Partnership providing STEM learning at home

Partnership providing STEM learning at home
Lecturer Kerstin Doig experimenting at home

A partnership between Forth Valley College and SP Energy Networks is providing home schooling for youngsters across the Forth Valley and beyond with its innovative STEM learning resource to support their home learning.

Thanks to funding of £43,727 from SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund, around 2,300 nursery and primary school pupils in the Forth Valley area are being given access to innovative online workshops run by the college. The interactive sessions include ‘STEM Pick N Mix’ (nursery-P7) and ‘The Famous Four Save the Planet’ (P5-P7), which tell the story of the ‘Famous Four’ characters who save the planet through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) experiments and activities.

Fiona Jackson, Curriculum Manager, at Forth Valley College, said: “The online version covers similar ground to the School Delivery model but ultimately delivers an engaging, exciting and inter-active programme that school pupils would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience while at home during the lockdown. This will help them gain qualifications and knowledge which is vital to their development and we can’t thank SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund enough for its generosity and support to allow us to develop and produce this valuable resource for STEM learning.”

Jillian Violaris, Green Economy Fund Manager, at SP Energy Networks, said: “Inspiring our children to take an interest in science, technology, maths and engineering is really important -what starts life as an interest in science experiments today could become a career in the future.

“With so much change across the education sector, we’re proud to be supporting Forth Valley College’s incredible work to give youngsters outstanding home learning resources. The college is going above and beyond to create fun, interactive and innovative experiences – powering up the next generation of STEM talent. And, who knows – we might even see some of these young people working with us at SP Energy Networks in the future!”

Bannockburn Primary School teacher, Theresa Dandie, said: “I have been able to access all the information. What a lot of work!!  Thank you so much for sharing all of this, it will be very useful for us just now and also when we are back in school. Many thanks to you and all involved in putting this together."

The exciting online learning facility is part of Forth Valley College’s hugely popular ‘Making STEM Work’ programme, which is delivered by a team of lecturers and students who visit schools to deliver workshops featuring the environmental cartoon heroes - Tim the Technologist, Susie the Scientist, Mandy the Maths Buff and Eric the Engineer.

After running the popular workshops for the last two years as a result of Education Scotland funding, the initiative began presenting ‘Making STEM Work Flags’ to schools in September 2019. Since then, more than 50 schools have been flying the flag for STEM after successfully completing the activities.

During in-class events, pupils were challenged to find the best way to keep heat in houses, explore if solar panels work on a cloudy day and how to build a storm-proof, weight bearing bridge. Science Lecturer Kerstin Doig and HND Applied Science student Cameron Allison also carried out demonstrations on energy and electricity, including: generating static electricity, creating Star Wars style light sabres and showing how electricity can be produced.

Anyone looking for more information on the online STEM workshops should e-mail .

First Flag presented in 2019