May 202019
 

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:

Apr 122019
 

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.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d3d414f7755544f33457a6333566d54/index.html

 

 

Apr 092019
 

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.

Mar 222019
 

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 https://livestream.com/innerear/dippy or https://www.youtube.com/user/GlasgowMuseums

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 clare.gray@glasgowlife.org.uk

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

Jan 312019
 

With only 2 weeks remaining, Education Scotland would like to encourage your setting to apply for the Scottish Education Awards so we can celebrate your achievements and share your success with others.

The Scottish Education Awards recognise publicly-funded early learning and childcare settings and schools that have developed a passion and culture of improvement for sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Learning for Sustainability.

In addition to these categories there are a wide range of other awards available including

  • Digital learning and teaching
  • Raising attainment in numeracy
  • Employability and creativity skills across learning
  • Children and young people’s participation award.

Applicants for each award will have the opportunity to outline how they promote respect, ambition and achievement; improve outcomes for all learners; and tackle inequity. Settings will also have the chance to demonstrate how the relevant theme has been embedded across the life of the setting and the four contexts for learning:

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

If you have interesting practice to share then we are very keen to hear from you. Applications and nominations close at 6pm on Thursday 14 February 2019.

To find out more about the Scottish Education Award categories, and how to apply, visit: http://www.scottisheducationawards.co.uk/ 

Download the flyers below:

Scottish Education Awards – Learning for Sustainability Award Flyer 2019

Scottish Education Awards – STEM Award Flyer 2019

Dec 062018
 

Education Scotland and the Scottish Government are inviting practitioners to complete our annual STEM professional learning practitioner survey by 5pm Friday 11th January 2019. The survey is available online: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/BZFYE/?dm_i=LQE,5ZV9L,LHKCJ0,NIMBW,1

Your response will play a crucial role in shaping the implementation of the STEM Education and Training Strategy. It will also guide key decisions about the national and local support that is provided through our Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme. The information you provide will ensure that practitioners in relevant sectors, and in various geographical locations, have access 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 findings from the survey will be shared widely to ensure transparency and to help STEM partner organisations align their programmes to your priorities.

Who should complete this survey?
School/centre leaders and practitioners in early learning and childcare settings, primary, ASN and secondary schools are being invited to complete this survey. Other staff in these settings are welcome to complete the survey too, including: classroom assistants, school librarians and practitioners who teach in curriculum areas not normally associated with STEM. Please note: a separate survey has been developed by Education Scotland for the community learning and development sector (closes 7 December). A survey specific to school-based technical support staff is being developed by SSERC and the Science Technicians Advisory Council and will be made available from early in 2019.

The annual STEM professional learning survey for early learning and childcare and school practitioners is available online and should take 10-15 minutes to complete: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/BZFYE/?dm_i=LQE,5ZV9L,LHKCJ0,NIMBW,1

Please find time to complete the survey to help us get the STEM professional learning offer right for you and for colleagues in your setting. Thank you for any support you are able to provide.

Nov 292018
 

Help us track progress in the provision of career-long professional learning in STEM so we can meet your needs and ensure equity of access and provision.

  • Early learning and childcare, ASN, primary and secondary sectors – please complete our annual STEM practitioner survey by 14 January 2019.
  • Community learning and development practitioners – please complete the STEM CLD survey by 7 December 2018.
  • Organisations that provide STEM professional learning – please help us capture your contribution.
Nov 192018
 

Does your organisation provide career-long professional learning support in STEM (sciences, technologies, engineering, mathematics) and digital skills to any or all of the following groups and/or sectors?

  • Early learning and childcare practitioners
  • Primary school practitioners
  • Additional support needs practitioners
  • Classroom assistants
  • Secondary school practitioners
  • School-based technical support staff
  • College/FE practitioners.

If so, then we’d be very grateful for your support in helping us to recognise the contribution your organisation makes to this.

2.Why are we asking for this data?

In 2017, the Scottish Government published the STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland. A key ambition of the strategy is to enhance the provision of high-quality career-long professional learning (CLPL) to the groups listed above.

Education Scotland consulted many of the target groups to find out more about their STEM CLPL needs and the findings are now being used to shape the national offering. A new Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme has recently been launched by Education Scotland to promote innovation in this area and build further delivery capacity.

On an annual basis, we will be gathering data to track progress against the following STEM Strategy Key Performance Indicator: Increase the cumulative hours of STEM professional learning accessed by early years, schools, college and CLD practitioners annually. If your organisation provides STEM CLPL to the target groups listed above, then we’d be very grateful for your support in helping us measure progress against this KPI.

The commitment in the STEM Education and Training Strategy is to enhance the existing provision of professional learning in STEM. As we progress with our plans we want to be sure that there is an equity of provision across all sectors and geographical areas and that the needs of various groups are being met. The tracking process and annual return survey will help us to allocate resources to where they are needed most to address gaps and imbalances.

What will we do with this data?

We will produce an overall analysis of the data provided to us and will be sharing this with key partners such as Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council to inform decision-making and planning in relation to the STEM strategy. The analysis will also be shared widely with the education system through Education Scotland’s communication channels.

The data provided by your organisation will not be identifiable from the analysis. However, you will be given the option of being listed as one of the participating organisations.

3.About the tracking process

The following two-step process is designed to make the on-going capture of this data as easy as possible. If you already have systems in place to capture the relevant data (as outlined in Appendix 1 in the attached Guidance notes) then please disregard Step 1 and proceed straight to Step 2.

Step 1: Collate your STEM & digital skills CLPL data throughout the year

  • We have created a CLPL Tracker Template (attached) to help you track the STEM professional learning your organisation provides. This Excel-based tool automatically tallies data on your CLPL activities; making it easy for you to capture the quantitative information required.
  • Instructions on how to use the Tracker are contained within the document itself – see the How to use this tracker worksheet/tab. Further notes have been embedded in the sample table and the Enter Data worksheet. Just hover your mouse over the relevant table heading to reveal the notes.
  • We are inviting your organisation to use this Tracker on an on-going basis to capture data on your CLPL activities from 1st August to 31 July each year. If you are willing to support this then we’d be grateful if you could start this process by entering data on your CLPL activity from 01 August 2018.

Step 2: Enter your cumulative CLPL data totals in our annual return survey

  • In August each year, we will send you our annual return online survey to complete.
  • If you have been using the STEM CLPL Tracker, then you can find the data to be entered into the survey in the My Totals worksheet/tab in the Tracker.
  • If you will be using your own internal processes to track the professional learning your organisation provides, then please refer to Appendix 1 in the attached Guidance Notes to see the data that will be required.
  • The annual return survey that we will issue will also contain free-text options for you to enter any qualitative data you would like to share.
  • Please ensure that you only enter data on the CLPL that your organisation has led on. We are keen to avoid any duplication or double-counting of CLPL activity undertaken.
  • We will send you more details about the 2018/19 annual return in due course.

4. Help us to establish a baseline with your retrospective CLPL data

We are also keen to establish a baseline of activity for academic year 2017/18. We, therefore, would be very grateful if you could provide us with retrospective data for STEM CLPL you provided between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018. We appreciate that this may be a challenge given the time that has elapsed since then, so we have created a simple survey to capture this data. We are happy to receive estimated figures.

The survey can be accessed at: https://forms.education.gov.scot/s/STEM20172018/

We would be very grateful if you could complete this retrospective survey by the new extended  deadkline of Friday 11th January.

This online survey also asks if you would like to be included in this annual data return process so that the contribution your organisation makes to STEM learning in Scotland can be captured on an on-going basis. If you would like to be involved in the coming years, then please complete the relevant section to ensure that we have the most up-to-date contact details.

You may be interested to know that we also have issued a survey to practitioners in early learning and childcare settings and schools to capture information about the professional learning they have accessed and to identify their priorities for the year ahead.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you provide for STEM learning in Scotland. If you have any questions then please get in touch.

Click on the following links to access the Tracker and Guidance notes referred to in this document:

Guidance Notes STEM CLPL Tracker

STEM CLPL Tracker Template

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.

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