Nethermains Primary School has become the first school to achieve ‘Making STEM Work’ accreditation, a new endorsement scheme developed by Forth Valley College (FVC).
It is hoped the accreditation will inspire and widen access for more young people from across the Forth Valley area to study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) subjects and eventually progress on to college and university.
The accreditation will be offered to any school or youth organisation who complete one of the College’s STEM outreach workshops.
Staff and student volunteers from FVC’s Engineering and Science Department helped inspire pupils at the Denny primary school during their day-long interactive seminar.
Grace Law, headteacher at Nethermains, said: “Our children had fantastic learning experiences relating to very current topics. This encouraged them to think about learning for sustainability. Thank you to our colleagues from Forth Valley College for helping to develop the young workforce.”
Maisie, one of the Primary 7 children involved, added: “It was intriguing to learn about the different parts of STEM. It was fun to complete all the tasks and co-operate with others.” Lucas, a fellow Primary 7 pupil, agreed. He said: "I liked that we all co-operated together.”
The pupils were encouraged to follow the story of the fun ‘Famous Four’ characters to ‘save the planet’. During the workshop they were challenged to find the best way to keep warmth in houses, explore if solar panels work on a cloudy day, and how to build a storm-proof, weight bearing bridge.
To set the day off to an exciting start, Science Lecturer Kerstin Doig and Engineering Technician Ross McGeever carried out some demonstrations on energy and electricity including generating static electricity, creating Star Wars style light sabres and showing how electricity can be conducted.
Kerstin Doig, from FVC’s Department of Engineering and Science, said: “With our first STEM outreach day at Nethermains Primary School we are starting the 2019/20 tour of the Famous Four. The pupils were great, embracing the different challenges with gusto. Before they set off into space with their self-made paper rockets, the pupils were presented with the first ever Making STEM Work flag, that will accompany their journey throughout the term, trying out many more STEM activities from our online platform.”
A £10,000 funding boost from Developing Young Workforce Forth Valley has also allowed the college to deliver the STEM workshops to school pupils and members of youth organisations, using the Famous Four STEM based environmental cartoon heroes: Tim the Technologist, Susie the Scientist, Mandy the Maths Buff and Eric the Engineer.
The funding will enable teaching staff and volunteers to deliver an engaging, exciting and inter-active programme that school pupils would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience and help them to save the planet while gaining qualifications for their school or organisation.
Pictured: P7 pupils after a “Rocket making” session celebrate before launching their rockets with a new STEM flag. Photographed are pupils (left to right) Lucas, Barry & Kaiden with Kerstin Doig and Cameron Allison from FV College.