SScotCHEM CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE: Scientists, Schools & Sustainability

Chemistry Week (1-12 November) is an annual celebration of the chemical sciences. This year, to coincide with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021, Chemistry Week will last for the full 12 days of the Conference.

The ScotCHEM CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE: Scientists, Schools & Sustainability will align with the activities of COP26 and Chemistry Week 2021 – with a theme of sustainability.

ScotCHEM represents chemistry research in Scotland – across universities
and connecting with industry, government and, most importantly, education.

ScotCHEM invite entries for a challenge to prepare public engagement material aimed at primary school pupils in Scotland.  Centred around the issue of sustainability and climate change, this material should promote the role of chemistry in driving solutions to climate change as well as promote chemistry as a science and as a career for primary school aged children.

The outcome of the challenge is to provide a sound scientific basis to better understand climate change and advances towards sustainability, for primary school pupils.

Creating a link to COP26 will provide opportunities for engagement with this major event being hosted in Scotland.

The project will also provide on-going curriculum-linked resources that can be used well beyond the duration of the challenge itself, thereby creating a longer-lasting legacy and extending the reach of the activity.

Through the national remit of ScotCHEM and by working closely with Education Scotland, we hope to increase the number of chemists actively participating in meaningful school engagement across Scotland.

The challenge is open to researchers within ScotCHEM member departments, at any career level (PhD to Professor).

The following topics/questions have been identified as being of particular interest and relevance to primary school pupils regarding climate change.

• What is climate change – busting the myths?
• What am I, as a researcher, doing to tackle climate change?
• What can you, as a young person, do to help tackle climate change?

Submissions should be either a short (3-5 minute) video or short PowerPoint presentation that answers one or more of these questions, keeping the overall theme of sustainability in mind.

Submissions should also align with the Scottish curriculum.

Winning entries will be showcased throughout Scotland, via Education Scotland and ScotCHEM channels, to primary schools and to the public during Chemistry Week 2021.

The winners will also receive a £1000 prize (one per theme) which can be used for the following:
• Further public engagement activities related to chemistry and climate change
• Developing new research under the theme of sustainability
• Improving the sustainability of their research

In addition, any engagement resources judged to be excellent by our panel will be brought together to create a resource for Scottish schools to access when talking about sustainability and climate change. These resources will be made available through Education Scotland’s online platform as well as ScotCHEM’s YouTube channel.

The challenge is open to all postgraduate researchers and staff within ScotCHEM member departments, at any career stage.

Deadline for Challenge submissions 5pm Friday 15th October 2021.
Review of challenge entries by schools 21st – 28th October
Challenge winners announced 29th October
Showcasing of winners during Chemistry
Week 2021 1st – 12th November

Entry forms should be submitted by email to
Entries must be received by 1700 Friday 15th October.
Enquiries to Dr Alan Wiles (Director of Operations ScotCHEM)

COP26 Drop in session LfS Practitioner network in Glow

Join us for the COP26 Drop in session in the LfS Practitioner network in Glow on 9th September.

Participants need to be members of the LfS Practitioner network to take part.

The link for the session is posted below  (Glow log in needed).

The session begins at 5 pm.

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Communities Stories Fund – Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022

The Communities Stories Fund has opened for applications, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 (YS22).

The fund is directed at providing an opportunity for communities across Scotland to put on events that tell the stories that are unique or important to them.

With £300,000 available for awards of between £500 and £5,000, the fund will provide an opportunity for new, creative events, activities and programming. Applicants are invited to respond to any of the five, cross cutting Year of Stories 2022 programme strands:

  1. Iconic Stories & Storytellers
  2. New Stories
  3. Scotland’s People and Places
  4. Local Tales and Legends
  5. Inspired by Nature.

The deadline for applications for this round of funding is 1st October 2021. A further round of funding will open on 24 January 2022.

Full details of the criteria and how to apply can be found here:

Applications must be made through the Museums Galleries Scotland website, and applicants must first register online to create an account before making an application. If applicants have any questions in relation to their application they should get in touch with the MGS team by contacting

Learning for Sustainability Awards 2021










In November 2021, the United Nations COP26 Climate Summit will be arriving in Scotland. This will be one of the biggest events of its kind ever to be hosted in our country with 200 world leaders in attendance. There is hope that the event will result in a truly historic agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate emergency.

The COP26 Summit provides us with a unique opportunity to recognise and celebrate innovation in the Scottish education system and our commitment to Learning for Sustainability (LfS). Within Scotland’s curriculum, LfS is recognised as an entitlement for all learners and a recent international PISA study showed that our learners are world-leading global citizens.

In partnership with the Daily Record, Education Scotland is delighted to launch the Learning for Sustainability Awards. The Scottish Government has identified People as a key theme for the COP26 Summit and has declared that it wants it to be the most inclusive COP summit ever to be held. This includes a strong focus on young people and on engaging disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.

The Learning for Sustainability Awards support these ambitions and will help to recognise the amazing achievements of Scotland’s people and the settings, schools and communities that have demonstrated passion and commitment to building a socially-just, equitable and sustainable world.

To find out more about the award categories and how to nominate, visit the LfS award website:

Learning for Sustainability Conference – launched 4 June


Dumfries & Galloway’s first annual Learning for Sustainability Conference focussing on all aspects of LfS launched on Friday 4 June.

Due to ongoing COVID restrictions this year’s event is an online conference. It is hoped that the keynote addresses, workshops & marketplace will provide practitioners with insight and continued learning in all aspects of Learning for Sustainability.

All conference materials are available from Friday 4 June within Glow. These materials will be available throughout Term 4 and into next session to support all practitioners.

Guidance information on how to access and navigate the conference OneNote:

Learning for Sustainability Conference 2021 Access Guide

Learning for Sustainability Conference 2021 List of Participants




Outdoor Classroom Day- 20 May


Outdoor Classroom Day- 20 May


Being outdoors and active is a vital part of growing up and living a healthy and fulfilled life, and learning outdoors has benefits for children, young people and adults alike. We would love to see some of the exciting learning taking place in your setting on Outdoor Classroom Day. Share them with @STEMedscot with the hashtag #Learnoutdoors #Outdoorclassroomday


For support on outdoor learning:

  • We have four outdoor learning webinars planned for Term 4 and you can find sign up details of these via Education Scotland Events. Check out the recordings from our Outdoor Learning webinar programme. We have been delighted to deliver these with partners such as local authorities, government departments and organisations such as Learning through Landscapes and Nature Scot.
  • Updated guidance on school visits and trips is available on the Scottish Government website
  • Our Outdoor Learning Wakelet has a great collection of resources – allowing an easy, one stop shop access to resources and support.
  • If you haven’t seen it there is a professional learning activity on supporting outdoor learning developed with SAPOE and supported by the Scottish Government. Log into our online portal to find out more.
  • A course on outdoor learning for support staff and partners is also available on the SAPOE website.
  • You can also find your local greenspace using the Outdoor Learning map developed by ENFOR (environment and forestry) staff in the Scottish Government. You can put in your establishment’s postcode and then find local greenspace, with the “5 minute walk” filter a great addition. You can also use this to discover greenspaces near your home- so please share with parents and carers.

Launch of fund to support Outdoor Learning

The Scottish Government has launched a new £2 million fund to support residential outdoor education centres affected by the pandemic. Part of that fund will be allocated to help centres deploy staff to schools and other settings to support the delivery of outdoor learning. Headteachers may soon be contacted by centres looking to pursue this opportunity in the weeks and months ahead. More information on the fund can be found on the YouthLink Scotland website.

Round one is now open for applications. Centres are invited to apply to round one for support with essential running costs.

Please apply by 1pm on 11th December 2020.

Issue to action: Science


Global Citizenship provides a wealth of real-life contexts for learning Science.

Issues of sustainability, gender and health are explored in this series of lessons.

These materials were created by Science teachers in Scotland and are designed for use at BGE levels 3 and 4. All the activities connect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and you can find some introductory activities to the goals here.

The materials explore 3 themes – plastic waste, gender balance in Science and health and hygiene – with short introductory activities as well as a series of lessons exploring the topics in more detail.

The lessons and worksheets in the booklet are supported by PowerPoints which you can download. All activities are mapped to ‘Experiences and Outcomes’ as well as the relevant Sustainable Development Goal.