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

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.

Aug 142018
 

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. 

 

Feb 022018
 

Partnership Grants of up to £3,000 are available to enable students, aged 5 – 18, to carry out projects in science, mathematics, computing, data science, technology or engineering.

The project must be investigative and supported by a teacher and a STEM professional (research or industry) in partnership.

Download the RSE Partnership Grants Flyer

For more information visit royalsociety.org/partnership

Dec 142017
 

Do you know an early learning and childcare centre or school that has a passion for STEM? Then why not nominate them for the Sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Award? If your school or centre is into STEM in a big way then you can also apply directly!

Scottish Education Awards 2018_ Flyer STEM

The Scottish Education Awards recognise early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a vibrant and progressive culture and climate of continuous innovation in relation to sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The culture and ethos should promote respect, ambition and achievement in STEM while improving outcomes for all learners in ways which eliminate inequity.

Nominations should provide detail about all the activities, programmes and creative approaches that the school or centre has undertaken.

How are these being embedded across the four contexts for learning?

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

How are you promoting equity, equality, diversity and inclusion in relation to this award category?

What impact are your approaches having on learners, staff, their families, partner organisations, other educational establishments and the wider community?

Nominations close at 12 noon on Wednesday 14 February 2018

NOMINATE TODAY AT: www.scottisheducationawards.co.uk

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