Apr 212015
 

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The light at the end of the tunnel

This year’s Institute of Physics Stirling Meeting will take place at the Stirling Court Hotel (formerly known as the Management Centre) on Wednesday 20th May. Full details, including the programme and the online registration system are available at www.stirlingmeeting.org

Registration deadline is 15th May.

Once again SSERC will be distributing free a valuable educational resource to all delegates who are currently teaching in schools.

Apr 162015
 

Thales Mars balloonMARSBalloon is a free project open to all UK schools that launches student Mars science experiments on high altitude balloons 30km up into Earth’s atmosphere.

At this altitude the conditions of gas pressure, temperature and radiation are very similar to the surface of Mars; making it an ideal testing ground for trying out anything that humans or robots might be doing on Mars in the future.

 
Teachers can register now for our next flight where we plan to launch up to 100 student experiments; each of which should fit into a kinder egg toy capsule. After the flight the experiment capsules will be returned to the schools for analysis by the students.

This project can be run within a variety of STEM subject lessons or after school clubs and taking part will help your students to:

learn more about the environment of Mars and its future exploration

work as a group to formulate, design, build and analyse the results of a real Mars science experiment

consider careers in UK space and other STEM industries.
This project is run by space engineers from Thales Alenia Space UK and funded by Thales UK for the purpose of engaging more students into high tech engineering and ground-breaking science.

There is no cost to take part in the project other than that of experiment materials and postage. Teachers can find out more and register their class or club for free at www.marsballoon.com

To see footage of the previous launch click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvBxVCYyaXk

 

 

Mar 302015
 

IOM3-LogoThe Polymer Study Tours are FREE four day residential courses for secondary teachers of science and design technology designed to improve your knowledge and understanding of the aspects of the curriculum related to polymers. They bring together teachers from both disciplines in an informal environment to exchenge views on the teaching of this cross curricular subject.

The courses include a mixture of lectures, laboratory and workshop sessions and visits to plastics processing companies. The sessions are delivered by leading figures from industry and academia who are keen to encourage discussion on all things polymer-related. All delegates are given valuable teaching resources which relate to the curriculum and promote the knowledge of polymers and their importance to the quality of everyday life. You will also have the chance to take away samples that you have made.

The courses are located at three centres around the UK; they start on Sunday afternoon and finish by 1600hrs on Wednesday. All accommodation, meals, refreshments and transport between venues is included, you just have to get yourself to and from the course centre.

The dates for 2015 are as follows:

  • Edinburgh Napier University 21 to 24 June
  • London Metropolitan University 28 June to 01 July
  • University of Manchesther 05 to 08 July

Although the courses are free to attend we do ask for a £50 booking deposit to secure your place. This is refunded after you have attended the course.

The registration form for the 2015 coures is now available.

Mar 182015
 

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Interested in Business Education? If the answer is “Yes” then why not join the Business Education Community on Glow at: www.tinyurl.com/busedscot.

What is available you might be thinking? Well some of the benefits of joining the community include:

  • Vast amount of resources available
  • Calendar of events for Business Education opportunities
  • Opportunity to share and collaborate
  • Making links with other people interested in Business Education
  • Hot Topics in Business – Discussion area
  • Newsfeed for questions, comments and feedback – great way to keep up with what is happening in Business
  • Plus much more…

Still interested? Join the community and share the site with others.

Mar 172015
 

Mcas-logoessage from Kate Farrell the Co-Chair of Computing at Schools Scotland(CASS)

I am delighted to announce the launch of our 2015 CS Education conference! This year we will be hosted by the School of Computing at the University of Dundee. The conference will be on Saturday 7th November 2015.

After a ‘slimline’ conference last year we will be back to our multiple strands plus workshops model that has worked well in the past. Following on from our successful BGE strand last year and the positive feedback we got from the Primary teachers attending we are carrying on with the BGE strand and expanding it so there will be BGE sessions for the full day.

I am also very pleased to announce that we are partnering with SICSA Education to have an Academic and Research strand, and we’re partnering with College Development Network and ScotlandIS to have an Industry and Vocational Strand.

This will mean professionals from Early Years, Primary, Secondary, Further Education, Higher Education and Industry all gathering together to discuss Computing Science education!

In order to make this conference a huge success we need YOU! We are opening a Call for Proposals and we are hoping that many of you will submit proposals for sessions at the conference. There are a selection of themes to give you ideas. You can get more information and ideas in our Call for Participation document.

If you would like to submit a proposal, the form is here: http://bit.ly/CASSconf15CALL

Mar 112015
 

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Education Scotland has published resource guides for Advanced Higher Biology, Advanced Higher Chemistry, Advanced Higher Physics and N5 Environmental Sciences and Higher Environmental Science. These can be found in the appropriate folders.

These resource guides have been produced in response to requests from staff who attended the NQ Sciences events at Hampden Stadium in December 2013. Those attending felt it would be useful to have a document which helped them navigate to the most relevant resources quickly.

These resource guides show the mandatory course key area tables from the SQA Advanced Higher Biology, Chemistry and Physics as well as N5 and Higher Environmental Science Course and Unit Support Notes. An additional fourth column has been included which contains hyperlinks to resources that are relevant to each of the key areas. Please note: Teachers are not required to use the resources listed – they are only included as helpful suggestions. Teachers should also refer to the SQA website for the most up-to-date course and unit support notes.

These resources form part of a suite of guides including N5 and Higher Biology, Chemistry and Physics and Higher Human Biology.

Feb 132015
 

Education_Scotland_logoEducation Scotland will publish the report of the Technologies Impact Review, “Building Society: young people’s experiences in the technologies”, on 9th March 2015. This report continues the series in which Education Scotland evaluates the quality of young people’s learning and achievements, in this case in the technologies. The report contributes to the overall picture of what it is like to be a learner in a Scottish early years centre or school in this second decade of the 21st Century.

Education Scotland have organized a launch event for this report and the college aspect report Computing and Digital Media.

Making tomorrow happen: technology education in Scotland

 will be held in Celtic Park, Glasgow on 9 March 2015.

 The event has been organized to raise awareness of the reports and to discuss the implications for future developments in the Technologies area of the curriculum.

It would greatly assist the organisation of the conference if you could send your nominees to Kenneth Rae – Kenneth.Rae@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk by 27th February 2015, stating their name, role and email address.

Feb 112015
 

SEA launchWe’ve received a fantastic number of entries for the Scottish Education Awards but times running out now. The awards showcase and celebrate the hard work and dedication across Scottish education.

To be in with a chance of winning make sure you’re entries are in before midday on 16 February.

A full list of categories and details on how to enter are on the Scottish Education Awards website. Get you’re entry in now and good luck.

Feb 032015
 

aspires imageMany governments and organisations are concerned that not enough young people are choosing to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) after the age of 16.

There is also widespread concern that the profile of those who do go on to study STEM subjects and pursue STEM careers is too narrow, with women, working-class and some minority ethnic groups remaining under-represented, especially in the physical sciences and engineering.

Particular STEM fields are predicting or already experiencing significant STEM skills gaps that may impact negatively on the economy. There is also a pressing need to improve the spread of scientific literacy across all societal groups.

The ASPIRES study sought to shed new light on our understanding of how young people’s aspirations develop over this 10-14 age period, exploring in particular what influences the likelihood of a young person aspiring to a science-related career.

The project is a five-year study funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of its Targeted Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education (TISME).

In addition to researching influences on students’ aspirations, the project also worked with a small group of teachers to develop approaches for integrating STEM careers information into science lessons.

Access the report through http://bit.ly/1fkDdDy

Feb 022015
 

First Minister meets Higgs Prize for Physics winners.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the newest winners of the Higgs Prize for Physics, congratulating them on their success.

The prize is named after Scottish-based Nobel Physics Prize winner Professor Peter Higgs, whose work in the field has had a significant impact on modern day particle physics, and rewards pupils who show a particular aptitude for the subject.

Ms Sturgeon and Education Secretary Angela Constance met Professor Higgs himself and the four winners in the First Minister’s office on Thursday 29th January.

The winners are:

• Eilidh Birse – a former pupil at Boclair Academy in Bearsden who is now studying medicine at the University of St Andrews
• Julie Lynch – a former pupil at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock who is now studying Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Glasgow and is continuing to take Physics as a third subject
• Stuart McGibbon – a fellow former pupil at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock, now currently studying Physics at the University of Glasgow
• Raheem Beg – a former pupil at Perth High School who is currently studying mathematics at the University of Dundee

As part of the Scottish Government funded prize, they will travel to the internationally renowned CERN research facility in Switzerland in July to attend lectures and seminars on physics as part of the summer school programme, as well as talking to Scottish researchers about their work at the facility and their careers in physics.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Scotland has a wonderful history of scientific discovery and it’s encouraging to see that tradition continue through today’s pupils and students who continue to be passionate and excited to take on the scientific challenges that remain unexplained.

“Science is hugely important to Scotland in the modern era and the achievements of Professor Higgs – a man whose work is internationally renowned – are of course inspiring for any budding scientist. This year, the International Year of Light, also celebrates the incredible legacy of another Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, whose theories underpin the technology at the heart of almost all communications equipment we take for granted today.

“We are absolutely determined to support pupils to excel and remove any barriers that might prevent them from realising their full potential. This prize is the perfect example of hard work opening up life-changing opportunities. Today’s four winners Eilidh, Julie, Stuart and Raheem now have the opportunity to go to the fantastic CERN research facility in Switzerland to listen and learn from some of the brightest minds of our generation. We are offering them the chance to be the very best they can be – the vast knowledge and experience they will have access to is an opportunity that many across the world will envy.

“I’m therefore delighted to award a prize in Professor Higg’s name to these exceptionally hard working and talented youngsters.”

Professor Higgs said:

“Everyone in life has people that they admire and strive to be like – my own inspiration was Paul Dirac, a man who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 – and I’m honoured that an award in my name is used as inspiration to the younger generation of physicists.

“I congratulate Eilidh, Julie, Stuart and Raheem on winning this prize and I am sure they will have an amazing time at CERN where they will learn from the very best. I hope these four promising young talents go on to became esteemed in their own right.”

Background

Pictures of the First Minister meeting Professor Higgs and the prize winners will be available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/firstministerofscotland

The prize is awarded on merit, to the highest performing male and female Advanced Higher Physics candidates from a publicly-funded school.