STEM Newsletter for primary schools in Wales
                                                                 June 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:

Edina Trust
Earth, Space and the Universe !
Centre for Alternative Technology
Primary Science Teaching Trust Wales
TeachMeet Cymru – Supporting digital competency in the classroom
Great British Science Club
The Science of Dragons Roadshow
Living and Learning with Water
Animals and their Behaviour
Mission X

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. This feedback is very useful to us and we greatly appreciate your input.

Latest STEM news

The Edina Trust gives non-competitive £500 science grants to all primary schools and special schools for three consecutive years in designated areas in the UK. Our current Welsh areas are Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil. Funds are set aside so that there is enough for every school in these areas to get the full amount. Rhondda and Merthyr are currently in the third and final year but £40,000 of funding remains unclaimed. The deadline to apply is 21st July 2017; applications received after this date cannot be processed so schools will simply lose this money!
The Edina Trust funds:
·         School science weeks
·         Scientific visits (both out of, or visits to the school)
·         Science equipment
·         Improving school grounds for science
·         Gardening resources (maximum of £350)
·         Science Subscriptions
To apply for your guaranteed grant please visit to download the form. Then return it to Rebecca Anes at before 21st July 2017.If you have any questions you can contact Rebecca or David at

Tai Education Centre, Tonypandy
Tai Education Centre in Rhondda Cynon Taff, requested to use their £500 grant for Techniquest to come to their school and deliver two shows to the Foundation Class and Key Stage 2 Classes, which finished off their topic of ‘Light and Sound.’ We received feedback from the Science Co-ordinator who said, “The whole day was amazing for the children. The use of the ‘dome’ for the children to crawl into immediately gripped their attention and enthusiasm… I would definitely recommend this particular show to anyone as a wow factor to start or end a Light topic.”

Earth, Space and the Universe! at Llangattock Primary with Graham Crawford 
STEM Ambassador Graham Crawford took Llangattock pupils on a journey to find out about Earth, Space and the creation of the Universe. Graham who is a retired engineer and keen Astronomer has been working
with Years 5 and 6 throughout the year. Jo Jones who teaches the class has been delighted by Graham’s involvement in the school. 
Speaking about Graham she said, “He has brought Science to life, he is so knowledgable and speaks with confidence to the pupils. They enjoy asking questions and his talks have sparked a real interest in Science. Even weeks after, they remember the facts and details from Graham’s talks and workshops.”  

Graham who spends part of the year in inspiring children in Australia too (where his grandchildren live) really enjoys working with the pupils.
He commented, “The pupils are great and they really get it. I am glad that they are enjoying the subject and even when the Science can be difficult to understand, they are really raising up to the challenge”.

In his talk Graham used Playdoh to explain the big bang. The pupils loved colliding their Playdoh together to simulate the creation of the universe. He also used video clips and a portable radio to convey how pupils can listen to left over background radiation from the big bang.
with thanks to Heidi Purnell

The Centre for Alternative Technology now has two bursary funds for educational groups.A new bursary could subsidise any school visit to CAT by approximately £50-£300 for day visit or residential groups, but this could be more, if for example bringing a particularly large group. The funds can be used to cover entries, tuition and even accommodation.
Over 400 pupils have benefitted from the bursary for groups from North Wales. Funds available by application while they last, so apply now at
Groups booking a visit can choose from the menu of interactive activities which includes climate change and other global challenges, renewable energy, sustainable food and buildings and more. The new fund can also be used to subsidise residential visits in the Eco-Cabins. The Cabins provide an inspiring base for pupils to spend longer at CAT and to enrich their understanding.
The ‘Wind power’ and ‘Where’s the Impact?’ workshops are always great favourites with primary schools, along with guided tours and our greenhouse gas game. The new CAT quarry trail is very interesting to explore, adding to CAT’s out of the classroom experience.



Primary Science Teaching Trust Wales 

See Science is looking for an enthusiastic  secondary school  together with their  feeder  primary schools to embark on an exciting new project. This project will support the recording of Scientific Enquiry and the transition between primary and secondary schools in Wales. A two-day CPD (Cover provided) will be delivered to a cluster of primary schools with the secondary school. The tailor-made CPD focused upon how to improve pupils’ science skills, develop interactive learning and recording methods. These approaches will enable teachers to continue improving science after the end of the project. On day 2 of the CPD the teachers meet with STEM Ambassadors which will provide a real world link to the world of work. The teachers and the STEM Ambassadors will then develop a sequence of lessons which will improve pupils’ science skills and knowledge which they then apply in an investigation. This investigation will be carried out in the classroom with the teacher and the STEM Ambassador working together. This provides an opportunity for the pupils to relate science to a real world context and the world of work. Once the investigations are completed, the teachers and their pupils’ presented their investigation at a final celebration event held at the secondary school. Emphasis will be placed on an increase in the standards achieved by pupils in science skills and a greater variety of recording methods used in science lessons. For more information contact

Teacher and pupil opportunites

TeachMeet Cymru – Supporting digital competency in the classroom - Thursday 15 June  4.30pm  Willows High School , Cardiff

The focus of our TeachMeet is Supporting digital competency in the classroom, but we are interested to hear about any good practice in education. So, if you have some great ideas and you want to show how you are implementing them in your classroom/school, we would really really love to hear you! We are organising this event with the help of the ASE Cymru, The National Education Show and Willows High School, who have kindly agreed to host the event.

If you have done something exciting with one of your classes recently or if you would like to come along and watch, sign up below and come along. Open to all with an interest in education in Wales and beyond (both Primary and Secondary).

Our Keynote Speaker for the event is Alessio Bernardelli, multiple award winning teacher, who will kick the event off with some insight into ‘Digital learning – more than just fun!’

You can turn up and learn something new, or share something you think others would benefit from. You can chat informally over a cup of tea, get up and present a two-minute presentation or a seven-minute presentation.


Wednesday 5 July is Great British Science Club. There will be lots of events and activities happening nationwide on this day and in the week leading up to it, in order to celebrate the amazing work going on in STEM Clubs. We are offering £250 to Welsh schools who carry out a CREST Discovery Day as part of their celebrations on this day, which can be used to buy materials and resources or pay for teacher cover! Simply complete the application form here:
Recommended Discovery Days include the Welsh-specific bilingual ‘Sustainable Solutions’ resource which challenges students to work as a team to create a start-up business tackling the issues of climate change in their community.
Alternatively, keep an eye out for our new ‘Wild Creations’ resource, to be launched next month, which sees students dreaming up a creative way to celebrate their culture through getting hands-on with design and technology. 

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).During the Autumn  Term    Sue wil be touring  South and Mid Wales.

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 Autumn 2017. To book email

Living and Learning with Water
Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre, LL21 9TT
22nd June 2017 4.30pm till 6.00pm

Join  Arfona Evans at Llyn Brenig  Visitor  Centre to see look at Biodiversity activites  at Primary and KS3 level. There will be an opprtunity 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.

to book go to

    Animals and their Behaviour
Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5UY

 3rd July 2017 4.30pm till 6.00pm

 Animal behaviour is an innately fascinating and engaging subject that is taught in both science and psychology and throughout the key stages.  In this workshop, Charlotte the education officer from the Association For The Study Of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), will provide a number of practical ideas to teach all sorts of biology topics at all key stages.

Susan  Jones   -  Education Officer at the Welsh Mountain  Zoo will also  provide a short tour and information about the Welsh Mountain  Zoo including  the wide range of projects  that can be undertaken at the Zoo, from species’ general behavioral observations relating to crowds, weather or their use of the enclosure space, to introducing new enrichment items and determining if species have “favourite” foods, colours, textures etc.

The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) supports teachers in schools and colleges by providing free, fabulous and well thought out resources. 

The Welsh Mountain Zoo is part of the National Zoological Society of Wales, and is a marvellous living resource. Nothing can replace the excitement and wonder of looking closely at a live animal. Learning about animals through close contact cannot be replaced by video or television and is hard to reproduce in the classroom.


To book a place  at this event  please go to                


Mission X
Mission X has been developed by NASA and European Space Agency scientists and fitness professionals to use the excitement of space exploration to inspire students to learn about the science of nutrition and exercise, and to increase their activity levels.  Schools in the UK are invited to take part in the Mission X challenge alongside schools from around the world.
ESERO-UK Space Ambassador Dr Ashley Green is seeking eight primary schools within easy reach of his home in Shrewsbury, in which to support teachers keen to involve their students in Mission X.  Dr Green has been supporting staff in 16 English schools registered for the Tim Peake Primary Project.  He’d also like to support schools in Mid Wales.  Though born in Canada, he grew up in Cardiff and earned his PhD in solar engineering there. 
(Dr Green is funded by ESERO-UK, so is available free-of-charge to the schools he supports.)
Interested teachers should email Dr Green:


Step up for STEM: taking your first steps in primary computing
As a teacher, you probably already know that computing was added to the national curriculum in 2014. However, if you teach ages 5 - 11, research still unlikely you are confident in teaching computing.
The Barefoot Project is designed to improve teacher confidence in computing, helping them take their first steps in embracing this vital STEM subject.
Barefoot challenges the misconception that computing is strictly limited to using and building the technology itself. By championing ‘computational thinking’ Barefoot helps teachers and pupils grasp concepts which underpin a wide range of subjects, such as Maths and Science.
The concepts and approaches computational thinking introduces: algorithms, patterns, debugging, tinkering etc, are relevant across the curriculum. In fact, they are integral to the overall development of pupil’s wider STEM skills.
Barefoot also helps integrate this style of thinking into the pupil’s learning; providing skills, confidence and competencies across the full range of STEM subjects and beyond. Not only does this help pupils achieve more at a primary level, it also nurtures their transferrable skills as they move into living and working in a digital world.
Barefoot provides free resources such as activities and lesson plans. These are made by teachers, for teachers, aligning with the national curriculum.
Not only are there hundreds of free teaching resources online, there are also free volunteer led workshops available. Trained Barefoot volunteers will come to your school at a time to suit you, and prepare the teachers to use the resources, helping to improve their overall confidence in computing.
Teachers will see huge improvements in their pupils’ STEM-based skills once these concepts are explored. While the free resources themselves are very helpful, being shown how to best implement them first is the best use of the Barefoot Computing Project.
To get the absolute best out of Barefoot, book a free workshop by visiting  or contact 0800 028 0041


Competitions and resources
science made simple is delighted to announce our first ever science video competition to make science simple!
To celebrate our 15th birthday this year, we are inviting you to create a video sharing your passion for science!
There's £200 for your school science department up for grabs for winning student entries, and a top prize of £250 in our open category! 


Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge: Lego Mindstorms Kits

Schools across the country are invited to take on a robotics challenge that will see student teams involved in ‘space missions’. Teamwork, robots, design, research, fun and loads of LEGO® are all part of the mix, as are real-world challenges, teacher support and some great prizes.

The journey starts in school. The challenge events are the culmination of a ten-week extra-curricular or in-school programme where students learn how to design and control their robots to complete the aviation challenges. It’s all with the help of Tomorrow’s Engineers structured activity plans and learning software – they also provide training and equipment.

The challenge could take your team all the way from regional heats to the national final.

Get involved! Applications for the 2017/2018 Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge are open from now until 12 July. Click here to apply.

Funding opportunities

Partnership Grants

Do you have a great idea for bringing research alive in school?

Partnership Grants of up to £3000 are available to schools to enable students, aged 5 – 18, to carry out science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) projects.

Applying for this scheme

This scheme will open on 5 June 2017.

For help on applying for a Partnership Grant, please see the guide to making an application.

Since it started in November 2000, the Partnership Grants scheme has awarded over £1.3 million to over 800 schools and colleges, igniting enthusiasm for STEM in thousands of young people across the UK. Since 2010, 88% of awarded Partnership Grants partners reported that they would apply again.

Why apply for this scheme?

The Partnership Grants scheme offers up to £3000 to UK schools or colleges to buy equipment to run a STEM investigation project in partnership with a STEM professional (research or industry). Successful projects:

Deliver a better understanding of the latest developments in STEM;

Improve perceptions of those working in STEM professions;

Give students pride and ownership in STEM from participation in the investigative process.

Who can apply for this scheme?

Applications need to be made jointly between the two project partners, where the partnership needs to be established before starting the application. The two partners are: 

School partner: any teacher or support staff at the main school, such as a computing teacher or a science technician; and a

STEM partner: an individual that is currently working in a STEM related profession, such as a researcher or analyst.  

For further information, including guidance on finding a partner, click on the appropriate link below or contact 

Our mailing address is:

See Science / Gweld Gwyddoniaeth

8 St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD

02920 344727 | |

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