Tag Archives: STEM

Making skills work and promoting apprenticeships

letitiaFrom As the national skills body, we, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) support the people and businesses of Scotland by delivering services that help them to achieve their ambitions.

With careers advisers in secondary schools and high street centres across the country, we are passionate about developing skills in the community and getting more young people into work.

We also support and promote work based learning and apprenticeships which offer young people the chance to get a job, get paid and get qualified.

As part of this promotion, we are working with employers, training providers and partners to co-ordinate events and activity throughout autumn to raise awareness of apprenticeships and the benefits of work based learning.

The Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy and the aims of Developing the Young Workforce include reducing youth unemployment and bringing education and industry closer together.

To support this, young people in Dumfries and Galloway are encouraged find out more about apprenticeships at an upcoming SDS event taking place on Friday 25th at Easterbrook Hall.

Aimed at pupils from S2 to S4, this event will help inform pupils when making choices about their future. It provides  a great opportunity to hear real life experiences from apprentices as well as the chance to meet employers.  Young people will get an insight as to the benefits of apprenticeships and career opportunities provided by work based learning through exclusive demonstrations.

mohammadYou might not know but there are more than 25,500 new Modern Apprenticeship opportunities across Scotland each year, with over 80 different types available in hundreds of jobs!  From financial services and healthcare to construction and IT, each apprenticeship is developed by industry to suit their needs.    This means that apprentices can build valuable work experience from day one and gain an accredited qualification which is recognised by industry.

It’s worth noting that last year there were 765 Modern Apprenticeship starts in Dumfries and Galloway, up from 753 in 2014/15.

Apprenticeships provide an alternative route into the world of work, equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed. Foundation Apprenticeships mean you can also now start a Modern Apprenticeship at school.   With a Foundation Apprenticeship pupils in S5 can complete elements of a Modern Apprenticeship alongside their other studies, such as Nat5s or Highers.Foundation Apprenticeships take two years to complete with pupils spending part of the week out of school, getting hands-on experience at college and with a local employer in their chosen industry.

With a Foundation Apprenticeship they leave school with an industry-recognised qualification which is set at SCQF level 6 – the same level as a Higher.

And now Graduate Level Apprenticeships provide a new way into degree-level study for individuals who are currently employed, or who want to go straight into work.

Visit apprenticeships.scot  to find out all you need to know about apprenticeships and to search and apply for vacancies.

Scottish Engineers Special Leaders Award – Niall Caldwell

small-niall-caldwellJoin us on Tuesday 22nd November at 11am for the opportunity to chat to an engineer who can help you as part of this year’s Scottish Engineering Special Leaders Award – Niall Caldwell.

Niall Caldwell is the Managing Director of Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd., which is a company based in Loanhead (near Edinburgh). They develop fluid power technology, which combines mechanisms with computers and electronics.

These days Niall spends a lot of time on the business management of the company, but he still finds time to do some technical work. He builds and tests mathematical computer models to predict how our machines will work when installed, for instance in a wind turbine. Using these models he can design the control system and predict the behaviour in all the different situations which can happen (for instance start up, shut down, emergency stop) before they actually build the machine. He makes these models by combining his understanding of the physics and mathematics of the machines with the results of experiments, to make a model which is complex enough to be realistic – while being simple enough to give an answer quickly. But no matter how much he thinks it through, when the machine finally starts working…there are always surprises!

Sign up and join us live in Glow TV – Scottish Engineers Special Leaders Award – Niall Caldwell

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.

Community resilience resources for schools

Want to find out how to prepare for emergencies and keep yourself and other safe? Keep reading and find out how this key message can be used as an exciting approach to teaching and learning.

Download this flyer for exciting ways to integrate flooding, severe weather and other resilience issues into CfE.

CaptureRead these case studies to see what this looks like in practice.

 

 

See at a glance how you can take this forward in the classroom:

Health and Wellbeing – responsibility of all

Are you ready for severe weather, utility failure, flooding or pandemics? Make sure you know whatwhin-park-flooding-sepa to do.  Stay informed, pack a kit, make a plan.

Literacy

Our climate is changing and communities across Scotland are becoming increasingly affected by extreme weather events and flooding which can block roads, destroy homes and lead to loss of power for thousands of people. This can be used as an exciting context for:

  • report writing on the impact of severe weather on daily life in Scotland
  • talk/presentation at assembly and to the whole class
  • debating local issues like flood protection schemes and staying safe in emergencies
  • creating new written texts like an information leaflet or a safety brochure.

Social studies/geography

Are you doing work around natural disasters, weather, land use, map work?

Use community resilience as an exciting approach to cover these topics. By working with local authority resilience professionals you could gain access to information about flood plains, flood protection schemes and other areas of interest in the local area. Local authorities can share data and images from sensors, such as from traffic monitoring, to bring the learning to life in the classroom.  Contact your local authority to discover what may be available to help your school learn about community resilience.

Science

Scotland’s climate is changing as a result of climate change, so we are getting colder and wetter winters and hotter and wetter summers. Use community resilience as an exciting context to explore these issues.

  • explain some of the processes which contribute to climate change
  • consider how climate change influences changes in the atmosphere and then how this impacts on living things
  • investigate how severe weather can affect daily life in short, medium and long term, considering impact on social, economic and cultural life
  • create and use rain gauges as part of a project monitoring and analysing the weather in the local area
  • create anemometers to measure wind speed.

Technology

Use community resilience as an exciting context to:

  • design rain gardens, green roofs, identify ways to harvest rainwater
  • identify the impact, contribution, and relationship of technologies on the environment through flood protection schemes14677863_678528988971564_410767113_o-1
  • design and construct models to illustrate how sustainable urban drainage systems work
  • explore uses of materials
  • create and present weather forecasts based on personal research
  • investigate the impact of severe weather on people, place and the economy, on a local, national or international level.

 Numeracy and mathematics

Community resilience can be used as an exciting context to solve problems using a range of methods, sharing approaches and solutions with others e.g. money, measurement, data and analysis, chance and uncertainty:

  • use digital mapping and other information sources to work out how much salt is required to help clear a surface covered with snow
  • compare and contrast the contracts and cost plans offered by a range of utility companies, and consider how this may be affected by an emergency
  • use outcomes linked to chance and uncertainty to consider the likelihood of another utilities failure happening
  • consider how this may affect insurance premiums.

Kinross High School among the first in UK to benefit from WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff’s new engagement programme with schools

kinrosshihg6WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is helping to deliver one of the first STEM programmes in schools in a bid to encourage more young people in Scotland to take up a career in science.

The global consultancy, which has worked on high-profile projects including the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, has sponsored a school in Perth and Kinross to take part in ‘Design Engineer Construct’, a programme which has been added to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Pupils at Kinross High School are amongst the first in the UK to take part in the project aimed at 11-18 year-olds, which teaches subjects related to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Industry experts from WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff visited the school on Thursday, 3 November and spoke to pupils about subjects related to engineering to show how diverse a career it can be.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff senior engineer Sarah Piscitelli, said: “We’re thrilled to be involved in delivering Design Engineer Construct to Kinross High School and hope to extend our sponsorship to another school next year.  Too many students are failing to choose STEM subjects as they go through school and there aren’t enough role models, especially females, to inspire them. When we spoke to young people about studying physics, maths and electronics some were turned off but when we mention overcoming challenges or solving problems it begins to appeal.   We were delighted with the reception from the girls and boys at Kinross, it was very positive and it was great to see their enthusiasm during the day. I believe the next generation of engineers have an important role to play in using their creative and team working skills to change perceptions of the industry. I’m also sure many of them will go on to become the industry leaders of the future.”

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff graduate and apprentice recruitment specialist Mel Clark said: “When we are able to link STEM subjects studied at school to real life careers and the exciting opportunities our industry is able offer we can see a change in students opinions of these subjects for the better. We are committed to proving exciting career opportunities for early career professionals and we hope to see some of the students from Kinross start their careers with us in the future.”

Design and Technology teacher Richard Smith at Kinross High School, who is leading the Design Engineer Construct programme, said: “The introduction of the Design Engineer Construct course is, I believe, the most exciting development the Scottish curriculum has seen for some time. As soon as the course was brought to my attention I knew it was something I whole heartedly wanted to become involved in.  The benefits to the pupils are enormous. I have always been a strong advocate of the curriculum addressing the needs of industry. The fact that this course offers such a close project-based working relationship with such prestigious industry partners as WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, with pupils applying pure academic subjects to the latest construction industry practices is fantastic.  The course offers an accredited learning programme for our students and produces young people with real-world practical experience and highly desirable employability skills.”

For more information about DEC, visit www.designengineerconstruct.com

Feedback from 31st October community resilience networking event

Approximately 70 delegates joined us at Celtic Park on Monday 31st October to identify networkingeventways resilience to natural disasters like flooding/severe weather/utility failure could be integrated into Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).

There were speakers from the Met Office, SSEN, Edinburgh City Council, Education Scotland, Highland Council and Glasgow Resilient Cities and a busy market place with around 15 stallholdemarket-placers representing organisations like Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Scottish Flood Forum, SEPA, Youthlink Scotland and Eco-Schools Scotland.

Some of the ideas discussed during the day included:

    • Introduce the UN stop disasters game
    • Set up a weather station
    • Digi maps to compare past/present areas
    • World of Work – contact outside agencies and ask them to share their knowledge and understanding and investigate practically
    • Pupils to work cooperatively to solve a given scenario – flood prevention; Royal Academy of Engineering; STEM Ambassadors

Click here for the full report 31st-oct-mini-conference-report

Ready Scotland Photography Competition 2016

Ready Scotland Photography Competition 2016ready-for-winter-westie

Be prepared for bad weather and win prizes for your school!

What is it?

Ready Scotland Photo and Caption Competition for P6 pupils. Take part in this competition to ensure you and your family are ready for winter!

Action!

We want P6 pupils across Scotland to take a photo which captures how Scotland is ready for winter.  Examples can include:

  • Dogs wearing hi-vis coatscwfrn0gxeaajtlu
  • Weather Signs
  • Flood prevention measures in your local area

In no more than 20 words, please also provide a caption for your image that tells us why it’s important to be prepared for bad weather.

Before you start read this!

Radio can be really helpful in communicating information in an emergency.  Watch this youtube clip to find out how useful people in Chile found the radio during an emergency. Visit Ready Scotland website for more advice on staying safe in Scotland and  complete a family action plan. Visit Ready for Emergencies website for more ideas on staying safe this winter. capture

 

The prize!

The 3 winning schools will receive a wind-up radio for their own grab bags and a behind the scenes experience at their local Bauer network radio station. The Bauer network reaches over 25 million consumers and includes stations like heat, KISS, Magic, Absolute Radio, Forth 1, Clyde 1, Moray Firth, Northsound, Radio Tay, West FM and West Sound. Each school will be able to send 6 pupils to their local station to see what is involved  in creating a radio show and will have the opportunity to try a few of the tricks of the trade.

So have a go!  Win yourself and 5 of your classmates this exciting opportunity!

How to enter:

Each school should attach their top 5 entries as jpg’s to an email and send them to: sde@keepscotlandbeautiful.org

In the text box add:

  • Name of school
  • Full name of pupil
  • Full name of class teacher
  • Caption describing the photo in no more than 20 words

Deadline for entries:

5pm on Thursday 17th November 2016

 

More funding for young farmers: £20 000 to promote careers in farming

young-farmersAdditional funding to raise interest in careers in farming among Scotland’s young people has been announced by the Rural Economy Secretary.

During a statement to Parliament, Mr Ewing announced that Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYF) has been awarded £20,000 to create a peer support network in rural communities to support Scotland’s young farmers. The funding will be used to:

  • Complement existing careers advice for young people so that more choose subjects and courses at school and beyond that lead to careers in farming and food production
  • Add value to existing activities which explain routes into working in farming and food production
  • Provide mentoring and buddying for young people taking on or starting a farm

This funding is in addition to the nearly £10.5 million we have already committed to existing formal initiatives with organisations, such as the Royal Highland Educational Trust, LANTRA and Scotland’s Rural College to encourage more of our young people to see farming and food production as a rewarding career choice.

Mr Ewing said:

“Supporting and encouraging the next generation of farmers is a key priority to help build growth in our rural economy and create thriving communities. In my many conversations with people involved in farming and food production across Scotland, a recurrent theme is the need to encourage children and young people to recognise that a career in farming and food production is a good choice to make.

“I am therefore pleased to announce today additional funding of £20,000 to Scottish Association of Young Farmers to support them to create a peer support network so that young people can provide the sort of informal support directly to other young people that we know can make a positive difference.

“With the average age of our farmers now at 58, it is vital that we continue to explore all possible ways to encourage and support more of our young people to choose a career in farming and food production, to ensure that we can continue to drive forward Scotland’s rural economy.” 

Sarah Allison, Chair, SAYFC said:

“SAYFC welcome this investment from the Scottish government in the future members of Scottish agriculture. It is testimony to the hard work of Sayfc staff and members who have worked hard to promote Sayfc as an organisation who can lead the way for young people starting out on the agricultural pathway and we look forward to working with Scottish government on implementing this project.”

 

SLF 2016: DYW and skills featured highly!

slf2016_162The SLF is over for another year and what a great 2 days it was! More than 4500 delegates enjoyed a wide variety of professional learning opportunities on offer from the 110 conference sessions and more than 175 exhibitors.  All the keynote sessions were recorded and are available to watch on our YouTube channel.

With 18 directly related seminars, two discussion sessions and explicit references in the keynote address by the Depute First Minister, Mr Swinney, DYW was again high on the agenda at this year’s  festival.  Some of the content will be available via our interesting prcaskieberran-psactice exemplars (see eg. Caskieberran Primary School) .

Planning for SLF 2017 is already underway so make sure you save the dates in your diary, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September 2017! If you have any feedback on this year’s event send us an email.

Sky Academy: Developing skills of young people across Scotland

sky_academy_logoSky Academy Skills Studios in Livingston is providing an young people with a unique interactive learning experience to enhance skills for learning, life and work in the brand new facilities at the Livingston Campus.

This free half day session gives young people between the ages of 8-18 the opportunity to use cutting edge technology to make their very own TV report based on a subject area of your choice.

During the hands-on studio experience, students use their creativity and teamwork skills to write, produce and direct their own short news bulletin.

Teachers can register at teachers.sky.com

Sky Academy Skills Studios is part of Sky Academy, a set of initiatives that use the power of TV, creativity and sport to support one million young people in building practical skills and experience by 2020.

Take a look online (Sky.com/skills) to find out more about Sky Academy Skills Studios and book now on Sky.com/teachers or call us on 01506 325 999.

Download the Sky Academy Flyer here:  skills-studios-livingston-flyer

Community resilience networking event

Date: Monday 31st October 2016

Time: 09:00 (for 09:25 start) – 15:00

Venue: Celtic Park, London Road, Glasgow, G40 3RE

Target audience: P4 – 7 and secondary teachers with an interest in geography/social studies/health and wellbeing/science and resilience professionals who are looking to engage schools in activities relating to flooding, extreme weather, climate change and other community resilience issues.

This is a unique opportunity that will encourage meaningful employer involvement, supporting the work of the Developing the Young Workforce agenda.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to engage learners with their local environment supporting work around learning for sustainability.

Teacher-invite-to-networking-event

Resilience-professional-invite-to-networking-event

We would be delighted if you were able to join us on the day.

To find out what was discussed at the last event click here