STEM Newsletter for primary schools in Wales

September 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.

Latest STEM news

Fochriw Primary School
- the FIRST School in Wales Awarded Primary Science Quality Mark GOLD award!

Primary Science Quality Awards have been awarded to 168 infant, junior, primary, middle and special schools to celebrate a commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning.  So far, since its national launch in 2010, over 2,300 schools across the UK have achieved the award.

The Primary School Quality Mark scheme enables schools to work together to share good practice and is supported by professional development led by local experts. It encourages teacher autonomy and innovation while at the same time offering a clear framework for development in science subject leadership, teaching and learning.

The Primary Science Quality Mark is led by the University of Hertfordshire, School of Education in partnership with the Primary Science Teaching Trust. It is supported by the Royal Society for Chemistry, the Ogden Trust and the Association for Science Education.

Headteacher Sharon Pascoe said, “Gaining a Primary Science Quality Award is a significant achievement. Science is not atomistic at Fochriw Primary School. We carefully plan opportunities for holistic, real-life learning to bring the curriculum to life. There has been a positive impact raising standards and with children engaging with great science both in and outside the classroom. Our children have positive attitudes towards science and technology as well as secure science understanding and skills. Becoming the first school in Wales to achieve the PSQM at the highest level makes us all so proud.”

The school will receive the award in a prestigious event held at the Harper Collins News Building in London, in November 2017.  

Jane Turner, PSQM National Director said: “Fochriw Primary is definitely the first primary school in Wales to be awarded a Primary Science Quality mark gold award!  The submission was excellent and fully deserving of the PSQM award at the highest level. I am absolutely delighted the school has set such a fantastic example for other schools in Wales to follow. Many congratulations!”

Fochriw Primary School will be sharing their practice at the ‘STEM Beyond the Classroom’ Conference on 11th November in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.  

Cerian Angharad (PSQM Hub Leader) said "it has been a privilege to work with Fochriw Primary School and celebrate their  success. The evidence  gathered for PSQM clearly demonstrated that  Science is top of the agenda in Fochriw."  

Renishaw race to the front with Green Power Goblin 

Greenpower racing events are held at many venues across the UK. Teams of pupils or students build a car which they race at a local event. The Goblin event is aimed for 9 – 11 yrs

60 primary school teams from 6 schools travelled to Renishaw Miskin from South Wales and Somerset, to battle it out to become crowned as the overall winner. Each team built an electric single seat car at their primary schools and then competed in a slalom, drag race and sprint event during the course of the race day. The day ended in victory for Millfield Preparatory School Somerset.
Abercerdin Primary School had great success winning ‘Best Portfolio’ detailing how they built their IET Formula Goblin, how they obtained sponsorship, as well as many other topics.

15 STEM Ambassadors at Rensihaws were joined by Ambassadors Rhian Jones and Joshua Bratchley to support the pupils as judges and mentors.

STEM Ambassador Simon Biggs, Education Outreach Officer at Renishaw commented
"It’s so good to see new schools taking part in the event this year; the excitement and enthusiasm from the schools has been fantastic. We can clearly see that pupils who took part in the event have used STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects to improve the performance of their cars this year and have also thought of new ways to build innovative body work for the Goblin racers” 
Jeremy Way, CEO of Greenpower added, ”We are extremely grateful to Renishaw for all of the support they have provided. This allowed us to run the event which inspires so many children into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related careers later on in life.”  
“South Wales is an area that we would like to continue to grow and develop; next year we’d like to see double the amount of schools engaged in the project and attending the event.” 

If you would like to get a school involved in the Greenpower Project or would like to support next year’s event, please contact


Going the Extra Mile - at Llangors Primary.  

STEM Ambassador Bob Love took an amazing workshop on Robots to a small rural school Llangors near Brecon. Teaming with Bob was STEM Ambassador Chris Probert. The amazing scale of the workshop and quality of the practical activites was testified by teacher Meg Jenkins who had placed a request. Clearly the school have benefitted from continual Ambassador visits as this was their 6th experience of Ambassador quality delivery! Bob is planning a Drone workshop for next term and welcomes Ambassadors wishing to see and support his activities.

“Miss Hurn said their class had a wonderful day! (She's very excited about the drones next year...) I just wanted to thank you again, especially for the level of effort you went to to really go above and beyond for the children. I really think the extra mile makes all the difference.” Meg Jenkins 

"Thank you so much Bob and Chris, we had loads of fun!" pupils        


                       CREST Awards for Primary Schools


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
  • Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for secondary pupils

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. 

Benefits of CREST Awards

CREST Awards give children the opportunity to participate in

  • Hands-on Science
  • Enquiry-based learning

They are straightforward for teachers to run

  • Downloadable resources
  • No need for a science background
  • No need for specialist equipment

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

The National Education Show

Friday 13 October, 9am – 5:30pm. Cardiff City Hall

National EDucation Show logo

The National Education Show showcases the knowledge, resources and expert guidance to inspire, empower and develop great learners.

Around 3,000 visitors are expected to visit the National Education Show, which includes more than 100 exhibitions from leading education technology developers and a range of seminars from guest speakers. There are plenty of opportunities to pitch your technology, look for new educational resources or simply network with like-minded professionals.

Book in to one of the seminars to receive a CPD certificate to add to your professional portfolio – some widely experienced and inspirational guest speakers within the education sector are being lined up to attend, including Alex Kelly, Matthew McAvoy, Gareth Coombes and Jane Evans.

Don't miss out on this fantastic day – more information here.

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  is now fully booked and South Wales  (4th -10th October) 2017 but there are opportunities  for schools to book  shows in the week beginning 15th January

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.

 Available FREE to all primary 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 the Spring Term 2018  email

 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
Stop what you're doughing, cancel all your flans, the Bio-Bodies Bake-Off is back for 2017!
GBBO was back on our screens on Tuesday! Love it or hate it, you can’t deny some of those ‘illusion cakes’ were pretty unbelievable - but we at The Physiological Society think you can do better! 
Biology Week (Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 October, 2017) is on the horizon, and we are celebrating with our annual physiology cake decorating competition.
We are inviting you to make a bake, savoury or sweet, representing physiology, the science of how your body works. If you can impress our cake judges you could be in with a chance of winning some great prizes! For more information, including a downloadable information sheet and posters for your school or workplace, visit our website
You can browse through previous entries on twitter using hashtag #BioBakes, take a look at our Facebook albums of previous entries, or check out some of the staff’s favourite bakes from over the years on our blog: (Game of Thrones fans look out for the white walker).  
Submission deadline: 5pm Friday 6 October 2017
Public Vote: Thursday 12 & Friday 13 October 2017
Announcement: 4pm Friday 13 October
On your marks, get bready, bake!
#Biobakes #sciencecakes

Get involved with Programming, Imagine it, Code it, Build it, and Win it!

The DVLA is running a Wales National Coding Challenge for 7 to 11 year olds, in association with Code Club and the STEM Ambassador hub Wales, Incredible Oceans, Brake, The four Police Forces in Wales and School Beat, Road Safety Wales, The Fire and rescue Service and the British Army. 

The challenge will enable interested pupils to develop their problem solving, communication and teamwork skills as well as improving their knowledge of computer programming in a fun and innovative way and also win thousands of pounds of IT equipment for their schools or Groups.
2nd Prize - £2000 of IT Equipment
3rd Prize - £1000 of IT Equipment
2 Runner Up Prizes - £750 of IT Equipment each.

To enter the competition click here

And we're not finished yet! If you participate in the Prize Giving Event on the 28th November either at the venue or by live link at your school or Group, you will be included in our fabulous prize draw where, thanks to the support and generosity of our brilliant sponsors, there will be thousands of pounds worth of IT prizes up for grabs - click here to attend the event.

The challenge is to build a game using SCRATCH (a fun coding language) which is available to download free of charge from this site To enter the competition, you will need to complete an entry form, click here to download, and see our How To Enter page for more information.

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.


Curiosity is a brand new £2.5m partnership between BBC Children in Need and the Wellcome Trust which will use the power of exciting and engaging science activities to create change for children and young people experiencing disadvantage in the UK.

We are inviting applications for grants of up to £10,000 to fund projects that engage children and young people in science based activities. This is not about formal education. Projects should encourage young people to be curious about the world around them and inside them, making a positive difference in their lives: building confidence and self-esteem, developing life skills and expanding horizons.

You do not have to be an expert in science, or even have delivered science activities before to participate, and we encourage organisations who want to try something new to apply.

Applications are open now, and will close at midnight on 22 September 2017.
Grants will run from January 2018 to the end of September 2018.
We will be expect delivery to be completed by the end of the 2018 Summer holidays to give the best chance for learning to be collected and for you to engage in the second round of grant making.
n this first round of funding we anticipate that up to 20 grants will be awarded across the UK

The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering large grants, £2,000 to £10,000, to support public and schools engagement events 

The  Outreach Fund provides financial support to members, individuals and organisations in order to enable them to run chemistry-based public and schools engagement activities.

The grant scheme is open to all (individuals and organisations). This includes, but is not limited to, members of the Royal Society of Chemistry, member-led groups, researchers in academia or industry, museums,Applications for schools engagement activities should demonstrate how the proposed activities will:

  • enrich student's chemistry education and not solely deliver the curriculum 
  • provide students with opportunities to explore chemistry through local contexts, AND/OR
  • demonstrate career opportunities and develop employability skills, AND/OR
  • provide opportunities which would not normally be accessible to the students taking part, e.g for hard-to-reach student audiences.

Applications for public engagement activities should demonstrate how the proposed activities will:

  • increase chemists' visibility as approachable people AND/OR
  • increase the publics' confidence in discussing chemistry AND/OR
  • demonstrate the relevance of chemistry to everyday interests and concerns.

Small grants

To apply for a grant up to £2,000 please submit an application through our online application system. Applications are now open and will remain open throughout the year. We run a rolling application process and the next deadline is 12 noon on Monday 2 October 2017.   Apply now
More details at


Our mailing address is:

See Science / Gweld Gwyddoniaeth

8 St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD

02920 344727 | |

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