STEM Newsletter for secondary 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:

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

Hawthorn High were competitors  in the BP Ultimate Challenge  2017. Stuart visited the STEM Club, in his Ambassador role, providing invaluable support to give confidence in a very competitive project "Rescue Rockets"
"I was invited along to give advice on air flow and help with potential optimisations to their design, and give a brief understanding of constraints from an engineer’s point of view" he said.

After a whistle stop tour of each group to get a progress update on where they were and what they wanted to achieve. I then provided an overview about the effect of centre of gravity vs the centre of pressure want what options are available to stabilise a rocket, as a result a of the teams revised their designs.

As part of their challenge the students have to bring the rocket or part of the rocket back to earth with a slower descent with some sort of visible aid to draw people attention, similar to a flare. Again I went over some of the principle of jettisoning part of rocket and issues that can be found in doing so; I also provided several LED and battery to the school for the flashing lights.
After almost an hour, 2 of the teams were ready to test parts of their re designed rockets, one went extremely well and one not so, however this is science after all and the team ruled out 1 design change that would not work, and now considering another.

It was a very busy hour, but both Students and I not only had fun but both gained some invaluable benefits."
CAT 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. A visit to CAT engages with STEM and other areas including Welsh Bacc.
Over 400 pupils have benefitted from the bursary for groups from North Wales. This is likely to run out this year but it’s still worth applying.
A teacher from a KS4 North Wales group benefitting from the bursary commented: “Following the visit the pupils completed a mind map back at the school about how they could respond to the challenge of climate change. After the visit they had lots of ideas”
Funds available by application while they last, so apply now
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 enrich their understanding.
The ‘Wind power’ and ‘Where’s the Impact?’ workshops are great favourites along with guided tours, our Greenhouse and Energy Trumps games and investigating “Zero carbon” future scenarios. The new CAT Quarry trail is very interesting to explore, adding to CAT’s out of the classroom experience.
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.


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

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 which is now fully booked 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!

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 the Autumn Term 2017. To book email

Chemistry at Work
Chemistry at Work will be held this year at the Department of Chemistry Singleton Campus, Swansea University with thanks to funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry.on Tuesday 11th July from 9.30am to 2.30pm.
See Science would like to offer up to 30 places for students in year 9 from schools in he Swansea area  to attend the event.  
 Chemistry at Work events offer students the opportunity to appreciate the place of chemistry in everyday life and the world of work, particularly in the local area. The workshops will aim to show a positive image of the chemical sciences as exciting, interesting and wealth-creating activities that are worth considering as a career.
During the day, students take part in four workshops, including presentations from local companies that use the chemical sciences in their field of work and hands-on experiences of chemistry in the real world. There will also be a tour of the campus provided. Please contact for further details.

Living and Learning with Water

Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre, Cerrigydrudion. 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                 

A teacher conference for all who teach physics in North Wales
The 10th IOP Conference at Bangor University 
Tuesday 4th July
Lecture: Bionic Boy
When Ben’s son had his arm amputated at 10 days old, he found the design and waiting time for a prosthetic arm unacceptable.  Beginning work in his shed he developed a better model, using an Xbox scanner and 3D printer. His aim through his company Ambionics is to help children everywhere adopt and continue to use prosthetics through into adulthood.
Ben Ryan Founder and CEO Ambionic, Anglesey, North Wales
Choose 3 workshops from:
Make and Take: Joule Thief (Dr Iestyn Pierce Head of Electronic Engineering Dept Bangor University)
Make and take: Build a solar spectroscope (David Grace IOP)
Virtual Reality tour of Diamond light source (Gary Williams IOP)
WJEC update (Helen Francis WJEC)
Astronomy Workshop (Prof Andy Newsam NSO Liverpool John Moores University)
Meteorites- A Thinking Skills in Science Mini-Project (Anthony Clowser Ysgol John Bright/IOP)
For a place e-mail Andrea Fesmer at


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. 

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.


BT STEM Crew is a new digital education programme for 11-16 year olds, brought to you by the 1851 Trust and Land Rover BAR, the British team challenging for the 35th America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport.

With BT STEM Crew, teachers and students can harness the power of the America’s Cup to bring STEM subjects to life through free films, worksheets and interactive quizzes.

Explore materials, forces and sustainability by challenging your class to design a boat to win the America’s Cup in 2019!

The winner(s) will bring their class on a visit to the Tech Deck & Education Centre at the Land Rover BAR team base in Portsmouth, including a unique opportunity to meet one of the Land Rover BAR designers, an on the water sailing session PLUS a tablet computer for the teacher.

They need to show us they have thought about the science and engineering behind their choices, considered recycling of materials and made sustainable selections wherever possible. 

For more information on how to enter by 30th June 2017, download the Design a Race Boat teacher and student guides below


New videos on Sound Waves

Investigate science in the kitchen

Follow young scientists, Bethan and Tariq, as they learn about science around the home, with free videos for 11 to 14s from our Where’s the Science in that? The Home collection.


Teach about elements, compounds and mixtures in an everyday kitchen, with the Compounds and mixtures video. Use the What is a pure substance? video in class to investigate the purity of bottled and tap water.


Or use our Filtration video and activity sheets to find out how new technologies are making it easier to purify contaminated water.   

Explore free resources

Videos on Pure and Impure Substances

New! Microphones and Loudspeakers for 11 to 14s

Make scientific concepts easier to understand with animations and real-life examples.


Find more videos and animations about pure and impure substances from The Home to introduce concepts like evaporation, dissolving, compounds and mixtures, and chromatography


Funding opportunities

Forensic Field Work - We are looking for Science Teachers in state Secondary schools to help us with an exciting project. We're evaluating a unique educational programme known as 'The Crunch', an initiative about the links between food, our health and the environment. As part of The Crunch your school should have received a free science kit. We'd like you to help by using these resources and teaching one lesson to your pupils (which we would like to come and observe). Once you've taught the lesson we'd like to contact you and get a sense of how well it was received by the students, how easy it was to communicate etc.
As a thank you for your time and efforts we will be donating £200 to your schools science department. If this is something you'd like to help us with or if you'd like further information about the details of the research then please contact Felicity McInnes on the number below. 0
20 3743 2661 ext 307

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

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

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

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 

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

The grant scheme, which is open to both members and non-members, is designed to support schools engagement activities that aim to:

  • 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 audience

The next deadline for applications to the Large grant scheme is Monday 3 July. For projects on a smaller scale and applicants seeking to pilot new ideas we also offer Small grants, up to £2,000, open year-round.

For further information and to apply visit:

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