Oct 032019
 

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

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.

 

 

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

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 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.

Aug 272018
 

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

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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