STEM Newsletter for Primary  Schools in Wales

June 2018

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:

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

STEM and Archeology
STEM Ambassador Poppy Hodkinson has been working with 5 primary schools in Cardiff to develop a new workshop: STEM and Archaeology.
Poppy asked STEM Ambassador Coordinator Sian Ashton to source the schools and teacher interest. A draft of the project was sent to teachers.
Following interviews with teachers, Poppy developed the workshop matching key curricular topics (graphs, investigation, discussion, critical analysis,) with the Scientific principles of Archaeology. ‘You Are What You Eat’ covers Isotopes, Food Chains, Strontium maps and Nutrition.
Sian Ashton SA Coordinator attended a session at St Peter’s Primary, the teacher response was overwhelmingly positive and an immediate request for return in June was made.
Poppy is conducting evaluation interviews with all teachers involved.
Sian arranged a meeting with Poppy and Community Archaeologist Keith Edge in Neath Port Talbot.  The workshop is now planned to be run at Groes Primary School Margam. Plans are also in progress to run the workshop at a Country Park where schools and community groups will be invited to a STEM – Archaeology day.
‘This workshop ticks so many boxes: it was inclusive and stimulating for pupils. We as teachers learned a new way of teaching a hard topic such as Isotopes and graphs!’ Mr Wild (Yr 6 Teacher)


Milk and More
Teachers and STEM Ambassadors from the Caerphilly area were recently treated to a tour and tasting session at Castle Dairies where welsh butter is churned and packaged. It was a great opportunity to gain an insight into the world of food manufacturing at this family owned company.
Marcus Beard, the New Product Development Manager, gave a short presentation giving us an overview of the company, its products and the manufacturing process before taking us on a tour of the facility. It was an eye-opener for some of us to realise how much preparation goes into ensuring that all food safety and hygiene requirements are met by any person who visit
s the dairy - we all looked great in our labcoats, white wellies and hairnets! 
Although the dairy isn’t large enough for groups of pupils to visit, the intention is for STEM Ambassadors based there to visit schools as well as to produce an informative video showing different aspects of the company and the manufacturing process that will be available for all teachers to use in their classrooms.
Attendees were also given resources to run a brand new workshop, Milk and More, which introduces biochemical science for KS2/3 audiences. It consists of 4 different hands-on milk based activities, as well as some ideas of other food-related experiments, all suitable for use within lesson time or as STEM Club activities. The resources will be available to download from the See Science website by September.


Soapbox Science Cardiff
The annual public engagement event took place on Saturday June 2nd. This is an opportunity for female STEM professionals to profile their work in the City Centre, using a ‘Soapbox stand’ to talk to passing shoppers about their work. The event was organised by STEM Ambassador Helen Reardon. Through the STEM Ambassador coordinator and her own network, 7 STEM Ambassadors took part.
It was also an opportunity for fellow STEM Ambassadors to meet and network at the event. Each talk of 30 minutes was well attended by p
assing public, the event is estimated to engage with 1000 family groups.
You’re never too young to support #womeninscience – while listening to the brilliant STEM Ambassador Emma Yhnell

STEM Ambassador Lisa Whittaker

Sea birds, South Africa and Bird sick
Crickhowell Primary pupils were treated to a fascinating insight into the role of Cardiff University researchers this month. Dr Renata Medeiros and Dr Rob Thomas, both STEM Ambassadors, offered to give a talk about their work as senior lecturers at the University.
The pupils got a hands-on experience in the classroom, as they learnt about the difficult task of monitoring the European Storm Petrel - the smallest Atlantic seabird. Weighing just 25g (the same as 3 one pound coins).
During the talk the Year 5 and 6 pupils heard and imitated the sound of the tiny bird vomiting food to feed its chick. They also found out how the Storm Petrels communicate and navigate the seas around the UK and migrate all the way to South Africa each winter.
Mrs Witherstone said after the talk, ‘It has made me want to go and find out more about the Storm Petrel - I have so many questions following Renata and Rob’s excellent talk’.
Renata commented ‘The pupils were so enthusiastic, I could tell they were really enjoying handling the equipment we use, and had so many questions about the Storm Petrels

Teacher and pupil opportunities

National Insect Week. 18-24 June 2018

National Insect Week encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects. Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises the week, supported by a large number of partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects.

Please ​visit to get involved


Raindrop to Kettle
Do you know your meander from your levee?

This one day course focussing on water, its management and its effects and is suitable for primary teachers.
If you cover water in your curriculum this course will make you an expert! This course will be facilitated by Natural Resources Wales staff who are experts in how to maximise the teaching and learning potential of the outdoors.
Using the River Dee and Tryweryn in the North and the River Taff in the South the course will provide teachers with the skills and knowledge to teach elements of ICT, Numeracy, Literacy, ESDGC, Science, History and Geography curricula within the context of the rivers.
This course is funded by STEM Learning Ltd and so it is FREE to attend and teachers are also eligible for a £150 ENTHUSE bursary. 

North Wales
Date - 13th June 2018        Location- Frongoch, Bala
Here is the link to apply:
South Wales

Date- 15th June                  Location- Forest Farm Whitchurch
Here is the link to apply:
Places will be limited and so if interested book asap.


Museum Sleepover - Dino Nights!. Saturday 11 August

You're invited to a very special sleepover - discover what goes on after dark in an action packed night at the Museum.

Here's the plan:
  • Take a torch lit tour to explore Wales as it was 200 million years ago
  • Meet some friendly dinosaurs and watch their eggs hatch in a Dino-show to remember
  • Get creative in our craft workshops - you'll be inspired by fossils, footprints and bones from the Museum's collection
  • Enjoy a snack box and hot chocolate with a choice of special extras from our toppings station
  • Settle down for a film before bed in our grand theatre - then camp under the dome to dream of ancient lands filled with fabulous beasts
  • Wake up bright and early for breakfast together before you head back to life in the 21st century. 

For more information, please visit:
Soap box Science Swansea June 23rd
Soapbox Science enters its 8th year in 2018, and promises to bring a summer of excitement, fun, and fantastic science. This year we are growing and expanding to be bigger and better than before, with events organised across the world. On top of this, Soapbox Science is exploring new avenues with six Art & Science events taking place in art festivals around the UK.
What is Soapbox Science?
Soapbox Science is grass-roots science outreach organisation that brings cutting edge research onto urban streets whilst also promoting the visibility of women in science. We place inspirational speakers on soapboxes and encourage them to engage in and start conversations with the public about their work. Swansea
Feedback and Impact

Feedback and Impact are of great value – the provide us with evidence for engaging with the wider audience!  Please add your own feedback on any activity here:

Martin Pike at Ysgol Santes Helen
Thanks very much for your session on light and sound. The children were enthused after your visit and could answer lots of questions about your presentation.
I gave the Governors a verbal report on the positive feedback from the children following your visit.
Thanks again
Eirian Roberts

STEM Ambassador Alun Armstrong
 Just to let you know that I spent a very enjoyable day yesterday [sporting my STEM badge :-) ]   as an assessor at the Primary Schools Jaguar challenge event.  The year 5 and 6 pupils were wonderfully enthusiastic.
Survival and Navigation at Crickhowell Primary
‘It has made me want to go and find out more about the Storm Petrel - I have so many questions following Renata and Rob’s excellent talk’. Mrs Witherstone Crickhowell Primary 

Competitions and resources

The Nancy Rothwell Award.                RSB logo

The Nancy Rothwell Award celebrates specimen drawing in schools and highlights the benefits of combining art and science.

There are three age categories (7-11, 12-14, and 15-18) and prizes are awarded

The overall winner in each category will be awarded a set of drawing pencils, a certificate and £25. The winners’ schools will also each receive £100.

imagesBoth highly commended entrants and winners will be invited to an experience day at the Royal Veterinary College.

Each entrant may submit one drawing. Please only submit a photograph or scan of your drawing, as any original artwork will not be returned. Entrants are encouraged to label their drawings.

The Award will close for entries on 10 September 2018. Teachers can download a poster for the competition here and a PowerPoint presentation here to use in their art/science lessons to inspire their students’ drawings.

If you have any queries please email Raghav Selvam

IET Photography Competition 2018
The IET has launched its annual photography competition for 2018 in a bid to dispel the traditional image of hard hats and dirty overalls and show the innovative, imaginative and cool world of engineering – and we want young people to enter
Participants can submit a maximum of five photos across any of the following five categories: Design & Production, Digital, Environment & Energy, Structures and Transport. 

A panel of judges will look at every entry and award prizes to five youth winners (16 and under) and five adult winners (17 and over). An overall winner across all categories and ages will then be selected for an extra cash prize. 

For more information and to enter please visit the website Please read the terms and conditions and email your entry form and photograph(s) to Please include your full name, date of birth and age, address, phone number and email address. Image captions are optional. 

The deadline for entries is Friday 28 September 2018

Draw an Engineer Competition 2018.           

The INWED Draw an Engineer Competition returns for another year to help celebrate International Women in Engineering Day.

Aimed at children 5-11 in key stages 1 and 2, this can be a great way to get your school involved if you are not already planning something. The pictures chosen by our panel as the winners receive a prize and will be featured on the INWED website.

To enter, simply draw, crayon or paint an engineer on A4 paper and send a high resolution scan of your submission with the subject line INWED COMPETITION ENTRY to

Please include your name, age, Key Stage 1 or 2 & School (if applicable). The closing date for this year’s entries is Monday 25 June 2018.

You can download a poster shown to display in your school here. For more ideas of what to do on the day or during the week leading up to INWED please remember to download our Resource Pack.

 Primary Science Teacher Awards (PSTAs). - Nominations open 

Teachers that are doing incredible work, raising standards, excelling in tough conditions and going above and beyond deserve to be celebrated. The Primary Science Teacher Awards do just that - we celebrate, reward and provide a plethora of opportunity for these deserving teachers. 

The awards are open to all current practising Primary Teachers (full or part-time) who, 

  • are innovative and creative in teaching science;
  • inspire colleagues and contribute to developing science in their school and beyond;
  • engage pupils in the excitement and fascination of science.

Established in 2003, the awards are presented during the Annual Primary Science Teacher College Conference. Teachers who win the award support colleagues in their own and other schools either locally, regionally or nationally to raise the profile of science.

Teachers will automatically be inducted into the Primary Science Teacher College as a College Fellow where they have access to many benefits including funding in excess of £500,000 to help shape primary science for the better. 

The achievements of these amazing teachers are celebrated at an awards ceremony at which family, friends and colleagues can gather together to watch their friends and loved ones be recognised for their outstanding achievements. 


Other information
Grants to Promote Use of Tap Water (UK)
Grants of between £300 and £3,000 are available to Schools, Colleges and Universities for projects that significantly reduce their reliance on single-use plastics and plastic waste.

The Tap Water Awards aim to support projects that develop new solutions to replace pre-existing systems that rely on plastic and promote the use of tap water. Grants are available to support educational establishments install mains fed drinking water machines and using reusable bottles. The Awards will however not pay for activities or services that schools have a statutory responsibility to provide.

Applications can be submitted at any time.


Ernest Cook Trust Grants Programme (UK)

            ECT logo
Schools wishing to encourage young people’s interest in the countryside – and literacy, numeracy and science – can apply for funding to the Ernest Cook Trust (ECT).

  • The small grants programme (under £4,000) 
  • The large grants programme (grants between £4,000 and £12,000)
At the Autumn meeting, projects covering environment and countryside, and literacy and STEM subjects are considered. Applications for the Autumn meeting must be received by 31 July 2018. More here.
Our mailing address is:

See Science / Gweld Gwyddoniaeth

8 St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD

02920 344727 | |

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list