Category Archives: STEMCentralinMotion

Life Sciences Writing Day – 5 March 2020

Target sectors:       Primary and secondary practitioners and college staff

Where:                      Doubletree Hilton, Phoenix Crescent, Bellshill ML4 3JQ

When: 9:00 to 15:30 on Thursday 5th March 2020

What: Spend the day co-developing classroom resources with Scotland’s leading life sciences companies. Get an insight into the exciting developments in the bio-tech sector and bring this inspiration back to your classroom through the resources you and others will have developed.

How to book: email

Cost: Free

Programme for the day: Life Sciences Writing Day PROGRAMME Thursday 5 March 2020

Life Sciences is one of Scotland’s most creative and innovative sectors; developing cutting edge solutions to major global issues in health, agriculture, energy and addressing climate change.

With well over 30,000 people employed across Scotland; a hugely diverse range of careers and an increasing demand for a range of cross-disciplinary and transferable skills, the Life Sciences sector has numerous potential career pathways for young people.

The first Life Sciences Sector event in December provided an opportunity for practitioners to engage with leading industry partners from global and new start-up companies; gain a fuller appreciation of the scope and scale of the sector and have time to work collaboratively with industry partners to create innovative approaches to the curriculum. The event was planned and supported by SDS, the DYW Regional Groups and Education Scotland. See the learning & teaching resources created at

Feedback from a practitioner at our first event:

“The day was fantastic! Having the time to chat with representatives from industry was a real eye-opener for me.  I did not realise how many firms are willing and excited about taking on school leavers.  I am really excited about this because quite a lot of my pupils are school leavers who will not pursue further education but could still have a rewarding career in Life Sciences industries right here in Scotland!”

This second exclusive event will allow you to engage with leading industry partners within this sector and have further opportunities to collaborate to produce resources for your own classroom that will be shared nationally.

We are looking for practitioners who want to create innovative approaches to the curriculum and develop resources that will inspire young people; enthuse them about the potential in the Life Sciences sector and that will contextualise learning within BGE Sciences and National 4/5 Biology.

West Partnership Collaborative Learning Networks

The West Partnership is preparing for a new year of support for Collaborative Learning Networks which will launch on the 28th April 2020.

The three cohorts planned for this coming year will support the following areas:

Cohort 1 Theme – all sectors – Numeracy, Literacy and Health & Wellbeing

Cohort 2 Theme – secondary – Social Subjects and Expressive Arts

Cohort 3 Theme – all sectors – STEM

The West Partnership has spaces for at least 80 settings or schools to be involved this year across these three cohorts (approx. 10 schools or settings from each local authority). Cohorts 1 and 3 will draw on all sectors including ELC, primary, ASN and secondary.

  • The expectation is that each school sends a class teacher and a member of their leadership team.
  • Timescales are flexible e, Secondary schools can aim to complete before Christmas (in this case we would offer an additional Session 5 before Christmas but they would still report back in May) and others can choose to start their intervention after Christmas
  • We can support pre-matched (across authority) groups, they would just miss out the matching day
  • Schools from last year can send new staff again this year to continue to build their collaborative capacity
  • Schools can put in more than one team, if they are confident they can cover it, e.g. Maths department in cohort 1 and Social Subject Department in cohort 2 or even in the same cohort

The programme is very flexible and offers a great opportunity for practitioners to engage in collaborative practitioner enquiry to address an issue relating to their pedagogy and practice. Lots of support and advice will be available throughout from a team of facilitators. To see the impact of the first phase of this CLN programme please see the new promotional video:


If you are interested in attending please contact your local authority STEM officer or email us on


Engineering the future for girls @ the University of Strathclyde

Engineering the future for girls @ the University of Strathclyde.
8th-12th June 2020

For girls in S3 going into S4 thinking about their future career –  join in for a week of fun and inspiration.
Five days of activities to help girls discover their talents and make the words “I can do it” their new motto!
Employees from BP and BAM Nuttall and researchers from the University of Strathclyde will engage learners in a range of challenges which will inspire participants to consider a career in engineering.
For girls who see themselves as an engineer of the future or have never considered engineering as a career option
before, but want to find out more about it, then the Engineering the Future for girls week at the University
of Strathclyde is the place to be.
For further information contact or visit


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 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: 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.



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


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:

Download the Livestream Help Guide below:



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

Find out all you need to know about the event here:

Any questions, please contact the STEM Team on email:

Download the flyer below:

FREE Tickets for TEDx Glasgow


Building STEM Capital in our young people; what is it and why would you want to?

Building STEM Capital in our young people; what is it and why would you want to?

STEM includes sciences (biology, chemistry & physics), technology (including digital and computing science), engineering (all types) and mathematics. We know that the skills learned through STEM are valued by many employers including those in non-STEM related industries. We also know that in Scotland there are many jobs opportunities for young people within STEM related industries and that the number of these are rising!

A big issue for some young people is that while they enjoy these subjects at school, they don’t see themselves continuing into later study in these subjects or that it might be a potential career. In their words: “It’s not for the likes of me”.

What do young people mean by this? How can we change this mind-set? How can we boost their STEM self-confidence?

Science capital refers to all the experiences in a young person’s life that might help them have STEM self-confidence: realising that STEM is in everyday life, knowing or seeing someone like themselves in that role, having an interest in STEM nurtured at school and at home.

It takes the shared actions of parents, teachers and organisations to help develop and grow a young person’s science capital over time. As a parent – talk to your children about where they see science and technology in everyday life and encourage them to think about how that relates to all sorts of jobs and careers (not just those in science and engineering). You don’t need to know the answers, just help them to grow in confidence asking the questions.

There are many resources available to inspire young people and to help them improve their science capital. Visit some of the links below for inspiration:

World Parkinson’s Day 2019

Yesterday was World Parkinson’s Day – Parkinson’s disease  is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease, common in the elderly. More than 10 million people are currently living with the disease worldwide. STEM is contributing to help sufferers of the disease in a variety of ways.

In 2018, China launched its first outpatient service map for patients, which helps sufferers in China easily get information on hospitals with special clinics for the disease. The guidance map has helped patients easily locate outpatient clinics for timely treatment, and receive standardised and long-term treatment and disease management.

Besides personnel in the medical field, tech companies are making their own contributions to making the patients’ lives easier. A stabilising handle which can be attached to spoons and forks helps people counteract hand tremor so that the food won’t be shaken out of the utensil.

In advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, a patient may also experience a sudden inability to step forward. Dutch scientists from the University of Twente and Radboud University Medical Center developed laser shoes to tackle the problem. Each shoe has a laser projector and will let out a laser beam in front of the other shoe when stepping on the ground. They then give the wearer visual targets to step over.

Also in China, for those who don’t respond to medication or have serious complications, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is now being used. It consists of tiny electrodes implanted into a certain area of the brain to send impulses to specific brain nuclei to treat functional brain disorders. The brain pacemaker acts like a switch in the patient’s brain, which can significantly reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tardiness, movement disorders, muscle stiffness, and tremors, as well as the side effects of medication.



National STEM Leads Network Event

On 25 March 2019 the Education Scotland STEM team hosted the National STEM Leads Network Event in Glasgow. The event was well attended by local authority, CLPL providers, practitioners and external providers of STEM across Scotland. The day blended national updates together with opportunities for discussion.

Ian Menzies (Senior Education Officer) shared progress towards actions in the STEM strategy following the publication of the first annual report.  Participants heard about the opportunities available through Phase 1 of the Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants awarded to 24 partners totalling £187 000 and were informed about potential funding for Round 2.

Participants shared what was happening locally and had the opportunity to network with others in regional areas and across Scotland. The 2018 STEM practitioner and provider survey data was shared and participants had the opportunity to reflect on the findings.

During the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to join in with a number of STEM Short Discussions. A variety of discussions were available including SSERC Young STEM Leaders Programme; RAiSE; Gender balance and equalities; Numeracy and Mathematics; Digital learning and teaching; the new Scottish STEM Award scheme; STEM learning in community learning and development settings; Early learning and childcare; Raising attainment; STEM Online directory and Computing science.

Participants were invited to complete evaluations and early indications from these are very positive. Watch this space for information about future network events.

Dippy live!

Dippy the dinosaur will broadcast live from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Wednesday 27th March, 9:30 – 10:30.

Your class will see and hear about Dippy, as well as having the opportunity to ask questions about dinosaurs, fossils and endangered species.

Palaeontologist Neil Clark, geologist Ann Ainsworth and natural historian Richard Sutcliffe will be on hand to answer your questions.

Join at or

Questions will be taken in the live chat. Remember to include your school name and class and you’ll get a shout out if your question is answered.

Questions to

Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM – Grants Programme 2018/19

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