STEM Newsletter for primary schools in Wales

November 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:

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.

Caer - Ely Hidden Hillfort Project

STEM Ambassadors working with schools and the community to reveal a local treasure and develop STEM skills
STEM Ambassador Dr David Wyatt, Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval History, Community and Engagement together with Dr Ollie Davies drive the the project, which is now revealing the most ancient monument in Cardiff - the Iron Age Hill Fort of Ely. Working with local primary and secondary schools and community groups, the project is bringing together expertise from Cardiff University and the dedication of pupils and residents. 

The efforts of the first phase uncovered a wealth of information and items, developing skills in the community and educating pupils in their local heritage.
September 6 celebrated the unveiling of a new information sign by Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University and Mark Drakeford AM for Cardiff West. An exciting development is the conversion of the local gospel Hall into a customised location for the ongoing project work.  Stalls were displayed at the event by National Museums of Wales, Cardiff School of Pharmacy with STEM Ambassador James Blakeland, amongst others.
STEM Ambassador Dave Wyatt quoted 
“The Hidden Hillfort Project has the potential to ............enhance individual life-chances for local people of all ages.” The  CAER Hidden Hillfort project is a Heritage Lottery-funded (HLF) initiative between Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE) and Cardiff University.  


A Brownies Night of Science and Fun

STEM Ambassador Dr Sophie Gilbert was the first of a series of Science Visits to Rhiwderin Brownies  Newport. Sophie was ably assisted by her young and enthusiastic daughter (also a Brownie).
The Brownie leader is keen to introduce a range of Science experiences and Sophie reported that the girls had great fun on the Maggot Race Challenge.
The session demonstrates the application of maggots in wound care and healing. Following the presentation Brownies get the opportunity to take part in a maggot race. Each group names a maggot and races it towards the finish line. The owner of the winning maggot receives a certificate.
Sophie is a member of CITER - and a post Doc Researcher at Cardiff School of Biosciences.

Primary Science Teaching Award

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 (PSTAs) do just that - celebrate, reward and provide a plethora of opportunity for these deserving teachers. We are delighted to announce that Kelly Thomas from Penllergaer Primary School, Swansea, has been awarded a Primary Science Teacher Award, endorsed by the Royal Society of Biology, for her innovative practice and exceptional dedication to primary science teaching.
Kelly’s impact on teaching and learning of science has been extensive, with significant support being provided for colleagues at the school and for others within the Local Education Authority. Kelly’s inspirational and innovative primary science initiatives have had a huge impact on the children at Penllergaer, maximising their exposure to STEM opportunities and encouraging inquisitive, critical thinking, for which she deserves recognition as a PSTA winner.
Winners of the PSTAs, sponsored by the Primary Science Teaching Trust, receive £1000 personal prize money, £500 prize money for the school, a selection of TTS science resources (sponsored by TTS Group) and a year’s ASE membership.
Kelly has now been inducted into the ‘Primary Science Teacher College’ as a College Fellow where she will have access to many benefits including receiving funding and support from the Primary Science Teaching Trust to continue and expand her remarkable work in primary science education. 


          CREST Survey for Primary Schools


Calling all teachers who have been involved with CREST Awards in Wales: the British Science Association would love your feedback about the scheme in order to help them improve CREST delivery in Wales. Please complete a short survey: and you’ll be entered into a draw for a £25 gift voucher.
CREST Awards have been running for 30 years and now over 30,000 young people every year achieve an award. They are managed by the British Science Association and involve STEM project work. They can be run during lesson time or are ideal activities for a STEM Club. There is an award to suit every age and ability:

  • Star Awards – Foundation pupils 
  • SuperStar Awards – KS2 pupils
  • Discovery Award – Year 6 pupils can earn an award in one day

Launched in 2007, CREST Star and SuperStar introduce children to investigative learning, supporting students to solve real-life STEM challenges through practical investigation and discussion.

Students participate in 8 x 1 hour STEM challenges and upon completion receive a certificate and an iron-on badge to recognise their achievements. 

How can I run CREST Awards?

Register for an account at  then choose from the broad choice of downloadable project resources on the CREST website,

For more information, go to or contact Llinos at 

Teacher and pupil opportunites

British Science Week                             9-18 March 2018

Getting involved in British Science Week is really easy, and you can take part in lots of different ways.
  • Organise an event. Running an event of your own may seem daunting, but we’re here to help you all the way, from writing your pledge, to applying for grants to providing activity packs. We also have ‘how to’ guides to help you get started and advice about finding a presenter.
  • Run the Solar System. This virtual race was first created for British Science Week 2017 but has been relaunched due to popular demand. While you’re waiting for British Science Week 2018 to kick off, why not dust off your trainers and travel through space with us? Run the Solar System is a 10k ‘virtual race’ which involved journeying across the Solar System from the Sun to Neptune in just 10 kilometres accompanied by music and audio commentary from science broadcaster Dallas Campbell.

 ASE logo                           National Museum Wales logo                     

STEM beyond the Classroom

Saturday 11 November, 10.00am – 2.30pm  National Museum of Wales

Inspirational lectures and workshops for primary & secondary teachers that aim to address the new science and technology curriculum.

  • Prof Justin Dillon, Professor of Science and Environmental Education, University of Bristol, explores some of the issues around learning outside the classroom.
  • Dr Rhys Jones, lecturer, herpetologist and presenter of Rhys to the Rescue, presents on his own experiences of science communication and the need for literacy in science.

Primary and Secondary science workshops will cover a range of topics from animal behaviour and scientific research, to chemistry and astronomy. A series of short teacher-led vignettes will explore approaches to inspiring science opportunities. There will also be a special Presentation of Awards for the Primary Science Quality Mark.

Book a FREE place and your workshop choices here. For more info please contact or 07870 351212.

Competitions and resources

Classroom display competition

With the start of the new academic year comes the inevitable classroom of blank display boards. As the term progresses and display boards blossom into being, then why not add your classroom display to our ever growing collection and enter our popular competition?

How can I get involved? All you need to do is share a photo of your favourite classroom display into one of these two community groups: Classroom Displays – Primary or Classroom Displays – Secondary.

Your entry must include:

  • An indication of the subject or topic area of the display
  • At least one photo of the display
  • Files of the resources on the display, or a clear description of them or where to find them, to enable other teachers to be inspired and replicate your display in their own classrooms

The closing date for entry is 15 December 2017 and six lucky winners will receive £100 worth of vouchers – just in time to treat yourself before Christmas! Winners will be notified by email by 22 December 2017.

Submit your entry here:    Classroom displays – primary

S4S Week competition ‘Am I a Good Scientist?’

This is a tricky question to answer.We think that a Good Scientist is one who addresses issues of ethical science, design and technology including peace, social justice and environmental sustainability and even this can mean many different things. We are asking you to explain what it means using our broader ideas. Your entry can take the form of words, pictures or words and pictures. These could be in any form, including: film poster or essay.

The important thing is that your medium captures what you think makes a good scientist and so can be an inspiration to others.

Enter our UK-wide competition with the chance to win these prizes including:

  • ‘Am I a Good Scientist’ experience for your class, club or group
  • • Science4Society Box of resources including games and activities
  • • Science Museum gift vouchers

For ideas about ‘Am I a Good Scientist?’ see the resources on

Closing date for entries: midday Friday 23rd February 2018. All entrants must be within the age categories below:
7-11, 12-14, 15-18
We welcome entries from schools, science clubs, youth groups and other organisation 


Better Energy School Awards                     

The Better Energy School Awards aim to assist and encourage environmental education for young people aged 5-11. They promote cross-curricular work on the environment and ANY work you are doing at your school covering any kind of environmental issue can be entered. The Better Energy School Awards for excellence in environmental education link with the National Curriculum for England and Wales and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence – explore our guides hereEnter your school today – win up to £5,000! Read the competition rules here.

The Better Energy School Awards are split into four regions (South/Central, North, Wales and West, Scotland) and there will be a winner for each Award category in each region. The best entry chosen from all of the winners in each region will be made a Regional Champion and will receive £1,000. The best of the Regional Champions will be chosen as the UK Champions, who receive a total of £5,000 for the school funds. In addition to all the winners, 16 Runners-Up will receive £250 each for the school funds. A further 20 Highly Commended schools will receive £100.

Representatives from the four Regional Champion schools attend a special Awards Ceremony in London, where they receive their prizes from specially invited celebrity guests. Previous venues include London Zoo and the Science Museum.

Funding opportunities

The Edina Trust Science Grant Scheme

The Edina Trust Science Grant Scheme (SGS) offers small grants to all state-funded primary schools, nurseries and special schools in designated educational areas. For the 2017-18 school year only, SGS grants will be available in Caerphilly.

The SGS is non-competitive: funding is set aside so that there is enough for every school in these areas to get the full amount. There is a Main Grant for “full” Primary Schools* and ASN Schools of £500 per year towards a science project. Examples of what the SGS will fund are:

Details of our simple application process are here.

Applications for British Science Week 2018 are now open

There are three grant schemes available to support British Science Week (9-18 March 2018) activities: one for schools, one for community groups, and one for BSA branches.

Kick Start Grants. This scheme offers grants for schools in challenging circumstances to organise their own events as part of British Science Week. There are two options available: Kick Start grant: A grant of up to £300 for your school to run an activity; Kick Start More grant: A grant of up to £700 for your school to host a science event or activity which involves your students and the local community

The Naturesave Trust grants.                                  

The Naturesave Trust was set up in 1995 to promote sustainable development. To date, the trust has funded projects worth over £580,00, throughout the UK.

You can apply for funding online here or by downloading an application form here and returning it by post, together with any further information you think might be useful, to: Bee West, Trust Administrator, The Naturesave Trust, South Devon House, Babbage Road, Totnes.

Our mailing address is:

See Science / Gweld Gwyddoniaeth

8 St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD

02920 344727 | |

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