bracket that will need to be attached to a wooden post using screws and a screw driver. Each morning as close to 9am GMT as possible, someone from the school is required to record the rainfall that has accumulated in the gauge. The rainfall measurement can then be entered in the data entry website whenever it is convenient. Although it is most beneficial for us to have a measurement be taken every day, it is OK to have some periods of no measurement such as over weekends and holidays so long as the next entry made reflects that it is a cumulative reading.

The value of the data record increases with age and so ideally we would like our volunteer schools to view this as a long term, ongoing venture. More detailed information will be disseminated to schools taking part. The data entry website can be viewed at

If you are interested in taking part please contact Cordelia Menmuir at email: Tel: 01738 448 835

Further resources to download:

SEPA Rainfall_Citizen Science

Rainfall Observer_Project Overview

Scotland’s Environment Website launches new Citizen Science portal

SEWeb-Logo-Two-Lines-with-backgroundWhy we built the portal

Citizen Science is really important to the partners in Scotland’s Environment. It generates data which are used to make decisions, set priorities and debate issues, but just as importantly, it promotes citizen education, empowerment, health and wellbeing. By building this portal, we want to improve the support that is available to Citizen Science projects, especially in relation to gathering data, making it easy to view and understand, and easy to discuss.

What the portal does

The portal helps us to bring information on a variety of projects into one place, covering topics as diverse as weather, soils, air quality, water quality and protected species. We want to make it easier for participants to take part in projects, find a home for new projects they have created, see their contribution and discuss it with others. The portal also provides a place for us to try out new approaches towards data gathering and engagement, new tools and new resources.

Visit the portal at:

Visit Scotland’s Environment website at:

Get Energised: Renewable Energy in Scotland

Small Get EnergisedJoin the National Museum of Scotland on Wednesday 23rd March at 4pm to investigate Scotland’s future energy needs, focusing on renewable energy.

This session is suitable for teachers in upper primary and lower secondary. Through interactive and hands-on activities we will offer some ideas for the classroom and link to topical science with information about renewable energy in Scotland.

You will also hear about opportunities to visit National Museums Scotland with a class as part of the Get Energised programme.

Sign up and join us live in Glow TV – Get Energised: Renewable Energy in Scotland

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Scotland’s Environment – March Newsletter

scotlands environment

Download the March edition of Scotland’s Environment newsletter from here.

You can find out more information about Edinburgh International Science Festival (March 26th – April 10th). Additionally, you can find out more about various Citizen Science organisations from across Scotland such as RSPB, Butterfly Conservation and The Conservation Volunteers as well as finding out what’s new on Scotland’s Environment website, video of the month, and 5 five things you didn’t know about Citizen Science to name a few!

Jedburgh STEM on the farm Saturday 23rd April 2016

RHET Saturday 23rd April 2016, 10 – 12.45

Upper Nisbet Farm, Jedburgh, TD8 6TS

This teacher training session will showcase the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) involved in modern agriculture. There will be a range of workshops providing information, datasets and ideas for use back in the school setting.

The event is targeted at p7 – s2 teachers and we will cover how STEM is used on the farm, how to generate datasets in school and link into national surveys, probability and the use of coordinates.

The aim of this event is to provide an insight into precision farming, generate datasets for use in school and understand the links between STEM and agriculture.

Full event details and event booking can be accessed via this form Booking Form Jedburgh STEM Event




Teacher Recruitment

Teacher training to be part of Transition Training Fund.

A £12 million fund to help people who face job losses in the oil and gas sector find alternative employment will also be available to support those who want to become teachers, the Education Secretary has announced.

Angela Constance told the Aberdeen Learning Festival this is the latest in a number of steps the Scottish Government is taking to boost teacher numbers in places which can have difficulty attracting them.

The Transition Training Fund was set up to help people move into other roles in the oil and gas, energy or manufacturing industries by offering grants to support retraining or further education.

It is now being developed, working with Skills Development Scotland and the Energy Jobs Taskforce, to help oil and gas sector staff bring their skills and expertise into teaching – particularly in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Ms Constance said:
“We have a highly skilled oil and gas workforce and it is important that we harness their abilities to benefit the next generation, the future of the industry and the north-east of Scotland.

“Developing options within the £12 million Transition Training Fund will help ensure we don’t lose valuable oil and gas sector skills, which can be put to excellent use
and will lead to more high-quality, passionate teachers in the area.

“This is the latest in a range of actions we are taking to make sure we have the right teachers in the right places to benefit our young people.

“We have launched our #inspiringteachers campaign to encourage more people to enter the profession. We have increased student teacher intake targets for the fifth year in a row and are setting targets to train teachers in the subjects where they are needed most.

“We are also supporting innovative ways to encourage more graduates to come into teaching in areas which have difficulty recruiting teachers. This includes the University of Aberdeen’s distance learning initial teacher education programme, which allows council employees to retrain as teachers while staying in work. Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland and Angus Councils are already benefiting from this.”

More information on a career in teaching can be found at


Scotland’s Environment : Focus on Air Pollution

scotlands environment

This month Scotland’s Environment newsletter focuses on air pollution.

If you’re looking for resources to help discuss air quality in the classroom, then you’ll find lots of Curriculum for Excellence aligned resources on Get Learning | Scotland’s Environment Web .

Here’s some other resources that will support learning about air quality:

To keep informed about other teaching and learning resources, subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

You can also download a copy of the Citizen Science & Curriculum for Excellence briefing paper, packed with lots of other excellent resources from here.

SEPA Logoeducation scotland logo

Citizen Science & Accreditation Survey

As part of the Scotland Counts project, The Conservation Volunteers are conducting some research to investigate if accreditation in Citizen Science would add value and benefit your organisations, learners, community groups and the recording community in general. In addition, this may develop a new route for new Citizen Scientists to become involved in wildlife recording activities.

 If the Citizen Science activities can be rewarded with an accredited certificate it may add value to the activity of data collection, providing an opportunity for Citizen Scientists to demonstrate achievement and gain recognition for activity and progress.

The Conservation Volunteers would like to capture your thoughts and opinions to find out if Citizen Science needs accreditation to make it more valuable.

It would be appreciated if you could complete the survey, ‘Citizen Science and Accreditation’ by Thursday 18th February.


Scottish Attainment Challenge Innovation Fund: Applications Open

SAC LogoApplications have opened for the £1.5 million Innovation Fund to help schools close the attainment gap.

Schools can choose whether to apply quickly for funds to run projects that are ready to start in March 2016, or to consider bids for the 2016/17 financial year. The Fund is open to all publicly funded primary, secondary and special schools in Scotland which are not already benefitting from the Attainment Scotland Fund.

SAC Innovation Fund

Funds of £3,000-£10,000 (per school) are available for projects that will help children and young people experiencing socio economic disadvantage. Applications are encouraged from partnerships of schools working collaboratively or individual schools.

Under the twin track application scheme, schools can apply:

  • Fast track: by 21 February 2016 for projects that will start in March. Notification will be given between 1 and 4 March.
  • Standard track: by 31 March 2016 for projects that will start in the year from April 2016. Notification will be given by the end of April.

Proposals should have a particular focus on literacy, numeracy or health and wellbeing. They can be new ideas, or a project with a specific focus, building on what has had the greatest impact within a school, cluster or group of schools. This may include projects involving parental / family engagement and career long professional development or those that help develop and realise aspirations for children and young people.

The guidance and application form are available:

Information is also on the #SAC Scottish Attainment Challenge Glow site (login required), where practitioners can seek advice and collaborate on applications.

Get help with accessing #SAC Glow site