Technology

STEM Case Studies

STEM

West Partnership Primary STEM Leaders 2019-2020

West Partnership Primary STEM Leaders 2019-2020

West Partnership Primary STEM Leaders 2019-2020

In December 2019 STEM Glasgow, funded by Education Scotland’s Enhancing CLPL grant, expanded the already established GCC Primary STEM Leaders programme across three local authorities from the West Partnership. 54 practitioners from 44 different establishments in South Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire participated. The aim of the programme to increase practitioner confidence levels delivering and leading excellent STEM teaching and learning, create a supportive peer network for sharing STEM practice and to increase knowledge of the STEM Education and Training Strategy. The recruitment of these participants was the responsibility of each local authority.

The programme consisted of a mix of full day and twilight CLPL sessions. Each session consisted of professional learning, networking opportunities, personal reflection tasks and recommended STEM resources to help lead STEM in their own establishment. Although mainly delivered by STEM Glasgow, the programme featured sessions from a number of external partners including STEM Ambassadors, Improving Gender Balance and Equalities and Education Scotland.

Rationale

The STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland highlighted the importance of effective career long professional learning to develop capacity in practitioners to deliver excellent STEM teaching and learning. Previous studies including the ASPIRES report, identified teacher confidence levels in delivering STEM lessons as being low. The aim of the West Partnership Regional Improvement Collaborative is to ensure excellence and equity across the region and this programme was to help deliver and help maintain a practitioner STEM network that would encourage further collaboration across the Regional Improvement Collaborative.

Benefits

Feedback from participants highlighted that the time given to network, share practice and learn from each other was a highlight of the programme. Most commented on feeling more confident delivering STEM based lessons and felt better equipped to lead STEM in their establishment and deliver CLPL to colleagues. Many stated that their understanding of the importance of ensuring equity in respect to increasing STEM Capital, links to Developing the Young Workforce and Improving Gender Balance and Equalities would have one of the most immediate impacts on their practice.

“I found the data on the difference between what parents and children think about STEM jobs so interesting. It’s sad they don’t think these careers are for them. I didn’t realise STEM was such a big employer but now I’m going to share this information with my colleagues.” Class Teacher, South Lanarkshire.

Impact

Evaluations have shown that nearly all Primary STEM Leader's feel more confident delivering CLPL and are now sharing the PSL programme with colleagues in their establishments. Evidence from Twitter and email correspondence has shown that many schools are using STEM Glasgow activities to deliver STEM in their setting and due to this children are experiencing more varied STEM learning experiences. Some PSL's have developed whole school play pedagogy-based approaches to STEM following training on Tinkering and have created resource boxes for every class. Others have used their PEF funding to buy digital technology resources after attending the coding workshops. As demonstrated during the Teachmeet and through discussions with participants all have used aspects of the CLPL to develop STEM learning in their establishment. Now that these networks and relationships have been established they continue to share knowledge with others both at cluster, geographical cluster and through own personal networks. The PSL's from the more rural South Lanarkshire schools have now made a Whatsapp group where they share information about local STEM employers and opportunities that relate best to their settings. Some of the PSL's who teach STEM as NCCT have formed their own network and are sharing progression planners with each other. Another across local authority network exists for PSL's working in early years and an ASN setting. This group have been sharing how to adapt STEM Glasgow resources to best suit their learners and share other early level resources. These networks that are likely to continue independent of STEM Glasgow as the personal relationships now exists and work will continue to be developed without our input.

“Networking with colleagues from different authorities has been great. It’s good to share resources and contacts.” Class Teacher, South Lanarkshire.

“Honestly this has been the best STEM CLPL I’ve ever attended. I’ve learnt so much but more important than that I’ve met so many people who I’ll continue to be in touch with. I really feel passionate again about STEM.” Class Teacher, East Dunbartonshire.

COVID-19

The remaining sessions of the West Partnership Primary STEM Leader programme had to be suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19, however the network continued through the use of Microsoft TEAMs and an evaluation and next steps CLPL session was delivered online in June 2020.

Science Case study
STEM

Glasgow Schools 3D Printing Programme

Glasgow Schools 3D Printing Programme

Glasgow Schools 3D Printing Programme
2017 - 2018

 

Case Study

In April 2017 Glasgow City Council developed a 3D Printing programme for early years, primary and secondary establishments with the aim to raise attainment and achievement through teaching technology. There was a high lack of confidence from teachers in covering this area of the curriculum with many practitioners wishing for there to be wider variety of technology CLPL that covered more than coding and digital literacy. In its first year the programme reached 30 establishments across Glasgow working with learners from as young as 2 years old to the latter stages of secondary. Teacher feedback from the programme has been overwhelmingly positive with over 90% of practitioners feeling more confident when teaching technology as well as multiple schools investing in their own 3D printer to use long term with students. It was evident from the work learners produced that the programme supports authentic learning (such as learning through play and tinkering) while encouraging all learners to build upon their skills for life, learning and work.

 

Rationale

Data collected from practitioners across early years, primary and secondary sectors during the National STEM Project identified a 40% low confidence in teaching technology. This data was in line with the national average and these results have been reaffirmed through evaluations taken at various STEM Glasgow CLPL sessions and the findings from the Aspires Report. To help tackle this issue Glasgow City Council invested in 15 3D Printers and developed a programme mapped to the Curriculum for Excellence that would be offered to establishments across the city.

The programme was developed with a cluster approach in mind to both support and improve collaboration between establishments and raise teacher confidence and pupil attainment across sectors. Headteachers from all establishments in a school cluster were contacted ahead of the start of the programme inviting their school to take part. Once confirmed a member of staff was invited to a half day training CLPL event. During this session practitioners were shown how to operate the printer, use 3D CAD modelling software and given details on the 4 progressive challenges available for schools to complete.

One of the aims of this project was to encourage engagement and progression in the Technology experiences and outcomes. The Technologies curriculum has always been heavily linked to the economy and the world of work so a main focus of this programme was to have strong ties to Developing the Young Workforce. This was done through the incorporation of a DYW lesson in each challenge in which learners looked at different careers which use design and 3D modelling. The lessons in each challenge also provided learners with multiple opportunities to build upon their skills for life, learning and work. Although the programme has resources and activities mapped to the curriculum, schools were encouraged to use the printer to support their planned learning. This allowed establishments to develop their own work, trial with learners and then share with the wider cluster.

All resources and equipment were provided during the half day CLPL session so that practitioners went back to school with everything they needed to get started. Ongoing support was given by the STEM Glasgow team (which consists of STEM - Principal Officer, STEM Development Officer and Primary Science Development Officer) through arranged school visits and an online Glow group.

Practitioners were evaluated at the beginning and end of the programme to measure the impact it had on teacher confidence and the wider approach to STEM in each school. It also provided an opportunity to highlight and share how the 3D printers were used to support learners across the cluster.

 

Benefits

Over the course of the project data was gathered through staff evaluations to measure the impact and benefits the 3D printing programme has had at both a classroom and whole school level.

Practitioners have fed back that it supports authentic learning such as learning through play and tinkering as at the centre of each challenge/lesson a learner is given a genuine problem to solve that requires modelling the work of professionals. Working towards an solution called for learners to show creativity, collaboration and communication while gaining a deep understanding of both the problem and its possible solutions. Practitioners agreed that these skill building tasks allowed all learners regardless of age or stage to showcase and develop their own abilities and knowledge at a pace that suited the individual.

 

‘Allowing the children to draw their design and have the opportunity to watch it print into a 3D Model was excellent. The language we got from the children was fantastic and the children felt a sense of achievement and ownership’

                                                                                                    Early Years Team Leader, Glasgow City Council

 

‘The programme as a whole as great to use as a focus of IDL as it covered so many areas of the curriculum. There has been a genuine enthusiasm for the printer across all stages within the school, especially among the teaching staff’

                                                                                                                     Class Teacher, Glasgow City Council

 

‘The training was very well structured and informative. The content of the programmes developed for pupils is excellent and I used a lot of this. I felt confident enough after the initial training but it was great to know that the STEM Glasgow team was available to support when necessary.’

                                                                                                                    Class Teacher, Glasgow City Council

 

One of the main benefits that was highlighted in the evaluations is that 3D Printing makes learning visual in a way that other areas of the curriculum are not. Visual learning in this context improves understanding by giving learners the opportunity to touch and see what they have designed.  It also encouraged learners to analyse and evaluate what they have made and troubleshoot problems as well as solve them. This is a skill that many students do not get to engage in other areas of the curriculum.  By learning how to identify and solve problems pupils are encouraged to practice persistence and resilience to overcome issues in their design process. This knowledge teaches learners that it is fine to fail for the first time and try again to get better.  When young learners understand that failure is part of the process, they are not afraid to attempt different ideas in other areas of their education and life.  Confidence is therefore built in these learners and teachers can enjoy the results of having self-motivated students.

 

Impact

By June 2018 30 establishments across 5 clusters had taken part in the programme with a further 71 establishments across 8 clusters already confirmed for the 2018/19 academic session. This has been made possible through financial support from the Wood Foundation in conjunction with the RAiSE (Raising Aspirations in Science Education) Project which allowed for more printers to be bought ensuring all establishments in even the largest clusters are able to take part.

By June 2019 42% of Glasgow establishments will have been invited to take part in the programme resulting in over 17,500 learners having had the opportunity to benefit from these technologies in school.

All establishments who took part in the programme had the printers for a minimum of 6 weeks and were invited to a Christmas celebration event at the Glasgow City Chambers. One of the challenges that the STEM Glasgow team developed asked pupils to design, model and print a Christmas Bauble that represented their school or wider community. These decorations were then displayed on the Christmas tree in the City Chambers for the festive season. 20 establishments were invited to the ceremony in December 2017 and brought over 40 decorations to be displayed. Local councillors and parents were also invited along to view the pupils work. A similar celebration event will be held in December 2018 with even more establishments expected to attend.

One of the greatest successes from this programme has been the enthusiasm from teachers to create their own resources that fit in with the curriculum. Some of these have included cookie cutters in early years, poppies for a remembrance wreathe in primary and an S2 entrepreneurial group.

To take part in the 2018 STEM Glasgow Christmas Bauble challenge then please click here.

Science Case study
STEM

Primary STEM Leaders

Primary STEM Leaders

Primary STEM Leaders
2017 - 2018 Cohort 1
 

Case Study

In October 2017 a network of enthusiastic practitioners was established with the aims to raise aspirations and attainment in STEM education. There has previously been a lack of CLPL on offer in relation to the STEM subjects with many primary teachers describing themselves as not as confident as they would like to be in teaching the subjects. The 1st cohort consisted of 23 practitioners from establishments spread across the city. The programme as a whole was positively evaluated with many highlighting that it had raised the profile of STEM within their establishments and had given greater confidence to themselves and their peers.

Rationale

Glasgow City Council participated in the National STEM Project through the Hillpark Learning Community. This further highlighted the lack of confidence that many primary teachers face in the teaching of science and technology which aligned with the previous research conducted by Aspires. In conjunction with the RAiSE (Raising Aspirations in Science Education) programme funded by the Wood Foundation, Glasgow City Council decided to form a Primary STEM Network where practitioners would be able to come together, share good practice whilst up skilling through experiential CLPL opportunities. Providing practitioners with CLPL opportunities which they can then go back to school and share with their peers is becoming increasingly popular due it often being a more relaxed way of sharing good practice with the training not always coming from the Senior Leadership Team. This was supported by the STEM Glasgow team which consists of STEM - Principal Officer, Primary Science Development Officer and STEM Development Officer. This was advertised through head teachers with 29 attending the initial information session. The session outlined the focus of the network and the need for the practitioners to help facilitate the collection of data through the Robert Owen Centre for Education Change (ROC) in their schools. Practitioners were also asked what CLPL would be beneficial to them personally and on a school basis, this helped to shape the programme for the year.

Benefits

The data gathered during the duration of the project from both staff and pupils looks at science capital and teacher confidence. The Primary STEM Leaders all stated that they had seen their confidence grow over the course of the year and they had made more connections in relation to STEM including school partners, parents and the local community.

“It really has transformed my own knowledge, understanding and teaching. I feel much more confident in my science pedagogy, and feel that now I am better able to not only meet learners’ needs, but provide progressive and enjoyable science experiences for them.”

“A very worthwhile CLPL opportunity that has enabled me to deliver STEM events to pupils and raise awareness in school. We are on the beginning of a journey!”

Impact

By June 2018, 22 Primary STEM Leaders had completed the series of twilights and full days, ran events in their schools, collected data for ROC and increased the awareness of STEM education within their establishments and clusters. This was demonstrated at the Showcase Event which took place in June where each of the Primary STEM Leaders showcased a snapshot of what they had been working on in their school over the course of the year. There was great variety in projects, approaches and how they were all tailored to their own establishments. All Primary STEM Leaders when evaluated stated that STEM had a much higher profile in their school now and many were expecting still to be the lead next session and being given further support by their establishments to continue the work that they had started. Many of the Primary STEM Leaders have also stated that they wish to support the next cohort of Primary STEM Leaders and are willing to share good practice and hints and tips on how to raise awareness and aspirations in STEM education in their establishments.

Here more from the Primary STEM Leaders at: https://youtu.be/we4U_EL7Kjc

 

 

Science Case study
Engineering

Shaw Mhor Early Years Centre

Shaw Mhor Early Years Centre

At Shaw Mhor Early Years Centre, STEM is fully integrated into learning experiences. Shaw Mhor staff have been working in partnership with their colleagues in their associated primary and secondary schools through their involvement in Education Scotland’s National STEM Project. This has allowed them to share approaches and plan collaboratively with colleagues in other settings, for instance, to develop STEM bags for children to take home to engage parents in STEM learning. Staff and the wider community now actively tackle gender stereotyping and encourage both boys and girls to get involved with ‘hands-on’ activities, including those focused on engineering and construction. The Centre makes extensive use of its outdoor areas for learning and play.

Examples of activities include:

• tinker box – children use real-life tools to develop a range of STEM skills and understanding. This included using a screwdriver to make holes of varying sizes, teasing out the child’s understanding of size and measurement;

• make desk – straws are used to construct a shelter and then painted. The paint is made by the children themselves, developing their curiosity and problem-solving skills; and

• construction area – the Early Years Centre developed an innovative partnership with Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) who supplied hard hats and barriers and helped them to develop a realistic construction-based learning area outdoors.

The focus on STEM at the centre means learners are confidently using scientific vocabulary, developing their investigative and inquiry skills, and are able to ask questions and solve problems.

Science Case study