Aug 262015
 

asdWelcome to our e-bulletin for sciences, technologies, engineering and maths (STEM). Please forward to those who may be interested.

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Sciences
• Award-winning online resources available until June 2016 – add Twig, Tigtag and Reach Out CPD tiles to your Launchpad in Glow
• Higher Physics professional learning videos now online
• Statistics for school biology experiments and Advanced Higher projects – SSERC guide
• 13 – 19 year olds can win a trip to New York City through the Junior Academy STEM competition
• Enter the 2016 Our Environment competition run by SEPA
• Get Learning section of Scotland’s Environment website launches soon – data about climate change, water, rivers and more
Technologies
• Register your school to receive BBC Microbit pocket-sized computers for coding
• The National Technologies Network Glow community will keep you up to date
• New engineering science materials on the Glow NQ site
• CPD for Engineering Science – Advanced Higher writers day on the 17 September 2015
• Dunoon Primary beats 300 UK schools to win Kodu Kup
• Open University research project on use of mobile technologies – get involved!

Numeracy and mathematics
• BBC News report on supermarket pricing
• Mathematical Association conference for teachers of secondary mathematics
• The National Numeracy Progression Framework has progression pathways for all numeracy organisers
• Register for Progression Module to be delivered via the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub from 25 August
• STEM precision farming event for secondary STEM teachers – Perthshire, 7 November

Did you know…….?
The Developing Young Workforce programme will be transforming the way that STEM is delivered in Scottish schools.

Professional learning
Reviewing the requirement for high level STEM skills – UKCES report

Video Inspiration
Make a 3D Hologram projector using a mobile phone app and CD case.

We’ve got loads more news to share! See our STEM blog for the latest updates.

Education Scotland Updates
Education Scotland Email Updates Now Available
Education Scotland offer a number of free email updates and news alerts to keep you informed of the latest developments and events in Scottish education.

We’re delighted to offer you a range of publications with a focus on specific areas, sectors and topics. These all include the latest news and key information along with links to new resources and support materials all in one place and relevant to your area of work.

You can sign up to as many email updates as you like, they are free and delivered straight to your inbox. Visit the Education Scotland website for the full list of publications available and sign up today.

Scottish Learning Festival 2015
SLF is the biggest education event in Scotland, bringing together thousands of educational professionals from across Scotland and beyond. Taking place on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September, the theme of this year’s event focuses on raising achievement and attainment for all.

SLF is free for everyone to attend and gives you access to inspirational keynotes, over 100 professional development seminars, lively debate at the professional discussion sessions, Scotland’s largest education exhibition and opportunities for professional networking with peers and colleagues from across Scotland.

Book now to guarantee your place at SLF. Visit the SLF website to browse the full conference programme and book your place today.

Aug 262015
 

ComPound Interest

Fat is an important nutrient in our diets, but there’s a lot of talk of different types of fats, and whether these types are beneficial or harmful to our health. These different fat classifications have their roots in chemistry – and chemistry can also help explain their effects. This graphic takes a look at the different classifications, their sources, and briefly about how they act in our body.

Aug 242015
 

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Food and drink offers an engaging and practical context for learning within Curriculum for Excellence and provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and for rich and meaningful partnerships between schools, the food and drink organisations and other partners such as academia and research organisations. This event aims to further explore these links and demonstrate to practitioners how to use food and drink as a context for delivering a range of subjects.

Recommended for: primary and secondary practitioners with responsibilities for sciences, technologies, food & health and business studies planning for learning and transition experiences from second level to senior phase.

For more information click Food Chain CLPL – Craibstone 17th September 2015 JULY 2015-1

Aug 192015
 

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Twig and Tigtag have been procured by Education Scotland for a further 12 months through to July 2016.

These award-winning online resources will continue to be available to all local authority practitioners and learners for this time through the Scotland Launchpad and the App Library on Glow.

See our simple guide to find out how to add the Twig, Tigtag and Reach Out CPD tiles to your own Launchpad in Glow.

 

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Aug 112015
 

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Junior Academy is a virtual program for exceptional students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Successful applicants gain access to an exciting community of student peers from across the globe, as well as mentoring from leading STEM practitioners. Each year, Junior Academy students compete in global challenges to solve real-world problems with the chance to win cash prizes and an all expenses paid trip to New York City for a two-day summit. The Junior Academy aims to network thousands of the world’s most promising young STEM talent and provide them the support they need to stay engaged and eager to excel. The program is open to students ages 13–19 from around the world.

This free program is sponsored by the PepsiCo Foundation, ARM, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and others. We are currently recruiting students for the program which begins this autumn; applications are due on August 31, 2015.

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Education Scotland have helped fourteen girls from Scotland to take part in the Global STEM Alliance’s 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures project also organised by the New York Academy of Sciences.

1000 Girls, 1000 Futures, is a $2 million commitment to target and accelerate the STEM workforce of tomorrow by developing one of the world’s most valuable resources – its women. The goal is to empower the next generation of female professionals in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).

FINAL 1000 Girls 1000 Futures leaflet_Feb 2015

1000 Girls, 1000 Futures is a transformational program with an emphasis on mentoring, designed to engage and inspire female high-school students to study STEM subjects and pursue related careers, and is part of the Global STEM Alliance of the New York Academy of Sciences. For these young women, mentorship provides STEM role models. Successful mentoring relationships lead to career and personal satisfaction, accelerated advancement, and higher salaries.

 

Aug 112015
 

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Higher Physics Professional Learning Videos

Education Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance and SSERC has developed a series of nine professional learning videos focused on new content in Higher Physics.

Featuring some of Scotland’s most talented physicists, they have been designed to provide high quality, accessible professional learning. The videos cover Special relativity, The big bang, Gravitational waves, Collider physics, The standard model, Hubble’s law and nuclear fusion along with two providing guidance on experiments for the Higher Physics assignment.

These videos are available from Education Scotland’s NQ Higher Sciences website.

Included in the resource, kindly shared by SSERC, are the videos of two recent SSERC meets on Hubble’s law and Collider Physics.

Education Scotland would like to thank all of the contributors who gave so freely off their time.

Aug 072015
 

Climate change is an important global issue.  Barak Obama has recently spoken out about it and even One Direction have joined the discussion.  Now religious leaders have been adding their support…

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Engage students with comments from the Pope and Islamic leaders on climate change.

Climate change was given worldwide attention through an encyclical from the Pope on 18th June, explaining his latest teaching. He states that human activity in developed industrialised countries is doing the most damage to the climate; http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/world/europe/pope-francis-in-sweeping-encyclical-calls-for-swift-action-on-climate-change.html?_r=0

 

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1.6 billion Muslims have been called on to play an active role in tackling climate change by Islamic leaders.  Furthermore they want all nations and their leaders to commit to a zero emissions strategy ASAP;

http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/islamic-declaration-on-climate-change/

This is an excellent opportunity to get a discussion going in your classroom on a very topical issue.

 

 

Jul 282015
 

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Gravity! From the Big Bang to Black Holes

Gravity runs the Universe. This free online course explains why, focussing on key concepts from the Big Bang to black holes.

About the course

What is gravity? This fundamental force is the common theme between concepts as intriguing as the Big Bang, black holes, dark energy, space-time, gravitational waves and the expansion of the Universe.

If these concepts pique your interest, this free online course is for you. It doesn’t require any background in physics or mathematics, just a simple curiosity about the Universe and our place in it.

Mark the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s theory of relativity

The theory of gravity, Einstein’s theory of relativity, was published exactly 100 years ago. This course presents in a simple manner the main ideas behind this theory, before explaining why “gravity is the engine of the Universe.”

The basic notions are then introduced to understand why the Universe is in expansion. We’ll find out:

• why the further you look, the more distant the past is;
• how we can tell what happened just after the Big Bang;
• what the dark components of the Universe are;
• why we’re so impatiently expecting the discovery of gravitational waves;
• and what happens when you cross the horizon of a black hole.

Learn with experts including a Nobel Prize-winning physicist

Over six weeks, you’ll learn with Pierre Binétruy, the Director of the Paris Centre for Cosmological Physics at Paris Diderot University, as well as the cosmologist, George Smoot, who will explain the discovery that earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2006.

More information here

Requirements

This course doesn’t require any background in physics or mathematics, just a simple curiosity about the Universe.

Jul 022015
 

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Light plays a vital role in our everyday lives and technologies based on light are all around us. So we might expect that our understanding of light is pretty settled. But scientists have just uncovered a new fundamental property of light that gives new insight into the 150-year-old classical theory of electromagnetism and which could lead to applications manipulating light at the nanoscale.

It is unusual for a pure-theory physics paper to make it into the journal Science. So when one does, it’s worth a closer look. In the new study, researchers bring together one of physics’ most venerable set of equations – those of James Clerk’s Maxwell’s famous theory of light – with one of the hot topics in modern solid-state physics: the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators.

To understand what the fuss is about, let’s first consider the behaviour of electrons in the quantum spin Hall effect. Electrons possess an intrinsic spin as if they were tiny spinning-tops, constantly rotating about their axis. This spin is a quantum-mechanical property, however, and special rules apply – the electron has only two options open to it: it can either spin clockwise or anticlockwise (conventionally called spin-up or spin-down), but the magnitude of the spin is always fixed.

In certain materials, the spin of the electron can have a big effect on the way electrons move. This effect is called “spin-orbit coupling” and we can get an idea of how it works with a footballing analogy. By hitting a freekick with spin, a footballer can make the ball deviate to the left or the right as it travels through the air. The direction of the movement depends on which way the ball is spinning.

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Spin-orbit coupling causes electrons to experience an analogous spin-dependent deflection as they travel, although the effect arises not from the Magnus effect as in the case for the football, but from electric fields within the material.

A normal electrical current consists of an equal mixture of moving spin-up and spin-down electrons. Due to the spin-orbit effect, spin-up electrons will be deflected one way, while spin-down electrons will be deflected the other. Eventually the deflected electrons will reach the edges of the material and be able to travel no further. The spin-orbit coupling thus leads to an accumulation of electrons with different spins on opposite sides of the sample.

This effect is known as the classical spin Hall effect, and quantum mechanics adds a dramatic twist on top. The quantum-mechanical wave nature of the travelling electrons organises them into neat channels along the edges of the sample. In the bulk of the material, there is no net spin. But at each edge, there form exactly two electron-carrying channels, one for spin-up electrons and one for spin-down. These edge channels possess a further remarkable property: the electrons that move in them are impervious to the disorder and imperfections that usually cause resistance and energy loss.

This precise ordering of the electrons into spin-separated, perfectly conducting channels is known as the quantum spin Hall effect, which is a classic example of a “topological insulator”– a material that is an electrical insulator on the inside but that can conduct electricity on its surface. Such materials represent a fundamentally distinct organisation of matter and promise much in the way of spintronic applications. Read heads of hard drives based on this technology are currently used in industry.

Beginning to see the light

Now, the new study suggests that the seeds of this seemingly exotic quantum spin Hall effect are actually all around us. And it is not to electrons that we should look to find them, but rather to light itself.

In modern physics, matter can be described either as a wave or a particle. In Maxwell’s theory, light is an electromagnetic wave. This means it travels as a synchronised oscillation of electric and magnetic fields. By considering the way in which these fields rotate as the wave propagates, the researchers were able to define a property of the wave, the “transverse spin”, that plays the role of the electron spin in the quantum spin Hall effect.

In a homogeneous medium, like air, this spin is exactly zero. However, at the interface between two media (air and gold, for example), the character of the waves change dramatically and a transverse spin develops. Furthermore, the direction of this spin is precisely locked to the direction of travel of the light wave at the interface. Thus, when viewed in the correct way, we see that the basic topological ingredients of the quantum spin Hall effect that we know for electrons are shared by light waves.

This is important because there has been an array of high-profile experiments demonstrating coupling between the spin of light and its direction of propagation at surfaces. This new work gives a integrative interpretation of these experiments as revealing light’s intrinsic quantum spin Hall effect. It also points to a certain universality in the behaviour of waves at surfaces, be they quantum-mechanical electron waves or Maxwell’s classical waves of light.

Harnessing the spin-orbit effect will open new possibilities for controlling light at the nanoscale. Optical connections, for example, are seen as a way of increasing computer performance, and in this context, the spin-orbit effect could be used to rapidly reroute optical signals based on their spin. With applications proposed in optical communications, metrology, and quantum information processing, it will be interesting to see how the impact of this new twist on an old theory unfolds.

Jul 012015
 

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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

www.abertay.ac.uk/open/engineering

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.

 

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