STEM Education activity 2021/22
The early part of the year saw the culmination of work started in 2020/21 with Education Officers both broadening access to the STEM Journeys in Argyll project pages and ensuring the production and distribution of the lockdown-friendly resource, STEM at Home Activity Workbook, to S1s in the project’s target area of high schools in Mid Argyll and Kintyre. More details about both of these can be found via the link at the bottom of this page. Moving on from this, the project was finally able to take advantage of the lifting of restrictions by Scottish Government and work towards the resumption of in-person events.
Workshops for schools
After the long awaited end of remote learning for pupils, Education Officers were delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the process of ‘normal’ learning getting safely back into schools when they were welcomed back to deliver their specially designed Climate Quest sessions. These went ahead before the October break and engaged with over 140 S1 pupils in Campbeltown Grammar, Lochgilphead Joint Campus and Tarbert Academy.
Education Officers developed the Climate Quest sessions to explore and strengthen pupils’ understanding of the causes and effects of climate change, how human activity relates to this, as well as the role STEM-related jobs and industries play tackling these issues. The workshops were full of interactive fun and discussion around a specially created version of a workbook resource and even included a hands-on STEM-themed version of a popular tower building game, This gave pupils the chance to engage in a variety of different interactive challenges, while trying to avoid the tower collapsing! Overall, these face-to-face workshops provided an opportunity to discuss the global challenges at the centre of the COP26 agenda and add to the ongoing international conversations around this huge global issue.
Building on the success of the in-person part of this year’s engagement with schools, Education Officers have been able to strengthen this further, tapping into and supporting further work schools will be involved in around the science, themes and debates around COP26. Two mini follow-up projects were rolled out to school contacts in November, for schools to participate in and complete over the remainder of the school year.
- Five ideas video project - A ready-to-use activity adapted from the Climate Quest workbook from the workshops. This involves small groups of pupils coming up with and capturing on video their ideas for improving our impact on Earth.
- What3words Walks – With the help of the what3words app/website and clues posted on some new pages of the ALIenergy website this activity aims to get pupils out and about in their local area on the hunt for features of their town that are connected to climate change. It aims to highlight what’s already being done locally to tackle and adapt to this, often through the application of knowledge and expertise in STEM.
A Day in Industry Careers Video Project at a local STEM business
This aspect of our work programme for 2021-22 adds to the success of ‘STEM Journeys in Argyll’ short film and provides an exciting and relevant follow-up to it. Working in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce in Argyll (DYW), representatives for the three schools in the project’s target area, this initiative will invite older high school pupils to apply for the chance to take part in a Day in Industry visit to a company operating locally which employs people STEM-related roles.
With support from DYW, schools contacts, Argyll and Bute Council, the application process alone for this will enable young people to put a range of employability skills into practice, with successful applicants spending hands-on time in a real workplace. This mini placement will give them the opportunity to find out at first-hand what the company does, how STEM skills are integrated into its operations, and perhaps even develop the chance to pursue a suitable training pathway based on people they meet. The companies who have committed their involvement and support for this are: Hendrix Genetics, MacLeod Construction Limited, Renewable Parts and the project funders ScottishPower Renewables.
Overviews and outcomes from previous years
Use the link below to find out about the project in previous years.