PrimarySchools  Wales Newsletter April 2017

STEM Newsletter for primary schools in Wales                                              April 2017

The newsletter that's an essential source of information and inspiration for teachers – and anyone with an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) engagement – across Wales.


 In this newsletter:

Masterclass session: Weather
A Golden STEM week at Golden Grove Primary School
Encouraging women and
girls into STEM

ASE Living and Learning with Water
ASE  Visit to the Royal Mint

Competitions and Resources
Funding opportunities

Ask a STEM Ambassador to visit your school

A STEM Ambassador's involvement can engage and enthuse both students and teachers. If you are interested in asking a STEM Ambassador to visit your school you can make your request here or contact See Science directly at

Give us your Ambassador feedback

If an Ambassador has visited your school, or if you have met an Ambassador at an enrichment activity, we would be very grateful if you could fill in our teacher feedback form. Please encourage colleagues to respond.

Latest STEM news

Masterclass session: Weather with Steve Hoselitz at Ysgol Y Ffin

Steve has been active a STEM Ambassador since January 2014. During that time he has developed a suite of workshops tailored for Primary Schools as well as attending Secondary School sessions, Lab in a Lorry and Sixth Form induction days.
Ysgol Y Ffin’s  Science Week was driven by a parent Liz Neal, a former Chemist, keen to host STEM Ambassadors at the school.
I attended Steve’s Weather Sessions activity on 16 March. The session was brilliant, humorous and engaging. Covering 2 hours it included an introduction to seasons and weather followed by a practical activity on the water cycle. Pupils added a little warm water in a zip lock bag, placed on a radiator to demonstrate evaporation and condensation. They then returned for a discussion on weather predictions and accuracy, followed by videos of extreme weather conditions.
Pupils were thoroughly engaged and spent much time asking Steve some challenging questions.
‘Without this session we would not know how to put this subject across’ Teacher at Ysgol Y Ffin
A very happy Head Teacher Jamie Hallett congratulated Steve who was presented with a gift by the pupils.
Quoting in the local press Jamie added “The week has been incredible. The whole school community has worked together to bring the children a wide range of experiences and enhance their learning and horizons. We are so proud of the way the children engaged and especially all the children involved in leading and documenting the week”.
Steve has many repeat requests for visits and would welcome any STEM Ambassador to join him at a workshop and gain experience.

A Golden STEM week at Golden Grove Primary School

Teacher Hannah Harries placed a request for support from STEM Ambassadors during Science Week. The school were privelaged to host visits from Vasilis Katsapis and Syed Ali of RWE Npower and David Ramsey a qualified BSc in Environmental Studies
Vasilis and Syed ran 3 sessions for 90 Key Stage 2 pupils on Electricity covering Power Generation Simulator, Personal Protective Equipment. They took a simulator to the school to demonstrate electrical power generation.
David ran two workshops:  Growth and Development (2 session) and Sustainability (2 sessions  modified to be suited for Year 2 pupils. David showed expertise in levelling a difficult subject for very young pupils. Feedback from Hannah was glowing who kindly sent the photo montage.
“Thank you so much for putting us in touch with everyone. They were all lovely and fitted in so well at school and the children all enjoyed the sessions”Hannah Harries:
‘Thank you Sian, it is really good and rewarding to see that our effort and time was so well perceived and appreciated!
From our side, I can say that personally I enjoy it very much and I now look forward to the next convenient opportunity.’ Vasilis
‘The Day went well, both Staff and children great.’ David Ramsey

Encouraging women and
girls into STEM


On Monday, 13 March, leaders from business, academia and the Welsh Government, joined  forces at the Senedd, Cardiff to tackle head on the lack of women in STEM in Wales, in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal and Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science.

The WISE Celebration of Talented Women brought together ministers, academics, businesses and schools who are backing the Welsh Government commissioned report to address STEM skills shortages by getting more women and girls into science, technology and engineering.

The report highlights challenges in education – which range from few primary school teachers having STEM backgrounds to the poor take-up of girls studying physics and computer science A-Levels – and in the workplace, leading to women working in less than one in six STEM jobs.

Helen Wollaston, chief executive of the WISE campaign which organised the event and which campaigns for gender balance in STEM, said: “Wales has an impressive number of female scientists in top positions, including the Chief Scientific Adviser and the newly appointed deputy vice chancellor at Cardiff University. They are living proof that choosing science opens doors. Today’s event is an opportunity for us all to work with the Welsh Government, education and industry to get a positive message out to the next generation of girls in Wales and their families, inspiring them to choose science, technology and engineering for a brighter future.”

At the event Royal patron of WISE, HRH The Princess Royal  met 50 girls from eight Welsh schools taking part in People Like Me sessions. These allow girls to define themselves by adjectives – such as organised, creative or friendly. They then relate their personality types to careers in STEM and discuss these with young women working in STEM jobs.

Panel discussions included Trudy Norris-Grey, chair of WISE and MD, worldwide business development at Microsoft, Helen Samuels, director of engineering at Network Rail, La-Chun Lindsay, MD at GE Aviation Wales, Sharon James, Senior Vice President R&D, RB (Reckitt Benckiser), Chris Jones, chief executive of Welsh Water and Helen Wollaston.

Encouraging women into STEM makes economic sense, says Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science: “The under-representation of women in the STEM workforce is a critical issue for Wales. The recommendations in the ‘Talented Women for a Successful Wales’ report go some way to try and address this need and everyone has a role to play to encouraging more women and girls to pursue STEM opportunities and careers.”


Teacher and pupil opportunites

The Science of Dragons Roadshow

Science2Life has been awarded, in partnership with See Science, funding from the Welsh Government to deliver the Science of Dragons Show in primary and secondary schools across Wales until March 2018.
The next tour will be in North Wales 3-8th July 2017 and South Wales  4th -13th October 2017

Viking history, legend and dragon lore inspired Cressida’s How to Train Your Dragon series and just like Cressida’s stories, Scientific Sue aims to transport her audiences back in time to a fictional world where Vikings ruled and dragons roamed.

This innovative and interactive show explores how dragons can be captured using a crossbow, trained and then used to defeat the enemy tribe; The Meatheads!

Scientific Sue needs lots of volunteers to help her investigate and explore the science of how dragons fly and then, using some of the science behind the different dragon fire types (steam, icy fog, explosive gases, flammable liquids and of course big flames).

Available FREE to all secondary (Year 7) schools in Wales in 2016 – 2018 thanks to funding from Welsh Government National Science Academy. Contact See Science if you would like the show to visit your school during the Summer Term 2017. To book email

“The teachers enjoyed the show as much as the children …. brilliantly put together and thoroughly engaging.” Ysgol Deganwy

“Just wanted to thank you again for an amazing show this morning. Having spoken to the pupils last lesson the feedback is very positive, they loved it!” Ysgol Gyfun Gartholwg

Living and Learning
with Water                                                      

4 May, 4.30-6.00pm. Cog Moors Water Treatement Works, Cardiff Road, Dinas Powys, Cardiff CF64 4TR

Join Wenna Gregory at Cog Moors Discovery Centre to see look at Biodiversity activites at Primary and KS3 level. There will be an opportunity to find out how to:

  • Use the outdoor environment to encourage healthy, confident individuals
  • Stimulate activities for ambitious capable learner
  • Encourage decision making, problem solving and group-work
  • Links to the Literacy and Numeracy Framework
  • Increase environmental awareness for global citizenship
  • Gain an understanding of Welsh Water and how it fits into life and work.

This FREE workshop aims to show what outdoor, fun and exciting learning activities that Welsh Water can offer your classes. Book here.

ASE Visit to the Royal Mint  

13 June, 4.30pm.

A tour of The Royal Mint to discover the people and events behind the coins in your pocket, and hear some surprising stories from our history. Go behind the scenes at the world's leading export mint to follow the journey of a coin, from a blank to a bank Experience the sights, sounds and smells of thousands of glistening coins, hot off the press to the precision striking of more than 700 coins per minute. Learn about Sir Isaac Newton's innovations while Master of The Royal Mint and technological advances invested in the new 12-sided £1 coin.

Book here .                                                      

Competitions and resources

Youth  Grand Challenges                                
Help tackle global health issues with innovative solutions that could change the world! Get students to undertake CREST project work on a topic relating to the theme of infectious diseases.

We are looking for projects that:

  • Demonstrate good communication skills
  • Show innovation and creativity
  • Address a real-world problem

The winning projects will be awarded a money-can't-buy prize, ranging from an Adventure Science Show from Anturus for your whole school, a trip to an MRC research institution of your choice, to a fully funded place at the London International Youth Science Forum, and a top prize of a travel scholarship worth up to £5,000.

Closing date 26 September 2017.

Catch the Robots Bug!

Schools are invited to enter a new competition from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851:


It is a fun and simple competition to generate enthusiasm for robotics, engineering and STEM more widely. Aimed at upper primary/lower secondary schools, little or no equipment is required to enter, or prior knowledge about robots - it is all about conveying how exciting robots are through a simple presentation activity. 


The competition pack and prizes have been developed with the kind support of the Science Museum’s Robots exhibition. 


The first 100 schools to register  their interest will receive competition posters designed by the graphic artist Nick Hayes as well as a competition pack to help them with ideas; the first 50 entries will receive a copy of the Science Museum’s Super Intelligent, High-Tech Robot Book by Jon Milton; the competition winners will be able to meet one of three leading roboticists via Skype, and the overall winner will win a visit from the Science Museum’s outreach team.


This is a great way to boost interest in STEM subjects in schools and we hope as many schools and pupils as possible will consider entering. The deadline for entries is 26 May 2017. Details at #RobotsBug

Nancy Rothwell Award specimen drawing competition

The Nancy Rothwell Award specimen drawing competition for 7-18 year olds is now open. Student prizes include an experience day at the Royal Veterinary College and £25 plus their school can also win £250.

Please submit your entries electronically in either jpg, png or tiff format with a completed application form Closing date is  11th September 2017


Sustainable solutions is a CREST Discovery activity that challenges students to work as a team to create a start-up business tackling the issues of climate change in their community, through the creation of an app, an invention or a communications campaign.

The resources below provides teachers with a step-by-step guide to running a Discovery Day and is suitable to run with one class, a science club, or with a whole year group.

You can download all the teacher and student documents. Resources are bilingual and available in both English and Welsh.

 KS2  resource booklet ‘ACT ON STEM’, . 
This resource was officially ‘launched’ last week in Ysgol Gwaun Gynfi, Deiniolen, and was shown on the Welsh language magazine programme ‘Heno’,  last Thursday evening.
ACT ON STEM is the first bilingual STEM resource for Years 5-6 of its kind in Wales.  It clearly brings the employer and industry messages into the classroom and promotes STEM skills in the region to promote safeguard the future of our local economy.
The free bilingual resource is available on-line with a variety of fun and interactive classroom activities linked to promoting STEM for KS2 pupils.  It also has a short You Tube film to accompany the activities showing children role playing adults in the workplace.  The film should be shown hand in hand with the activities to add value.
·         View the online resource pack here
·         Watch the regional film here
The North Wales Economic Ambition Board is very grateful for your full cooperation in our efforts to promote key messages from employers in relation to STEM skills and the opportunities young people have to work bilingually in a vibrant and growth sectors in North Wales.

 You are welcome to contact Ffion  for further information. |

Funding opportunities

Public Engagement Innovation Grant Scheme

The Royal College of Pathologists is looking for new projects that engage audiences such as school students, undergraduates, health professionals or local communities with pathology.

If you have an innovative idea which could help pathologists communicate the role they play in healthcare the RCP wants to hear from you. There is funding of £1,000 available.

Deadline for submissions is Monday 5 June 2017. More information here.


British Ecological Society outreach grants

This grant scheme will reopen in July 2017. Individuals and organisations including schools can apply for grants to promote ecological science to a wide audience (projects need to have significant outreach beyond schools).

The maximum award is £2,000. Read more…


Our mailing address is:

See Science / Gweld Gwyddoniaeth

8 St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD

02920 344727 | |

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