Stem Newsletter for Secondary 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

Great British Science Club Day July 5th

Year 7 pupils at Rhymney Comprehensive were among the 25,000-young people from 300 schools across the country who took part in the British Science Association (BSA) Great British Science club celebrations on July 5th. The event was organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the BSA’s CREST Awards.

The focus of the day was the ‘Squashed tomato challenge’. Year 7 pupils were given the challenge of taking on a real-life problem affecting farmers in Nepal. To earn a living the farmers need to sell their produce at the local market, but the journey involves a long and dangerous walk that sometimes results in their produce getting squashed. Pupils were asked to design, build and test a way of moving tomatoes that won’t squash them!

Year 7 pupils applied their knowledge of forces friction and levers, to work creatively as a team, to take decisions, test ideas and present their ideas to the rest of the group, whilst having great fun during the process.

Chemistry at Work  - Swansea University

In July 2017 Chemistry at Work Day was organised by See Science with funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry and hosted by STEM Ambassador Dr Ian Mabbett the new Chemistry Department at Swansea University. 117 Year 9 pupils from 5 local secondary schools attended the day. They were split into 4 different groups attending 4 sessions each and having a campus tour during the lunch break. 

Sessions were delivered by a range of presenters from Academia and the ‘World of Work’. The pupils enjoyed a day full of diverse sessions from, ‘Analytical Chemistry – identifying chemicals’ to ‘The role of chemistry in global sustainable development’. All sessions were popular with both pupils and teachers but the highlight of the day for most of them was the one entitled ‘Chemistry in the 3rd dimension’ which involved them watching a film showing molecules in 3D.
Many thanks to STEM Ambassadors  Dr Ian Mabbett, Dr Joel Loveridge, Dr Matthew Turner, Llinos Misra and Sian Ashton 

Teachers commented that the day ‘brought Chemistry to life’ and that it was ‘A great day to inspire and enthuse young people into the world of Chemistry’.

There were plenty of positive comments from students, including some that implied they were considering a university education for the first time after taking the campus tour. The value of the day can be summed up in these two quotes: ‘I didn’t realise all the options that Chemistry opens up’ and ‘There is a lot more to Chemistry than I thought!’


                       CREST Awards for Secondary Schools


There is a new method for registering your pupils for a CREST Award and it’s now easier than ever to get involved!
What are CREST Awards?

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:

Discovery Award – KS3 pupils can earn an award in one collapsed timetable day
Bronze Award – KS3 pupils spend 10 hours on a single project. 
Silver Award – KS4 pupils spend 30 hours on a single project.
Gold Award – KS5 pupils spend 70 hours on a single project. They are well-regarded by universities.

Benefits of CREST Awards

All CREST Award projects help to 

  • Develop creativity
  • Develop teamwork
  • Develop time management skills
  • Give a sense of achievement for students of all ages and abilities
  • Improve GCSE grades and increase interest in continuing in STEM education and careers
  • Provide real-life experience of ‘being’ a scientist and working on STEM projects

How can I run CREST Awards?

CREST Awards are flexible as the projects can be on any STEM related topic. Teachers or students can come up with their own project ideas, provided that they meet the clearly set out CREST criteria:

Alternatively, there is a broad choice of downloadable project resources on the CREST website, including Sustainable Solutions and the brand new Wild Creations, both of which have been funded by the Welsh Government:

New registration process

Teachers no longer have to register pupils via their CREST Local Co-ordinator. All you need to do is register for an account at then you can register your pupils, manage projects and order certificates directly via the website. The Awards are still FREE for all schools in Wales. (Schools in other parts of the country have to pay!)

For more information, go to or contact Llinos at 

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

Recent comments from Prestatyn High and Ysgol Bae Baglan
 ICE Bridge Prestatyn High
STEM Ambassador Mark James
“I would just like to say what a great day in Prestatyn high school it was. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in the event. The ICE bridge is a great concept and can be used in many different ways. The Pig in a pipe really tested the pupils, and myself having never "played" with K-NEX kit. I met some fantastic people that are doing great work, such as Matthew Allport and Dr Iestyn Pierce.
I have applied to become a Bloodhound ambassador too as a result and would probably be able to offer this as a STEM event in the future. Once again Thank you a real pleasure.

Lab in a Lorry visiting Ysgol Bae Baglan with 6 STEM Ambassadors attending
“James, I wanted to say another HUGE thank you for organising such a brilliant event. I cannot believe the lorry is a free resource and I hope that we can see each other again! The pupils AND staff thoroughly enjoyed and it had the whole school talking. Even our primary pupils were asking if they could go on the lorry!
It was brilliant – I cannot thank you enough. 
If you ever have a free slot again please consider us!
Ellie Carter Teacher Bae Baglan
Can't wait for it to come back!” 
Want to do it all again - next week?” “I’m  Inspired to do science as women can do anything.” Pupils at Ysgol Bae Baglan



Teacher and pupil opportunites

Welsh Physics Teachers Conference Brecon

4 October. Christ College, Brecon

IoP logo

The 16th Annual Welsh PhysicsTeachers Conference – A free day of presentations and workshops for teachers and technicians

A wonderful opportunity for teachers and technicians to take part in a wide variety of physics CPD activities. This free day of workshops is open to all teachers, technicians, newly qualified and trainee teachers.

Talks include:

  • Dr Jess Wade Imperial College London: From Plastic Fantastic: Making my Way with Molecules
  • Professor Brian Foster, Oxford University and Jack Liebeck (professional violinist) – Einstein’s Universe
  • Choice of 8 workshops including WJEC, Isacc Physics, The Virtual Physics Laboratory,Maths for Physics GCSE, Physics and Music: the creative curriculum and Physics in a Box.

More information and booking here.

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 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 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

The Ultimate STEM Challenge is now open.

The Ultimate STEM Challenge is a national competition brought to you by BP, the Science Museum and STEM Learning.

We are asking teams of two to four students aged 11 to 14 from across the UK to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills to the test and win some fantastic prizes.

The Ultimate STEM Challenge has been designed to build confidence and teamworkskills, and to inspire everyone, not just the science enthusiasts! 

Get started: Choose from one of our three challenges based around the theme of My Sustainable Future. They are perfect for STEM Clubs, and you can request a STEM Ambassador to enhance students' experience.

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

Are you a UK student aged 11–16? Would you like the chance to win £100 (plus £500 for your school) by exploring copper’s essential role in our present and future? Read on! 

Copper surrounds us. It’s in our phones and tablets, the walls of our houses, our hospitals and even inside our bodies, but we rarely notice it. This competition calls on students to uncover copper, seeking it out in buildings, health and medicine, and new applications in renewable energy and sustainable transport systems.

How to take part

Choose one of the three categories and design an A3 poster that answers the questions with a scientific focus, exploring the red metal’s applications and the chemical, physical and mechanical properties behind its use. 

  • Building Services: 
  • Health and Medicine: 
  • Renewable Energy and Transport: 

Post your entry to: Uncover Copper Competition, Copper Development Association, 5 Grovelands Business Centre, Boundary Way, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 7TE.

Or email your entry as a PDF to:

The deadline is 25 May 2018. Winners will be announced in June.

Make sure you include: Your name, age and school year. Your school’s name and address. Your teacher’s name and email address. There are two age categories, 11–14 (Years 7­–9) and 14–16 (Years 10 and 11), so it’s especially important you include your age and year.

What you can win

First place in each category for each age group will win £100 plus £500 for their school. Second place in each category and age group will win £50 plus £250 for their school. Special awards may be given to posters that stand out from the rest, for their content or presentation. Schools with multiple winners will receive one prize (according to their highest-placed winner).

Give yourself the edge!
The Women’s Engineering Society’s (WES) Young Members Board (YMB) aare running an competition to try and provide High School students with more experience to reference when they are applying for University, College, Apprenticeships or jobs and to get them thinking about engineering as a future career option. 


The competition is open to all Secondary School Year Groups and All Genders! Every applicant shall be given recognition for their entry which they can use as evidence of their participation. There shall also be a number of Highly Commended certificates issued.


The theme of this year’s competition is Engineering a Better World in line with the new WES poster and accompanying hand-out which I have attached and the task is to complete an essay on that topic with a maximum word count of 1000 words.


This is a great opportunity to provide students with an additional experience to draw from in the future.

Funding opportunities

£300 Grants to run CREST Awards with young people underepresented in STEM 

Application deadline Friday 20th October 2017 at 6pm

Recent research into the impact of CREST Silver shows the benefits of CREST are even more significant for disadvantaged students, including raised science GCSE scores and greater uptake of STEM subjects at AS level.

Up to £300 to spend on support costs for running the Awards, such as CPD for school staff, supply teacher cover, CREST link schemes or a delivery partner, consumables or equipment.

•          Your Award(s) will be completed by Friday 22nd June 2018

In addition, preference will be given to schools that can be described as one or more of the following:

•           In Wales, you have 35% of pupils, or above, eligible for free school meals according to the Welsh Pupil Deprivation Grant school allocations 2016-17

•           Your school has a high proportion of pupils (over 30%) who are from black or minority ethnic backgrounds

•           You are a small school based in a remote and rural location (settlement of less than 10,000 people with a drive time of over 30 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more)

For more information go to: or contact 



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

The Young Darwinian 

The Young Darwinian  is a journal  for students and teachers in natural history, science, maths, engineering and entrepreneurship.

  • Publish your own word and ideas in an international journal
  • Receive feedback from experts
  • Link your ideas with other students around the world
  • Work with the curriculum more creatively
  • Learn about other student projects
  • Discover how the education system works in other countries

Curiosity inspires,Discovery reveals

Our mailing address is:

See Science / Gweld Gwyddoniaeth

8 St Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff CF10 3DD

02920 344727 | |

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