STEM Ambassador Hub Wales Newsletter February 2017

STEM Newsletter for secondary schools in Wales                                              February 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
Bryntirion Primary Feeder Primary Day

Each year Bryntirion School hosts their feeder Primary Schools introducing pupils to the school through a variety of round robin practical activities. STEM Ambassadors deliver the Science and Engineering workshops Each session is 30 minutes, this year the ‘STEM’ activities included: STEM Ambassadors from:  Tenovus with a game on genetics and cancer research; Jon Laver with demonstrations on Electronics and Sian Ashton with a session on Diabetes and testing mock urine samples for glucose. Teachers were very enthused by the impact of the science modules on the pupils – many pupils keen to develop their interest in practical science when attaining secondary school.
6 Sessions were delivered to 250 Year 6 pupils, pictured are Trelales School and Maes Yr Haul at the Diabetes testing session and Tenovus at their Healthy Cell workshop.
Teacher comments were glowing: “Year 6 enjoyed a science taster day as part of their transition to comprehensive school.”

“I would just like to thank everyone who took part yesterday. It was a big success and we’ve had a lot of positive verbal feedback.
Without your kindness, giving up your own time, none of this would have been possible.” Helen Workman Science Coordinator Bryntirion School

“I had a great time with pupils @BryntirionComp Science Taster Day - talking about keeping our cells healthy” STEM Ambassador Lisa Whittaker
IPSEN Biopharm impact across Mid Wales
Ipsen Biopharm is a major French Pharmaceutical company. The Wales site is based at Wrexham and we are privileged to have 6 STEM Ambassadors active on site. The company manufactures pharmaceutical products including treatments for prostate cancer, muscles spasms and growth failure among children. The strategic location for this team of Ambassadors was successfully realized when Dave Bass, Head of Biology at Welshpool High contacted me with a speculative request for a session on ‘Applications of Biology in the Workplace’.
Ipsen Ambassadors had already attended a careers event, but this session required a workshop developed to make the session interactive and engaging for Yr 10 pupils. The success was realized by helpful discussion with Dave and the Ipsen team led by Kevin Owen.
The session included:
·         Teacher Dave Bass dressed up in the PPE equipment for manufacturing pharmaceuticals.
·         A talk from Ipsen on life as a professional Biologist specialising in Microbiology
·         3 Pupils were ‘gowned up’ to simulate working in a sterile environment
·         A CSI type challenge for all pupil teams - using microbiology clues to investigate the effects of microbial contamination on people and products
The session is an example of collaborative support and planning:  STEM Ambassador coordination in sourcing the expertise, Ambassadors trained at the induction; excellent discussion and planning with the teacher and the dedication of teacher and Ambassadors to deliver a session tailored to the teacher’s aims.
 “To say that it was a brilliant session would be an understatement! We were bowled over by the welcome and by the interaction with the pupils. It’s thrown a whole new level of respect for the hard work that teachers put in” Kevin Owen
Massive thanks to Kevin and his team for the STEM activity…. Year 10s found it very enjoyable … several of them have commented “it has made them think differently about science careers.”  The enthusiasm displayed by all the group from Ipsen was infectious and the activity was so well planned and resourced that I could not believe it was their first trip out to a classroom”  Dave Bass Head of Biology Welshpool
Teacher and pupil opportunites


9am - 3pm, Monday 13 March             The Senedd, Cardiff
Secure places for your school now !  
Contact Evelyn Forsyth-Barnett on 07885864839 or

On the day...
  • Visit Techniquest, the Welsh science and discovery centre and The Senedd, National Assembly for Wales.
  • Meet the Royal Patron of WISE, HRH The Princess Royal and hear her speak.
  • Be inspired by the personal story of Swansea-born Chair of WISE, Trudy Norris-Grey, who is Microsoft’s managing director of worldwide business development for the public sector.
  • Take part in a People Like Me workshop and get to know young female role models from sponsor companies including Network Rail, Welsh Water and GE Aviation: find out what they actually do and why they love their jobs!

How to hack your home

Reardon Smith Theatre, National Museum Cardiff, CF10 3NP

  • School groups: 1.30 – 2.30pm. Free but places must be booked in advance
  • Families: 6.30 – 7.30pm. Price: £10.00 – £12.00

In this interactive family show inspired by the Royal Institution’s world-famous Christmas Lectures electrical engineer Danielle George will show you how to use your imagination to take control of the devices we use every day. With live experiments, find out how to take control of the devices you use every day and achieve extraordinary things. This is tinkering for the 21st century!

For more information, and to book tickets, click here.

ASE Teachmeet 
2nd March  2017 5pm

St David's Catholic College , Ty Gwyn Road, Cardiff CF23 5QD

Teachmeet Wiki :

to book on Eventbrite go to

What is a TeachMeet?

A TeachMeet is an informal gathering for those of us who are enthusiastic about learning and teaching and who are keen to share ideas. Everyone is invited to share approaches they have trialed in their classrooms on a theme of data .

Our Keynote Speaker!

Mr Meilyr Rowlands, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales (HMCI). ESTYN.

Engage on Twitter: Before, during and after the event make sure you use the Twitter hash tag #TMASE to engage with us.

What can you do? Let's Talk Data 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 five-minute presentation, or lead a round table discussion.

There is no obligation to present anything, but if you are interested in attending, either as a speaker or a listener, please book on line  or to discuss further contact Cerian Angharad (

Virtual Physics Laboratory!

St Cyres Comprehensive  School,
CF64 2XP
 Monday 13th March 2017     4.15pm – 6.00pm


Have you ever struggled to explain a difficult concept in physics? Have you wanted to do an experiment in class for which you did not have the equipment? The Virtual Physical Laboratory has approximately 220 interactive experiments which have been used successfully in the classroom by teachers as well as by pupils individually. The programs have been written to support the specifications of both the Physics GCSE, AS and A2.
Teachers can obtain a free copy of the software by attending this workshop.
Booking is essential. To book a place please use the link below or call 07870351212 or go to


Changing futures at CAT during British Science Week 2017
With British Science Week 2017 fast approaching the education department at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) are very excited to announce their three day programme of talks, tours and activities based on “Changing Futures”.
Tailored to suit individual visiting school/college groups, the interactive programme will encourage discussion and critical thinking that respond to issues relating to climate change. Pupils will come away with a solutions focused approach having engaged with the impacts and issues around local and global climate change. They will also explore what the UK could do to reduce carbon emissions, the potential of reducing energy use, renewable energy, changes in consumption, the various impacts of food choices, building design and materials and many other topics related to individual and society choices.
These interactive workshops will be delivered at an appropriate level depending on age and background understanding.
Event date: 14 March 10:00-14:00
Event date: 15 March 10:00-14:00
Event date: 16 March 10:00-14:00
Please contact Gabrielle Ashton at CAT for more info, prices and booking.
Gabrielle Ashton
Education Administrator / Gweinyddwres Addysg
01654 705983

ENTHUSE Celebration Awards

The ENTHUSE Celebration Awards recognise the impact of CPD across all STEM subjects, and across the entire STEM Learning network.

The awards are presented each year to celebrate the impact that teachers, technicians and support staff have on students, colleagues, schools, colleges and peers.

This year we are recognising the impact of all CPD across our network, whether at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, through partners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, or through our network of Science Learning Partnerships; and whether it took place in your school, at another venue, or online. Your own internal CPD counts too.

We have also made it just as easy to nominate a colleague as to apply yourself, for department or school leaders that wish to recognise the quality of their staff.

In April 2017 there will be a series of local awards events in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. The winners at each of these regional events will then be invited to a national celebration at the Houses of Parliament in July 2017.

Applications are now open until 5 March 2017. Please be advised that applications should be made online.

Join Arctic Live, the annual event that will connect you and your classroom with members of an expedition based at the UK Arctic Research Station on Svalbard, in Ny-Ålesund, the most northerly permanent settlement in the world.

Along with the award-winning Frozen Oceans resources, the event is a unique and engaging experience that can ignite students’ passion for science and the environment globally.

  • You can book a free one-to-one Skype live session with a scientist from the British Antarctic Survey or a polar researcher in the UK.
  • You can also register for a Youtube Live lesson with a member of an Arctic expedition based on Svalbard.
  • A digital pack with guidance on how to best enjoy this experience will be ready for download shortly.

Visit the Arctic Live 2017 page and register for this event taking place between 7-10 March and 13-16 March

Five for Sydney

Amazing Science. Amazing Experience.

In July 2017 the International Science School (ISS) will gather 150 top science students from nine countries (Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the USA and the United Kingdom) at the University of Sydney for a two-week fully residential programme of lectures by leading researchers, laboratory tours and hands-on activities ... not to mention a rich schedule of social events.

The ISS is open to year 12 students studying A-level physics. Five full scholarships, each worth around £3500, will be awarded to cover flights to Sydney, all accommodation and meals, and the full two-week ISS programme. Teachers can nominate up to two students per school and full details, including a link to the online application form, are available at:  

 "The whole experience of the ISS was truly life changing. Everything about it, from the lectures to the other students, was fantastic."
(Tommy, UK participant 2015)

OurFuture.Energy is an interactive website that engages
11-16 year olds in a debate on our future energy supply - how our demand for energy can be met reliably, at an acceptable economic and environmental cost. Visitors to the website will discover the science underpinning the critical issues related to energy supply and equip them with the knowledge to form their own views around the energy trilemma. The website also encourages young people to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in the energy sector by nurturing an interest in the core science, technology, engineering society and skilled workforce is vital for the UK to confront the challenges we face to deliver a secure, affordable and cleaner energy future.

The Longitude Explorer Prize                 

The Longitude Explorer Prize is a youth-focused challenge for secondary school pupils aged 11-16, which aims to provide a practical education opportunity focused on developing STEM skills through the mechanism of a challenge prize.

The prize is seeking innovative and practical solutions that use web-enabled technology to help improve health and wellbeing in the UK.

Teams from secondary schools around the UK are eligible to submit their ideas until Friday 3 March 2017, with a first place prize of £10,000 and two runner-up prizes of £1,000.

UKMT Team Maths Challenge (for Years 8 and 9) - last chance to enter this year’s competition!


The Team Maths Challenge (TMC) is a national competition, run by the UK Maths Trust, with the aim of engaging and enhancing pupils’ mathematical thinking, communication and teamwork skills.

The Bright Ideas Challenge.
This cross-curricular schools competition is designed to spark young people’s curiosity in science and engineering and help teachers deliver the curriculum in a fun and engaging way. There are also some great cash prizes up for grabs for winning schools.
With two-thirds of the world set to live in cities by 2050, the competition invites secondary students, aged 11-14, to imagine creative ideas for how cities of the future might be powered to be vibrant, healthy and clean places to live. In teams of up to five, students will explore the changing world around them and apply their creativity, problem solving and STEM skills to tackle big energy problems.To make it easy and rewarding to deliver, the competition comes complete with a step-by-step Teacher Toolkit, Student Workbook and a Classroom Presentation centred on a series of four mini-videos, as well as fun engineering ice-breaker activities. There’s no limit to the number of teams your school can enter, so spread the word and encourage your students to get involved.
12 winners from across Great Britain will receive £1,500 to super-size STEM teaching at their school, a tablet computer for every team member and funded trips to Make the Future Live, Shell’s exciting festival of ideas and innovation coming to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park May 25-28, 2017. One school will be crowned champion, receiving a total of £5,000 to support STEM teaching in their school. With these prizes on offer, there’s every reason for schools to think big!
Teachers can download the resources, find out about the prizes and read the Terms and Conditions at

URDD 2017 ‘Focus on science’ competition

Give your lessons a ‘Focus on Science’ and enter into this year’s science competition at the Urdd Eisteddfod. The challenge is to create a science project (as an individual or a group) The project should be in the format of research work, investigation or a presentation. Competitors may choose their own theme and some suggestions are provided on the Crest Awards or Stem Cymru website.Competitors should present a report up to 1,000 words for age Year 7-9, or 2,500 words for age Year 10 and under 19.Deadline for entries is 1 March 2017. More information at the Urdd website.

PA Raspberry Pi competition 2016-2017

PA Consulting logoThe new PA Raspberry Pi competition challenges teams of children and young people to invent under the theme of ‘Innovation for All’. The first 100 teams to enter will receive a free Raspberry Pi computer starter pack to help with their innovation projects. The challenge culminates in a day of science and engineering discovery and an ‘Oscar’ style awards ceremony and is open to academic years 4-13. Applications in either English or Welsh are welcomed and resources regarding the competition are available in both languages. Contact RaspberryPi for more information.

Deadline for submissions is 15 March 2017.

Our mailing address is:

See Science / Gweld Gwyddoniaeth

8 St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD

02920 344727 | |

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