Mar 282019
 

Children from the eight primary schools in the Lochaber High School catchment area attended a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) fair at Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar.

More than 160 children took part in a STEM workshop, shared displays of their own class learning and spoke to local employers about local STEM careers.

The event for Primary 5 pupils was organised by the RAiSE (Raising Aspirations in Science Education) programme which is funded and delivered by The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. RAiSE increases the confidence, skills and networks of teachers in STEM education to motive and inspire learners.

RAiSE was supported in the development and delivery of the event by Lochaber Geopark and DYW West Highland.

Emily Brown, Primary Science Development Officer in the Highland region for RAiSE, said:

“The Lochaber STEM Fair provides a wonderful opportunity for young people, teachers and the local community to come together and inspire, excite and learn from one another about how STEM impacts the region.”

“The highlight of the day was hearing the young people talk so enthusiastically about their displays during the showcase. Motivating learners at a young age and providing the platforms to engage them meaningfully

in STEM is vitally important for creating the workforce the region needs for the future.”

Caol Primary School’s project showcasing computer games using digital technology platform MakeyMakey was named the winner of the showcase and the children were presented with a trophy. The judges were impressed by the children’s problem-solving and creativity skills.

Highland Wood Energy paid for transport for the pupils to attend and catering costs were met by DYW West Highland.

The attending primary schools were Caol, Lundavra, St. Columba’s, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar, Banavie, Inverlochy, Spean Bridge and Invergarry.

The Careers’ Hub featured employers including Mowi, BSW Timber, John Muir Trust, UHI STEM Hub, BAM Nuttall, Science Skills Academy, Liberty, Lochaber Geopark and Aberdeen Science Centre.

 

 

Mar 082019
 

Thousands of young people across Glasgow will celebrate British Science Week at 25 events running in primary schools throughout the city.

STEM fairs, family events and career information sessions are being organised by the Primary Science Leaders of the RAiSE (Raising Attainment in Science Education) programme.

RAiSE is funded and delivered by The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. It increases the confidence, skills and networks of primary teachers to develop and deliver impactful STEM (science, technology, maths and engineering) lessons.

As well as supporting and developing these STEM lead teachers in schools, RAiSE has also provided funding to enable their delivery.

Alex McLaughlin, Primary Science Development Officer for Glasgow, said:

“British Science Week is a great opportunity to shine a light on STEM within and outwith the classroom, giving young people opportunities to be inspired and impacted by exciting events and lessons.

“We are incredibly proud of the development of the Primary Science Leaders in the Glasgow area and delighted they have the confidence and respect within their settings to lead on projects such as these.”

Events will include:

  • Family Code Club at Gowanbank Primary School where 94% of the pupils live in deprivation. The event is set to increase parental confidence with technologies and provide a positive family learning experience.
  • St Rose of Lima Primary School is hosting a family evening which will include STEM activities linked to the Global Goals and Malawi.
  • World of Work events which will see members of the school and business communities highlight their STEM career pathways.
  • St Benedict’s Primary School is asking their Primary 6 pupils to support younger classes throughout the week to develop a STEM showcase for the entire school.
  • St Roch’s Primary School will be crime solvers throughout the week, working in teams to solve a mystery.

For more information on the RAiSE team STEM Glasgow, visit https://www.stemglasgow.co.uk/.

British Science Week runs from 8th to 14th March.

A full list of the events:

British Science Week: The Power of Electricity Annette Street PS
World of Work STEM Week Avenue End PS
Space Exploration Barmulloch PS
STEM Community Event Caledonia PS
Big STEM Showcase Carmyle PS
STEM Week Cuthbertson PS
Science Day and STEM Family Afternoon Dalmarnock PS
Fun with Forces Darnley PS
Move It! Gaelic School
Family Code Club Gowanbank PS
CSI Hillington Hillington PS
Science Week Activities John Paul II PS
Think Science Show Langside PS
Science and Technology at Miller Miller PS
Raising Aspirations through STEM Careers Pirie Park PS
Science Week at Quarry Brae Quarry Brae PS
Sandwood Polar Explorer STEM Fair Sandwood PS
Science Day: Problem Solving using our Senses Scotstoun PS
STEM Week St. Benedict’s PS
The Big STEM Showcase St. Clare’s PS
Journeys in Science St. Marnock’s PS
All the Fun of the Fair St. Philomena’s PS
Whodunit/CSI St. Roch’s PS
Science Week and Beyond St. Rose of Lima PS
Science Fair Thorntree PS
British Science Week Wellshot PS
British Science Week Whitehill PS
Feb 262019
 

Education Scotland is pleased to share details of the twenty-four successful applicants who have been awarded a total of £187,000 grant funding through the Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme.

Launched in October 2018, the grants programme aims to to build the capacity and confidence of practitioners and to support the implementation of the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland. These exciting opportunities have been developed by a wide range of national partners to support practitioners working in early learning and childcare, primary, secondary and community learning and development settings.  School-based technical support staff will also benefit from new professional learning. The programmes of professional learning that are being supported are aligned to the needs of practitioners as outlined in the 2017 annual STEM practitioner survey findings

To find out more information about the exciting and varied professional learning opportunities being supported by the grants programme, please download to the STEM Grants Overview document available below.

STEM Professional Grants Overview

At a glance STEM Grants

Feb 192019
 

We’ve arrived! Introducing the new Improving Gender Balance and Equality (IGBE) team within Education Scotland. We are a team of 6 officers (5 in post and 1 on their way) with a focus to embed the learning from the Improving Gender Balance pilot across all schools within Scotland. The pilot, supported by Skills Development Scotland, the Institute of Physics and Education Scotland, explored ways of addressing unconscious bias and tackling stereotypes. Its aim was to make education inclusive and accessible for all, regardless of gender.

What was the learning from the pilot?

  • Approaches impacted positively on practitioners’ practice, including but not limited to, language used, interactions, pedagogy and resources used in learning
  • The programme developed awareness and understanding of stereotypes and a willingness to challenge this among learners
  • Interventions led to a greater ethos of inclusiveness and fairness felt by learners in schools
  • There was an increased awareness of gender stereotypes and unconscious bias among practitioners and learners
  • The support provided through the programme was flexible, tailored and was aligned with all aspects of the curriculum

We have until 2022 to support all schools and early learning and childcare centres (ELCs) to ensure gender balance and equality is at the heart of learning and teaching. The timing couldn’t be better. Scotland is making great strides to tackle gender imbalances and inequality. In March 2017 the First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) was initiated. The council brings a variety of women and girls, from the age of 15 years, together to raise awareness of gender inequalities in Scotland. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to champion positive progress and policy change and to be a catalyst for change by providing a challenging voice to the First Minister and her team. Regionally, the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) Programme and the STEM Education and Training Strategy have received great support and continue to strive to develop skills for learning, life and work. Both of these areas have provided strong support for IGBE learning and have proven to provide excellent contexts for tackling gender imbalance and unconscious bias. Nationally, the Scottish Government has committed to become the first country to include LGBTI+ issues and topics within its curriculum.

UK-wide we are seeing progress too. The cracking down on sexist stereotypes in the media reflects the shift in public perception and understanding of the potential harm of perpetuating gender stereotypes. In 2018, the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) issued new rules regarding the content of adverts portraying gender stereotypes which could cause harm or offence. The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) released a statement in December 2018 stating that advertising has a key role to play in the depiction and reinforcement of gender stereotypes. The new rules not only apply to newspapers, magazines, television, cinema, leaflets and adverts on the internet, but also to paid-for promotional posts from celebrity endorsers or influencers on Instagram. CAP clearly states that the new code of conduct is not intended to prevent adverts from the following:

  1. Featuring glamourous/attractive/successful/aspirational/healthy people or particular lifestyles
  2. One gender only, including ads for products developed for and aimed at one gender
  3. Gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects

ASA conducted research which found that the roles and aspirations depicted were often reinforcing gender stereotypes.. Girls were often portrayed in a caring role and boys were shown being more energetic. Further information and research from ASA is available online.

Education Scotland is committed to improving gender balance and equality across Scotland. Our shiny new team, who come with a wealth of experience both within and outwith the education sector, would love to hear from you. If you have done some work on improving the gender balance and/or equality within your setting and want to share that with us, please email us or tweet using the hashtag #IGBE. If you are seeking a fresh pair of eyes to come and support you on your journey, then we would love to hear from you. You can contact us at heather.earnshaw@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk. There is also a wealth of information and support available at the national improvement hub. The IGBE team look forward to hearing from and working with you.

 

Literature used to form this Blog;

Improving Gender Balance Scotland Pilot. Summary of Key findings along with other supporting documents can be found at   https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/Improving%20gender%20balance%203-18

National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, https://onescotland.org/equality-themes/advisory-council-women-girls/

UK advertising watchdog to crack down on sexist stereotypes, 14th Dec 2019, The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/dec/14/uk-advertising-watchdog-to-crack-down-on-sexist-stereotypers

Advertising guidance on depicting gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence, CAP. https://www.asa.org.uk/uploads/assets/uploaded/f39a881f-d8c9-4534-95f180d1bfe7b953.pdf

Depictions, Perceptions and Harm, The full report including supporting research documents from ASA is available at https://www.asa.org.uk/resource/depictions-perceptions-and-harm.html

Nov 052018
 

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

 

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

Sep 162018
 

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

Sep 072018
 

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.

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