Stem Challenge

Your Challenge

#STEM Selfie

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What to do

February is STEM Selfie month!! Throughout the month of February we are looking to further promote STEM within our schools and early years establishments whilst also showcasing the vast array of careers that require STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subject skills. All that we ask is that you share a picture of yourself, class or colleagues either:

·Participating in a STEM activity

·Sharing how you use STEM subjects in your job

·Sharing your STEM career aspiration

Please include the #STEMselfie in your tweet along with a short description what you are doing or of your job role/how you use STEM skills each day/why you love STEM etc.

It could be something as simple as how you use technology in your job, what your favourite STEM subject at school was/is and how it helped you get a job, using the STEM Glasgow website etc.  Please be as creative as possible and please don’t feel limited to just one tweet if later on in the month you take another excellent picture and please encourage others to take part too.

What you need (resources)
  • A camera/camera phone
  • Enthusiastic participants
  • A STEM related activity
  • #STEMselfie

Under the Microscope

First Officer, Airbus A350

Laura Elliott

From a young age I wanted to be a professional of some description, perhaps a vet ot a doctor. My favourite subject at school was by far Biology, it came easily to me as I found it very interesting - I was always full of questions. Then, aged 14, I went for a trial flying lesson and that was it, I knew my place was in the air. The thrill was addictive and it was I wanted to do in life.

To be accepted to flight school I had to be competent in Maths, Physics and English. Maths problems were never something that came easily to me however Physics was something I enjoyed as I found it very logical. This put me in good shape for my Airline Transport Pilot Licence theory examinations; 14 subjects ranging from Principles of Flight (Physics) to Human Factors (Biology and Psychology).

All of this hard work was worth it, I get paid to do a job that I love and travel all over the world. Nowadays at "work" the only maths I have to use on a daily basis is quick mental arithmetic for fuel checks and speed / distance / time calculations.

Some people are drawn naturally to STEM subjects, for others more effort is required and it's more of a means to an end. I can quite honestly say that it was worth all the hard work, the logical thinking that I developed put me in good stead for the daily challenges of life in the air.

Laura Elliott

Career Focus

Becoming a Teacher - Primary or Early Years


Primary and nursery school teachers teach, prepare and organise all the activities in the classroom for children aged 3 to 12. They follow the guidelines set up by the Curriculum of Excellence, which sets out to improve and enhance learning in Scottish schools.

The subjects you would teach might vary according to national or local guidelines. Specialist teachers may help with subjects like modern languages or physical education, but you would always have to teach a wide range of subjects such as:

  • expressive arts
  • health and wellbeing
  • languages
  • mathematics
  • religious and moral education
  • sciences
  • social studies
  • technologies.

You could be:

  • using a variety of teaching aids including workbooks, textbooks, interactive whiteboards, computers and materials you have prepared yourself
  • using different methods of teaching including group work, whole class work, demonstrations, experiments and play
  • encouraging pupils to research topics themselves, and helping and supporting individual pupils as required
  • setting assignments, projects and tests, carrying out continuous assessment, marking pupils’ work and writing reports
  • helping pupils socialise with each other
  • keeping good order in the classroom and dealing with discipline issues
  • doing administrative work, including keeping a register of pupils
  • preparing for and attending parent-teacher meetings and staff meetings
  • sometimes supervising activities such as parties or outings.

Advocates' clerks organise the daily workload and administration for a ‘stable’ (group) of Advocates.

Your work will depend on how senior you are.

You could be:

  • organising Advocates' paperwork and planning their schedules
  • helping advocates to prepare cases, by doing research
  • arranging meetings with solicitors and clients
  • going to court with Advocates, with books and papers relevant to the case
  • recommending an Advocate suitable for a particular case
  • managing the practice as a business by keeping diaries and recruiting and training junior clerks
  • negotiating fees for Advocates
  • filing, photocopying, answering the phone, posting invoices, collecting fees and keeping financial records
  • organising and classifying items in the library.


  • To become a primary teacher you could complete a four or five year degree including a teaching qualification. Several universities in Scotland offer an MA or BA Hons with a teaching qualification. The University of Glasgow offers an MEd Hons in Primary Education.
  • You could also do a degree followed by a one year Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Primary Education.
  • The PGDE is offered by the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Highlands and Islands (at a number of the colleges), Strathclyde and the West of Scotland.
  • Entry to courses usually requires a minimum of 4-5 Highers including English plus Maths and another subject at National 5 or equivalent. Competition for places means that actual entry requirements are likely to be higher than the minimum.
  • For entry to the one year PGDE course you must have an approved degree and also Higher English together with Maths at National 5. You must normally have studied at least 2 of the following subjects in your degree or elsewhere: science, social studies, expressive arts, religious and moral education, technology, modern foreign languages.
  • National 5 Applications of Maths is accepted in place of Maths at all universities with the exception of University of Edinburgh.
  • If you do not have the entry requirements for a degree course, you may be able to get into a one year Access course at college. This programme is aimed at those who have been out of education for at least five years.
  • You would require a satisfactory PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check to show you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details.
  • There is a lot of competition for places in all of these courses. It helps if you have experience of working with children in a primary school or a similar setting. You also need a good understanding of the Primary Education system.

    Newly qualified teachers who want to teach in local council schools must complete a probationary period to demonstrate that they meet the Standard for Full Registration of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland). Those who wish to teach in independent schools may also require to be registered.

    You are guaranteed a teaching post with a Scottish local authority for a full school year to complete this probationary period.

    You would start as an assistant deputy or deputy Advocates' clerk.
  • The minimum entry requirement is Higher English. However, many stables prefer you to have 3 or more Highers, including English.
  • Increasing numbers of entrants have a degree in law, legal studies or politics.
  • For entry to a degree course, you normally need 4-5 Highers. Higher English is usually required, and for some courses you may need Maths at National 5. However, entry requirements can vary considerably among universities and colleges and you should check the details in the relevant prospectuses.
  • You may need previous experience in an administrative role.

Advocates' clerks usually work for Faculty Services Ltd (FSL), a company providing support services to Advocates. There are 9 FSL stables based in Parliament House in Edinburgh. A stable usually has one Advocate's clerk and at least one deputy clerk. There are also 20 advocates that do not subscribe to the FSL clerking services, but may practice with or without a clerk.

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