Moving on From RAISE, and HELLO to Emily

A quick update on Primary Science(RAISE project) From Peter Finlayson QIM Highlands:

  • Ruth Mackay finishes her stint as Primary Science DO after the inset on Wednesday 21st to take up the acting post of cluster HT for Dochgarroch, Teanassie and Tomnacross. Ruth has done a power of work to develop Primary Science and I know has trained many staff in your schools with very positive feedback. Emily Brown, currently, PT in Spean Bridge PS will take up post on March 5th. Currently we have RAISE funding to keep Emily in post until December. Emily will be available to continue the training started by Ruth.


  • The 8 sets of Spheros sit at the current locations(see list below) around Highland. However a number of schools who have done the training and then used the SPHEROS have decided the impact has been so positive they have purchased their own sets. Some schools have used their PEF funding and they report a greater engagement of some of the more difficult to engage pupils with a positive impact on their Literacy and Numeracy. If anyone is interested in doing this they can be purchased through XMA(many schools already have accounts with XMA) If in doubt, or for some testimonials from schools please get in touch.


Peter Finlayson


Royal Society Partnership Grants – Funding for Science Resources

Image result for royal society partnership grant

Please see the attached leaflet on info about applying for a partnership grant with the royal society. You need to be working in partnership with a STEM professional in order to get this grant. I secured this grant for my school a few years ago and it was excellent – we were able to fully equip our Science Cupboard with a grant of about £1500. Let me know if you would like help filling out the application. 🙂

DES5275_2_Partnership Grants eflyer

Highlands Science Skills Academy Website

The Science Skills Academy have just launched their new website. It can be accessed here:

The website keeps you up to date with what the SSA have been doing and also offers some information on the very exciting STEM ROOMS that will be set up soon in 5 locations in Highlands. Have a look at the video here from Andrew Johnston – The SSA Director (he is fab!):

Highland Primary STEM Inset 21.2.2018

Come and be inspired like these teachers were using Spheros on the last inset! 

Please remember to sign up for the STEM Inset on Wed Feb 21st at Millburn Academy to ensure you secure a place. Workshops include:

Douglas Buchanan – Making Science Fun (back by popular demand!) SECOND LEVEL

  • How can I use chemical reactions to develop problem-solving skills in the context of scientific investigative work?
  • What use can I make of everyday ‘things’ as chemicals and equipment?
  • How can I use chemical reactions as a vehicle for active learning and thinking about the four capacities in a science context

Benchmarks and Assessment in Science – Education Scotland  EARLY/FIRST/SECOND LEVEL

  • An update on the Benchmarks for CfE and how these can be used to support moderation activity.  Key messages from Education Scotland.  An opportunity to discuss our progress and determine next steps.

Gender Imbalance in STEM/Unconscious Bias – Ruth Mackay – EARLY/FIRST/SECOND LEVEL

  • What is the problem with gender in Science and STEM?
  • National Strategy for STEM
  • How we can start to tackle unconscious bias in the classroom?
  • Activities/ideas to use in class

UHI – STEM Hub – Digital Technologies – EARLY/FIRST LEVEL

Spheros:  A very hands on workshop using  tablets to program Spheros (a ball shaped robot).  You will learn about basic programming to make the Spheros move, change direction or follow a route. Spheros can be used to develop numeracy/maths skills. Led by Mairi from the UHI Stem Hub.

Royal Society Of Chemistry – RSC – EARLY/FIRST/SECOND

A hands-on chemistry workshop around the free resources available from the Royal Society of Chemistry for BGE science. There will be something for everyone, from early level upwards.

Beth Christie – Brora Primary School  – Fun Experiments  SECOND LEVEL

Red Cabbage Experiments – How to make a red cabbage indicator that will test the acidity or alkalinity of certain liquids. Ahh, the sweet smell of science! This activity is super smelly, but really cool activity. Plug your nose and get ready to make your own red cabbage indicator that will test the acidity or alkalinity of certain liquids.

Emily Brown – Science Development Officer – What’s in your Science Cupboards?? EARLY/FIRST/SECOND LEVEL

Looking at the science resources you probably already have in your school resource cupboard and how best to use them.  Some of the kits we will be using are:

  • “The Crunch;” exploring our food, our health, our planet. From the Wellcome Trust
  • Renewable Energy Kit from HiEnergy
  • The Water Box
  • BBC Explorify- Terrific Scientific.

Harriet and Siobhan from Lundavra Primary School – Chromebooks EARLY/FIRST/SECOND LEVEL

  • Looking at “Chromebooks in Action” with lots of practical ideas for embedding the Chromebooks in classroom practices – linking to literacy, art and other activities.  Harriet and Siobhan will showcase how they embedded the Chromebooks with the school for all stages and how they use them in cross-curricular contexts.  If you would like to take part in this workshop and have a Chromebook, then please take it along.

There will also be a STEM Market place at lunch time where you can pick up some advice and info from organisations such as:

Skills Dev Scotland, RSC, Science Skills Academy and many more.

There will also be a chance to try out a VR headset! 

Thanks, Ruth.


Image result for code

See below from to use with children to teach them about how computers work. Great info to help develop our YOUNG WORKFORCE.

“We’re so so so excited to share six short videos that teach How Computers Work! Over a year in the making, these educational videos star Bill Gates along tech leaders such as Apple designer May Li Khoe, xBox architect Nat Brown, and Adafruit founder Limor Fried. Please watch these videos with a classroom, with your children, or with a tub of ice cream. :-)”

STEM Celebrations!

Invitation to Highlands & Islands Celebration of
STEM 2018

inspiring the next generation

Friday 9 March 2018
Eden Court Theatre, Bishop’s Road, Inverness, IV3 5SA

You are invited to take part in our Highlands & Islands Celebration of STEM which will be held on Friday 9 March 2018.

The event will be held at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.  The day is a fantastic opportunity for clubs to showcase their activities, compete for great prizes, share best practice and take part in a series of fun three-minute hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) challenges set by companies.  The event will also host the regional finals of the Don’t Waste a Drop challenge, sponsored by Anglian Water Business – a free kit will be sent to you on receipt of your registration form if you request one, subject to availability.

The search is on for the Secondary Regional Club of the Year and the Primary Regional Club of the Year.  Both winners will receive a special YESC trophy and a cheque for £200 for STEM resources for your school.  Why not join us for a great Celebration!

*If you took part in the Little Lighthouse training, then come along and showcase your work!

Click here for further information

Click here to register