Category Archives: Sciences

Trash Trek Challenge 2015

In August it was announced that more than 600 children ages 9 toFFL logo 16* from schools over Scotland will explore the fascinating world of Waste!

From collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse, there is more to your waste than meets the eye.  Join FIRST LEGO League teams on a ‘Trash Trek’ to discover the hidden (or not so hidden) world of Waste!

With the schools working in teams of ten engaging industry experts, STEM ambassadors and undertaking in depth research they are about to enter the competition stages with events to be held in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

The first of these will be held at the School of Computing Science and Digital Media on 12th December 2015.

This event is primarily a celebration of the efforts put in by the teams and their coaches, and of the energetic and inventive way in which the teams have met the tough challenges posed to them. Organisers are looking forward to seeing this year’s teams and the class of 2015 robots, which will be put through their paces in a sports-like atmosphere! Judges are particularly keen to discuss the relevance of the skills they learned during the project and the connection they made between the skills they learned and the real world of the waste industry.

In First Lego League learners need to think like scientists and engineers as they programme a robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points, devising a solution to a problem as part of their project, all while being guided by the FLL Core Values.

These three elements – the Robot Game, Project, and FLL Core Values – make up the Challenge.

Registration will open soon for the 2015 First Lego League World Class Challenge, What is the future of learning? exploring how we gather knowledge and develop skills in the 21st Century.

The judges are also eager to see the teams present their ideas on how to tackle the World’s big problem of waste. Will the teams think of a way to reduce the amount of rubbish we produce or instead invent a better and more creative way to deal with the waste we have piling up?

The winning team is invited to attend the UK National Finals at Loughborough University on Sunday 21st February 2016. We will provide £1000 for the champions to put toward attending this event. For the top teams at Loughborough there will be the opportunity to take part in the international finals in the USA.

For more information:

Junior Saltire Awards Competition 2016

Small - Junior Saltire 2016This engaging, hands-on, topical competition sets the challenge of designing, building and testing a simple floating Wave Energy Converter.

Registration has just opened and teams have until 18th December to sign up for this challenge. Join this Glow TV session on Monday 30th November at 11am to pitch your questions to the Junior Saltire Panel of experts!

Full details about the competition can be found at

Register to join in live on the day – Junior Saltire Awards Competition 2016

Today (Mon 23rd Nov, 2015) is… Fibonacci Day

Writing November 23rd the American way, we have 1123 – what a coincidence. They are the first four numbers of Fibonacci’s sequence.

Leonardo of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci, is responsible for the Fibonacci Sequence (or Fibonacci numbers) – a pattern of counting where each number is the sum of the previous two. As well as being prevalent in nature, this kind of system is used widely in computer data storage and processing, and Fibonacci Day recognises the importance and value of Fibonacci’s contributions to mathematics.

Below is a link to some resources and investigations that can be used in the classroom.

New resources for National Qualifications, GME: Geography, Science and Social Studies

Translations of the following resources are now available:

Geography – Support for Global Issues: National 5

Science – Sustainable Lifestyles: National 2

 Social Studies – Making a Contrast: Natural Disasters: National 2

 Social Studies – Making a Decision: Weather: National 2



Come and meet the experts and find out about air pollution!

Free professional learning workshops available for practitioners at Hillpark Secondary School, Glasgow on 25th November 4 – 6pm.

Come along and learn about air pollution, how to use data about air quality in your classes and finding indicator species such as lichen in your local area!

Sign up using our simple survey here:


Food security – Professional Learning for Practitioners

Small - Food SecurityJoin us on Thursday 19th November at 4pm for this event which will offer practitioners teaching both Higher Environmental Science and Higher Biology the chance to converse with Professor Pete Smith from the University of Aberdeen on this critical sustainability issue.

Professor Smith is the theme leader of ‘Environment and Food Security’ at the University of Aberdeen, as well as the Director of Food Systems of the Scottish Food Security Alliance-Crops ( He has contributed a great deal to environment and food security research and this event provides practitioners an excellent opportunity to discuss this critical issue with an academic leader in the field.

This event has been organised in accordance with the mandatory key areas of both the Higher Environmental Science and Higher Biology Sustainability units.

Register now to take part live – Food security – Professional Learning for Practitioners

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Edinburgh Genomics

Small - Edinburgh GenomicsEducation Scotland is hosting an exciting event in collaboration with Edinburgh Genomics – giving practitioners a chance to converse with some of Scotland’s leading experts in modern genomics research. Edinburgh Genomics is embedded in the rich academic environment of the University of Edinburgh, offering genomic sequencing and bioinformatics services across the fields of medical, veterinary and biological sciences. This twilight session has been organised in accordance with the specifications of the DNA and the Genome unit of the CfE Higher (H4KD 76). The session will be hosted by Karim Gharbi, Head of Genomics, who will explain the concepts of sequencing and bioinformatics; describing the cutting-edge technologies used at Edinburgh Genomics in this highly powerful and ever-developing field of scientific research. This will be immediately followed by a second discussion hosted by Mark Blaxter, Director of the Genome Science Division, who will discuss the many applications for genomic sequencing, such as phylogenomics, comparative genomics and possible clinical applications.

Join us on Monday 16th November at 4pm in Glow TV to find out more. Sign up and regsiter now – Edinburgh Genomics

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Professional learning workshops from OPAL, SEPA and Ricardo Energy

Free professional learning workshops available for practitioners at Hillpark Secondary School, Glasgow on 25th November 4 – 6pm.

Come along and learn about air pollution, how to use data about air quality in your classes and finding indicator species such as lichen in your local area!

Sign up using our simple survey here:


Numeracy and Mathematics Resources

National Numeracy and Mathematics HubESLogohub


The National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub is a virtual learning environment for all practitioners. The Hub provides an innovative approach to career-long professional learning for all practitioners in all sectors. It is an interactive, virtual learning environment which offers practitioners:

  • Professional learning in different aspects of numeracy with a focus on progression, numeracy and mathematics skills, numeracy across learning, assessment and moderation and teaching.
  • Career-long professional learning opportunities of various types such as broadcasts, professional reading and action research.
  • An easy to use environment where you can share and work with colleagues from across Scotland as well as those from your own school or authority​.

Education Scotland website:

Provides practitioners with excellent resources and guidance to help develop learning and teaching in Numeracy and Mathematics including;

 National Numeracy Progression Frameworkprogression – This resource has been created to deepen practitioners’ knowledge and understanding of progression within the experiences and outcomes for numeracy and mathematics. It included progression pathways with key milestones and building blocks for each of the numeracy organisers. Mathematics pathways coming soon, along with previous knowledge and understanding and exemplification.

Professional Learning Resources – These professional learning resources provide guidance and advice to help inform learning and teaching practices in line with the main objectives of the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN). There are PLR’s for;

There is also information on Assessing progress and achievement available which includes professional learning activities and key documents on significant aspects of learning and making good assessment decisions.

Other key links and websites to support the development of Numeracy and Mathematics;

The Journey to Excellence: Examples of innovative and interesting practice. Search ‘mathematics’ or ‘numeracy’ in to the search facility.

TWIG Film list for National 4 and National 5 Qualifications

TWIG Films from website

stem logoSTEM Links

STEM e-bulletin

(Up to date news, information, resources and professional learning)

STEM Central in MOTION blog

(more up to date news on STEM)

STEM Central website

(high quality resources, teaching ideas, videos etc to develop learning experiences relating to sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics

Main Contact for Numeracy and Mathematics Team at Education Scotland:

Lorna Harvey, Acting Senior Education Officer

Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street


G2 8DU

Tel: 0141 282 5119   



Free STEM competition for primary and secondary pupils

if you were am engineerThe Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award asks primary and secondary school pupils precisely that.

To answer the question they have to interview engineers about what it means to be an engineer and invent a solution to a perceived problem.

If you would like to be a part of this extraordinary event please contact: or see the attached leaflet.Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award Primary engineer Programmes NEW