All posts by K. McFaul

Bloodhound Scotland Rocket Car Challenge

Blooh houndThe technologies form a central part of Scotland’s heritage, identity and future. Their importance cannot be overstated whether as an economic necessity, a social influence or a vital educational experience.

There are approximately 1300 secondary qualified craft, design, engineering and graphics and 600 secondary qualified computing science practitioners across the 32 local authorities in Scotland. The wide spread of locations can and has made professional and collaborative learning difficult.

Scottish Schools Education and Research Centre, Education Scotland and Energy Skills Partnership have worked in partnership to set upTechnology/STEM hubs across Scotland that will give practitioners access to high quality professional and collaborative learning opportunities.

The hubs will be based around the 13 college regions and will not only reach out to the secondary practitioners but also to the 13 regional college staff.

Through the local authority contacts of SSERC and Education Scotland and the Energy Skills Partnership college network the BLOODHOUND Rocket Car Challenge was a kick starter project to encourage practitioners and college staff to get involved in their local hub.

The case study attached explains the detail of how this kick starter project has brought together schools and colleges.

Bloodhound Case study May 2016

Research digest for teachers of craft, design, engineering and graphics

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This research digest has been developed to provide you with a sample of recent international literature and research related to Technologies: Craft, Design, Engineering and Graphics.



CoderDojo Scotland Community Evening

coder dojoJoin CoderDojo, Tuesday, 17 November 2015 from 19:00 to 21:00, Glasgow Science Centre, for an evening of sharing and inspiration with digital experts from coding clubs across Scotland. Find out what’s going on in the clubs, and get top tips and advice from volunteers and industry leaders.

This event is open to all CoderDojo volunteers, or anyone with an interest in digital making in Scotland.

There will be inspirational and educational talks, food and drink, and the chance to talk and network with digital experts.

To book your place please click here

Cyber Academy – IET Christmas Lectures – The Internet of Everything!

edinburgh napier cyber academyThis year’s IET Christmas lectures are focusing on the Internet of Everything and will run in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness. The dates are:

  • Inverness. 1 Dec 2015. Book here.
  • Dundee. 4 Dec 2015 (Gardyne Theatre). Book here.
  • Glasgow. 8 Dec 2015 (iMax Theatre, Glasgow Science Centre). Book here.
  • Edinburgh. 11 Dec 2015 (Craiglockhart Campus). Book here.

The lectures are open to everyone, and teachers can book tickets in blocks for their classes. You are guaranteed to see a presentation with flying objects, Internet-enable lighting, listening TVs, talking dolls, interactive kettles, spy glasses, and many more things …


This presentation will showcase the vast range of systems and devices which can connect to the Internet. It aims to totally immerse the audience in the possibility of the Cyber World and how it is changing our lives. Along with this, it will outline a range of emerging technologies which will bring benefits to many areas of our lives including health care and education. With these great benefits, though, there are also threats, and some of these will be presented through a range of practical demonstrations. Overall the key aim of the presentation is to present this new age in a fun and informative way, and engage the audience into understanding the opportunities of the Cyber Age [poster][postcard].

SSERC Bulletin – No. 252 – Autumn 2015


Ideas and inspiration supporting science and technology for all Local Authorities

No. 252 – Autumn 2015

Including articles on

Free fritzing! – Fritzing is a free to download Germanybased open sourced software (latest version is 0.9.2b and was released in April 2015) available from their website

Livewire & Control Studio 2 – Free electrical circuit simulation software for your Technology Education department from SSERC

for more details see attached flyer


Trash Trek – The Ultimate STEM Challenge

FLLicon_RGB_2011We’re not talking trash – we’re cleaning it up!

Announcing the 2015 FIRST LEGO League! Teams of children aged 9 to 16 are invited to explore the fascinating world of waste, from collection and sorting to smart production and reuse. Build and program a LEGO robot to tackle the Trash Trek missions, invent a solution to the world’s problem of waste, and present it at your regional tournament.

imagesCADLUI3SIt’s easy for schools, organisations or groups of friends to take part. Register now!

Tournaments in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews. Training for teachers and coaches included. Bursaries available.

please see attached flyer for more info


Apps for Good – two Regional Roadshows in Scotland in September

apps for good logo“Apps for Good is an education technology movement that is transforming the way technology is taught in schools, turning young tech consumers into tech creators. Apps for Good aims to unlock the confidence and talent of the next generation of problem solvers and digital makers: young people who are ready to tackle the 21st century workplace and are inspired to create new tech ideas that can change their world for good.

In partnership with Samsung, Apps for Good are pleased to be running two Regional Roadshows in Scotland in September, with a theme around ‘Bringing the real world into the classroom’. Join Apps for Good at the roadshow to learn more about:

  • Utilising industry Experts in the classroom
  • Advice about integrating student led learning into the classroom
  • Hints and tips for student assessment
  • How you can deliver Apps for Good in your school/college

There will also be an opportunity to network with fellow Apps for Good Educators and share best practice and the chance to hear from our External Partners, Code Club and CoderDojo Scotland.

Glasgow – 16th September – Book Your Place Now –

Edinburgh – 17th September – Book Your Place Now

If you have any questions about Apps for Good or the Regional Roadshows, get in contact with

Argyll and Bute school takes on the UK and wins

Kodukup_Main_Lockup-01-300x100Hands up – which Scottish primary school took on 300 schools from all over the UK and won hands down?


Dunoon Primary School, who fought off the cream of game designers from Scotland, England and Wales to take home the Kodu Kup, Microsoft UK’s computer programming competition– taking the prize to Scotland for the first time.

Dunoon Primary School’s Pro-Gamers team of three eleven- and twelve-year-olds – Olivia Robertson, Lewis MacKay and Aidan Purdie – fought off challenges from schools across Scotland to win the Scottish Microsoft ‘Kodu Kup’ at West College Scotland on 17 June.

They then packed their bags to take on the national finalists at a hotly contested match hosted by Microsoft at their UK headquarters in Reading on 13 July.

Kodu Kup winnersThe team wowed the judges with their exciting game Rural Racers, created from scratch, and impressed them with a business case, marketing plan and promotional goods.

The win comes hot on the heels of last year’s Scottish primary winners Cardross Primary, who were the first Scottish school to be invited to the UK final, where they lifted the Judges Choice Award, and who were placed third this time. Rosneath Primary’s team Diamond Dogs were also Scottish finalists.

This success follows a technology showcase event hosted in Dunoon by the council’s learning technologies team, attended by 150 primary pupils and their parents. The aim of this event was to encourage young people to think about future career opportunities in the technology sector in addition to showcasing their talents.

Dunoon Primary’s Pro-Gamers team – P6 pupils Olivia Robertson and Lewis MacKay and P7 pupil Aidan Purdie – had a lot to say about their games based learning.

Chris Forrest, Managing Director, Microsoft Scotland, said, “Huge congratulations to the KoduKup 2015 UK Champions, Dunoon Primary’s ‘Pro -Gamers’ – it’s truly wonderful to see these young people be inspired by technology. It’s all the more impressive when you know that the children and their families have put off their summer holidays to compete! I’d also like to recognise the talent and commitment of all the entrants who have worked so hard, as well as the schools and teachers who have backed them.”

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Rory Colville, said, “This is a marvellous achievement. The award demonstrates there are no limits when self-motivation and teamwork combine to create a pathway to learning that heightens the power of deduction. This project provides young people in our schools with excellent ICT skills, and improves their understanding of computer programming and how technologies work, all of which are essential to their future.”

The council’s Executive Director of Community Services Cleland Sneddon said, “We are very aware that almost every field of employment now relies on technology. Through our education and youth services the council is providing young people with every opportunity to realise their potential. This project is important to the economy of Argyll and Bute as the council wishes to offer our young people as much choice as possible in where they live and work.”

Lewis MacKay Aidan Purdie and Olivia Robertson at the Scottish final

PHOTO- Dunoon Primary School Pro-Gamers (l – r) Lewis, Aidan and Olivia with Mary Peek, a classroom assistant who runs the school computing club and accompanied the pupils to both the Scottish and UK final.


The Kodu Kup is a national game creation competition organised by the Microsoft Educator Network, and is aimed at all children in the UK aged between seven and 14. Students plan and create their games and are encouraged to assess and give one another feedback. 480,000 students throughout the UK have been using Kodu Kup. The long-term goal of this project is to capture the imagination of young people, to showcase what can be created and inspire through technology.

Argyll and Bute Council’s learning technologies team have been providing additional exciting computer science related learning opportunities for young people at primary level. The team were awarded a silver award under the category of ‘Improvement and Innovation in Learning’ at the council’s 2014 excellence awards.

Register for the BBC Micro:bit

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that you can code, customise and control to bring your digital ideas, games and apps to life.

Measuring 4cm by 5cm, and designed to be fun and easy to use, users can create anything from games and animations to scrolling stories at school, at home and on the go – all you need is imagination and creativity.

BBC_micro_bitThe BBC micro:bit is completely programmable. That means each of its LEDS can be individually programmed as can its buttons, inputs and outputs, accelerometer, magnetometer and Bluetooth Smart Technology.

The BBC and partners are developing a wide range of support resources for parents, teachers and group leaders. These include projects and ideas on using the device straight away, so children can get coding in minutes.

There will be examples of both formal and informal learning resources. Informal learning resources will be usable outside the school environment, whether that’s at home, events or enthusiast groups or clubs.

For more information click here

To register click here

Informed Scotland – Special Edition – Technologies at work

IS Tech at Work Special cover May 15Every aspect of the curriculum has a part to play in helping children and young people understand the world of work, the parts which they might play, and the contributions they might make to business, employment and the economy in their careers beyond school. Within that overall framework it is possible to see a unique role for the technologies, and the particular logic and clarity of a special relationship which the technologies can share with creative, productive working life in the 21st century.

Over a number of years, and through many different programmes and initiatives, national and local governments have recognised the importance of the technologies in supporting young people’s expanding awareness of careers and working life. For example, the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) invested £1bn in schools across the UK over a span of 10 years or so; and more recently the Scottish Government’s Determined to Succeed programme focused a further £100m on developing young people’s readiness for work, much of it supporting technological skills and knowledge.

Building Society: Young people’s experiences and outcomes in the technologies was launched on 9 March 2015.  It’s vision for leanign in, through and about the technologies, makes clear the improtance of cultivating strong links and associations with the progress being achieved in Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, in the wake of the Wood Commision report an dthe Scottish Government’s response.

Technologies at Work highlights ideas, issues, projects and resources from across the learning and skills landscape.  It aims to help business and schools identify and make the most of the common objectives and synergies of the technologies and young workforce initiatives.  It makes connections between subject areas, between education and business sectors, and between the economy and learning.

Education Scotland, who commissioned this Informed Scotland Special, encourages partners on business and across education establishments to use the resource, recognising the important bridge th technologies provides between the communities of school and work.

Find the full version here