STEM education and training
We are improving education and training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Scotland's schools, colleges and universities.
This will enable and encourage more Scots to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for helping to grow Scotland's economy.
On 8 November 2016 we launched a consultation on a new STEM Strategy for Education and Training that aims to increase enthusiasm, skills and knowledge in STEM in order to meet labour-market needs. The consultation will run until 31 January 2017.
STEM education in schools
STEM education is a core part of our Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).
Our new STEM strategy will ensure that children across Scotland are aware of the opportunities offered by STEM and given access to qualifications, knowledge and training in key economic sectors within STEM, such as digital technology and construction.
In March 2016 we announced £1.5 million of funding for initiatives to support STEM teaching in primary and secondary schools across Scotland. This investment will:
- help the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre provide training programmes and classroom resources for teachers
- fund local primary science mentoring schemes
- provide teaching resources and support for local maths champions to help encourage professional learning in maths
As part of the STEM Strategy for Education and Training we are developing a Scottish STEM Ambassadors network to ensure every Scottish school has the opportunity to develop a partnership with the private, public or third sector by 2020.
Supporting the curriculum through science engagement
In the year 2015 to 2016 we invested £135,000 in four Scotland-wide, school-based science engagement initiatives:
- £50,000 in the Generation Science shows for primary schools, run by Edinburgh International Science Festival
- £40,000 in Young Engineers and Science Clubs at primary and secondary schools, run by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry
- £25,000 in British Science Week at primary and secondary schools and community organisations, run by the British Science Association
- £20,000 in the GeoBus activity and learning days for secondary school pupils, run by the University of St Andrews
Science and Engineering Education Advisory Group (SEEAG)
We set up the SEEAG, chaired by former Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Anne Glover and Professor Ian Wall, in April 2010 to make recommendations for improving the profile of science in the community, enhancing science and engineering education, and developing a skilled workforce for Scotland's STEM industries.
- Read Supporting Scotland's STEM Education and Culture - Science and Engineering Education Advisory Group - Second Report
Our response to the SEEAG's report highlighted a series of priorities for science education, including:
- developing the confidence and expertise of science teachers
- ensuring pupils' experience of science education is inspiring
- raising awareness of pathways into STEM careers
STEM Education Committee (STEMEC)
We set up independent advisory group STEMEC in October 2012 to undertake the work arising from the SEEAG Report and to improve STEM education and learning in Scotland's schools. The STEMEC final report was published in September 2016.
STEM education in colleges
We are working with colleges to bring the number of full-time college places in STEM subjects in line with regional employment needs.
This will benefit the economy by helping to improve students' employment prospects and to fill skills gaps in the labour market.