Jul 012015













Funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, Dundee-based engineers and students will be preparing activities and learning information packages for use in class and online to explain the processes involved in the building of Dundee’s new railway station.

Resources for the classroom

Free online activities and class materials will be released with each stage through our website at


These will have background information about what’s happening at the Railway Station, images and associated learning activities aimed at each level of the curriculum. Corresponding Es&Os will be highlighted for each learning unit.

We will also send out posters for display in classrooms to highlight the STEM subjects and raise awareness of career prospects in engineering for your pupils.

“Scotland needs to find more than 147,000 extra engineers by 2022 in order to tap into rising demand worth billions of pounds to the economy”

Engineering UK 2015 ‘The State of Engineering’, produced for the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET)



Delivery points and stages of the learning programme:

Learning programme delivery dates Construction / Deconstruction dates Building phases and learning contexts
October to December 2015 2010 to 2013 Preconstruction phase. Dundee Railway Station is part of Dundee City’s 30 year Waterfront Regeneration project. Engineering content: The Victorian Railway tunnel which runs under the Central Waterfront development zone presented engineers with complex deconstruction challenges when bringing down the existing buildings. In addition, the road network through the central zone has to be reconfigured frequently to allow each stage of the area’s deconstruction and reconstruction to be carried out considerately and effectively. Learning opportunities will focus on the planning, design and costs of different options to the old railway station in Dundee.
Dec 2013; Dec 2014 Removing the old Railway Station building. Engineering content: The focus of this milestone will be the problematic removal of the building with live railway lines running underneath the station. Learning opportunities will provide a summary of the advance works that have been carried out to bring the students up to date on the background of the project including: utility diversions, stage 1 demolition of road over rail bridges and construction of new bridge structure and road, diversion of pedestrians and vehicles, construction of extended lay-by and bus area, construction of the temporary station facilities prior to demolition of the existing concourse building, Rail Maintenance Offices and bridge deck.
Sept – Jan 2016 Installing services. This topic will focus on how services are installed with the focus on the future needs of the railway station and how these predictions are made. The new infrastructure network currently being implemented as part of the £0.5 billion redevelopment of the Central Waterfront will include: the highest specification digital communication, an integrated transport hub at the new rail station and updated utilities.

January to June 2016 Jan – Aug 2016 Building the foundations for the new Railway Station. Engineering content: Foundations at this site will be problematic as this land was reclaimed c1900. The bearing pressure is inconsistent. This milestone will focus on ground engineering design and why piled foundations have been specified in this build project. Particular attention has to be on preserving the integrity of the railway abutment walls and working with live rail traffic, whilst installing rotary percussion bored piles
Feb to Aug 16 Bridge Construction, Ground Floor Structure & Platform Works. Engineering content: Installation of pre-fabricated steel beams, permanent deck formwork, steel reinforcement and in situ concrete over a live railway line.
Aug 2016 to Jan 2017 Building the superstructure of the railway station and hotel above. The new station concourse will consist of a triple-height arched space, framelessly glazed at both ends. The arched form responds to the structural requirement to span across the railway bridge below. Engineering content: will address construction considerations, materials and support requirements in building such an open expansive supporting structure over a tunnel, with the additional complexities of operating the build over live railway lines.
Oct 2016 to July 2017 Temporary Works. Engineering content: Construction of a multi storey building in close proximity to the railway and within a constrained site creates significant potential risks to both employee health and safety and for the protection of the railway infrastructure. The sequencing of the construction of the steel frame building is critical to ensure that at all times throughout the works the temporary structure is safe. Significant temporary measures will be required to be designed and installed throughout the course of the construction.
April 2016 Sustainability. Sustainability of buildings during construction, service and demolition is a major part of the design of any building. This session will include the three main pillars of sustainability in the construction context.
Oct 16 to Sept 2017 The External Building Cladding & Internal fit out Engineering content: incorporation of utilities, avoiding clash with steelwork, floors, walls and ceilings how 3D modelling helped to reduce delays and decrease fabrication costs on site. Ensuring the hotel rooms are constructed to provide the specified sound acoustic performance requirements.
Health & Safety will be covered in each section of the project. Introducing the importance of health and safety on site using topics such as the protection of the public and traffic management. Situated in the middle of one of Dundee’s busiest roads, traffic management of this site is a major part of the planning.


Jul 012015

NQ HS masthead

Published on the Glow sciences site http://bit.ly/glowsciences a few weeks ago.

The Advanced Higher Unit 2 materials for Organisms and Evolution are now available on the NQ Higher Sciences site, no Glow account required. http://bit.ly/1GxouCG

This completes the suite of resources developed for Revised Advanced Higher and suitable for CfE Advanced Higher

Jul 012015

future learn



Sam Smidt is one of the lead educators on The Open University’s free online course, The Science of Nuclear Energy. In this post, she discusses whether nuclear power can – or should – have a role in our future.

nuclaera power

Decommissioning old coal, gas and nuclear power stations in the 2020s will result in a shortfall of energy in the UK – an “energy gap.” The debate about how best to make up that shortfall really polarises public opinion. Should we invest in nuclear energy? Will renewable energy provide enough to fill the gap?

Many people believe we should commit to renewable energy sources, such as wind, wave and solar energy, which are carbon free and don’t carry any of the risks and concerns about nuclear energy.

But renewables carry their own problems – the supply of energy is intermittent, they are still relatively expensive, and there are lots of issues about where to site wind or solar farms.

So, why are there concerns about nuclear power and are they founded? What are the pros and cons of nuclear power?

The pros and cons of nuclear power

On the plus side, it’s the most straightforward way of reducing the UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. It would offer energy security, meaning we would be less dependent on imported power and we can assure the fuel needed for the full lifetime of a new reactor.

But on the minus side, it’s expensive to build new reactors and investors won’t get a return on their investment for many years and therefore want guarantees about the return they will get.

There are environmental risks which were highlighted recently by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011. This led Germany to cancel its entire nuclear programme.

Then there are the issues around nuclear waste – while new reactors must have plans for dealing with the waste designed in from the outset, there is still lots of uncertainty about how to deal with the long-term storage of nuclear waste from the last half century.

Should nuclear power solve the energy gap?

So, can nuclear power solve the energy gap? The answer to this is a fairly certain yes, so perhaps a better question is “Should nuclear power solve the energy gap?” The answer to that is much harder to give.

What is clear is that the energy gap should be addressed in more than one way. While nuclear power may be one facet of our future energy portfolio, green, renewable energy sources must continue to be developed and should form an increasing part of our energy portfolio.

The potential for smart meters and increased energy efficiency measures must be exploited faster to change the way we consume electricity. By being smarter in the ways in which we consume energy and diversifying the ways in which we generate energy, we might be able to minimise our dependence on energy sources that we are not comfortable with.

What do you think? Should nuclear power solve the energy gap? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below or using #FLnuclear15. Or to find out more about the intricacies of this debate, join the free online course, The Science of Nuclear Energy.

Jul 012015


The Science of Nutrition

Explore the science behind what you eat with this free online course.

About the course

Are we really what we eat? And how do we know what is in our food?This free online course will look to answer some of these questions, by looking at the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics. You’ll look at the components of food that are given on food labels and consider how these are processed by the body.

There will be some human biology, focusing on the digestive system, including the liver, and the bloodstream, which carries the processed food components to all parts of the body. You will also find out how much energy different sorts of foods supply.

You will have the opportunity to carry out some experiments to find out a little more about the role that acid plays in digestion and how enzymes work, as well as working out how much energy is contained in a single peanut.

Finally, you’ll consider some of the advice that is given about what constitutes a healthy diet and how overconsumption has lead to an obesity epidemic in many countries of the world.

future learn


Starts September 21st – join here

Jun 172015

Calling all budding science filmmakers! Glasgow City of Science has launched a 60 Second Science Mobile Movie Competition for learners aged 16+ with an interest in TV documentary making or film-making.

The winner will have his/her film screened on the biggest IMAX in Scotland at an awards ceremony on 4th November, as well as hands-on TV production experience with a major UK broadcaster.

Your film (which should be recorded on a mobile device) can be related to any branch of Science including Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, Medicine, Maths or Social Sciences.

By ‘related to’, we mean, for example: about a demonstration, an invention, a scientist, a science concept, experiment or activity; explaining some phenomenon; or revealing science in peoples’ work.

Interested? Email youngjury@glasgowcityofscience.com by 25th October if you want to take part. Deadline is 30th October for entries. We’ll then send full submission details. Filmmakers should be groups of no more than 3 people. This competition is open to entrants aged 16+ in education or training.

Find out more information here.
Jun 162015

Become a scientist using your phone!

Download these apps to your phone and you could be a citizen scientists – find out about bees and ladybirds in your area, collect bat sounds or even collect and measure samples of volcanic ash fall!

Scotland’s Environment provide a list of apps you can easily download and use to collect data, find out information and get involved with real-life science. Do you know about any other citizen science apps that people might like? Let Scotland’s Environment know here.




Jun 102015

Atkins Logo Interested in a career in engineering? Would you like to know more about what it    involves? Why not join a live interactive Atkins Engineering Consultancy STEM Ambassador Career Presentation?

From your classroom join a variety of presentations by STEM Ambassadors, allowing 2nd to 6th year students the opportunity to ask about working as an engineer.

Each 30 min interactive career presentation will give an overview of:
•A career in engineering;
•What the STEM Ambassadors like about their jobs;
•What they did to become engineers;
•The opportunities for men and women in STEM Jobs.

These sessions will be available at a time that suits you live online via the Glow Meet in 2015.

For more details contact: STEMglasgow@atkinsglobal.com. Please include your preferred time and dates of your availability to participate.

Download a copy of the Atkins Engineering Consultancy STEM Ambassador Career Presentation flyer.


Jun 052015

A future in chemistryA Future in Chemistry is a careers site from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

When it comes to job prospects students aged between 11 and 19 have a lot of decisions to make; subject choices, work experience, the best university for their plans. There’s a good deal to think about – especially when a career in a chemistry related area is the ultimate goal.

This site has been created to give young people, parents and teachers what they need to help them make informed choices and feel confident about their future.

For further information: http://rsc.li/1JqDHMl


Jun 022015

Stirling HS John Muir Award Group Survey Image 3 (2)Thanks to Mr.Tyler from East Renfrewshire for sharing his monthly Topical Science update! Great information about citizen science in his May edition! (you will need to go through  the glow authentication to access this.)



May 292015

david elder


The next David Elder Lecture on The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence to be delivered on 10th June 2015 at the Glasgow Science Centre’s IMAX by Prof Tim O’Brien of BBC Stargazing Live fame and a Director of the Jodrell Bank Radio-Telescope Observatory.

This will be an exciting visual lecture and would be suitable to inspire secondary students in S4 – S6.

Ticketing for this free event is on-line or via telephone for group bookings – details on poster.

 David Elder Flyer PRINT

For any other enquiries regarding this event please contact us at study@phys.strath.ac.uk  

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