Welcome to the first STEM newsletter of the new school year for Secondary Schools and FE Colleges from your local STEM Ambassador Hub. 

This edition is jam-packed with news, updates and opportunities for you and your pupils to engage with STEM in all kinds of different ways!

Competitions are ideal for sparking pupils' interest in a particular subject as well as giving an opportunity to link with a STEM Ambassador who may have relevant expertise. More on requesting a STEM Ambassador here

Please encourage new colleagues to register with STEM Learning in order to receive the See Science newsletter in the future using the link: 
 www.stem.org.uk/user/register and then opt to receive newsletters.

See Science  have a facebook page where we will also be sharing lots of new ideas regularly - please like or follow the page.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can support the teaching of STEM subjects.
With best wishes 

The See Science Team

NEWS and Updates
Women in Construction
Science Aglow, Pembrokeshire
STEM Ambassadors at the National Eisteddfod
CREST Awards Impact Report
STEM Learning Mentoring Scheme

ESA School Projects
Chemical Engineering Workshops for South Wales
Materials Engineering Workshops for South Wales

Wales Tech Week 2023
CREST Silver and Gold Top Tips session
Ready, steady, chemistry week is go
Spooky STEM-tacular activities!
CREST Discovery Information session
Space for Everyone, Wrexham
Nickel: Past, present and future, Swansea

Competitions & Grants 
DVLA Code Challenge
Starpack Schools Competition 2024
FIRST LEGO League 2023-2024
CyberCenturion competition
Teen Tech Awards
Science without Borders® Challenge Student Art Contest
UKROC Competition

Latest STEM news and updates 

Women in Construction

Friday 7th July saw a Women in Construction event at Coleg Menai in Llangefni, where over 90 pupils from the local area were given an insight into the construction industry.

Throughout the day, the girls listened to keynote speakers who spoke about their role in the industry and took part in interactive activities delivered by a number of construction companies to inspire them to consider a career in the industry.

STEM Ambassadors Kasia Williamson and Kate Jones from Read Construction ran a myth buster activity – challenging the girls to question common misconceptions about the construction industry. It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with local students and show them that there is a place in construction for everyone, regardless of gender or background. 

It was rewarding to hear that many of the students that had not previously considered a career in the industry, were now thinking about construction as a future career.

Latest STEM news and updates

Science Aglow at the Darwin Centre,
Pembrokeshire College

Science Aglow at the Darwin Centre, Pembrokeshire College was an opportunity to showcase different STEM organisations working in the area and highlight potential career paths available. The focus of the day was Energy. The event provided primary pupils with an opportunity to work on a project of their own in school and present their work to a panel of advisors, participate in a carousel of workshops provided by STEM Ambassadors from local industry and attend a show. The Royal Institution presented a show ‘We’ve got the Power’ for pupils followed by CPD for teachers on science presentation skills and a Community Show for families from the local area
Over 130 pupils from Fenton Community Primary School, Lamphey Primary School, Johnston CP School and Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School attended the event, bringing with them a science investigation to present to the Darwin team to develop their science communication skills.
The pupils took part in a carousel of STEM workshops, delivered by STEM Ambassadors:

  • Timothy Brew - Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
  • Magnus Harrold and Michelle Hitches – Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult
  • Rebecca Laye - Royal Society of Chemistry Education Coordinator in Wales

All pupils presented their renewable energy investigation to a panel in order to highlight the work that had been carried out during the term in school.

The event for pupils concluded with an informative and fun show, ‘We’ve got the Power’ show from Usmaa Choudry, The Royal Institution - Science in Schools.
Samantha Williams, manager of the Dragon LNG Darwin Experience said: "Over 100 pupils took part in Science Aglow and we were blown away by the quality of their science investigations and their presenting skills.
"Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and we are so grateful to all of these fantastic organisations for inspiring the next generation of scientists."
The schools’ event was followed by a Royal Institution CPD session for primary and secondary teachers.
Not everyone who teaches science has a background in science themselves. A CPD session with a professional presenter can help build skills and confidence to inspire children with practical science in engaging and simple ways. All of the attendees were encouraged to network and share good practice with each other.
The Community show – ‘Rockets’, again by the Royal Institution, ignited interest in science in people of all ages, through a mix of talks, demonstrations and interactive experiments.

The Science Aglow event was coordinated by See Science in association with the ASE and the Darwin Centre. Please get in touch with cerian.angharad@see-science.co.uk if your school would like to be involved in organising a similar event to engage with STEM Ambassadors in your area.

Latest STEM news and updates

STEM Ambassadors at the National Eisteddfod

The National Eisteddfod 2023 was held in Boduan on the Llyn Peninsula from the 5th to the 12th of August. Many STEM Ambassadors were present throughout the week on various stalls engaging with visitors of all ages.


This is from Dr Victoria Bradley of the Institute of Biomedical Science:

Held at a different location in Wales in the first week of August every year, the National Eisteddfod is the largest cultural festival in Europe and celebrates the culture and language of Wales. The Eisteddfod attracts 150,000 annual visitors over the week with many events and activities for the whole family. 

Although Wales may be well known as the Land of Song, the contribution of Welsh researchers to the scientific world is equally remarkable, and is becoming a growing part of the Eisteddfod. 

This year, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) took the lead in hosting a stall in the Science and Technology village at the Eisteddfod.

Co-organised by Dr Victoria Bradley (IBMS Council member from Cardiff Metropolitan University) and Luke Hughes (Head of Education at the BCUHB), the stall was set up to recognise the work undertaken by biomedical and other healthcare scientists – including those working in pathology.
Dr Bradley adds:“We were fortunate to have support from IBMS members across Wales to prepare for this event. We plan to attend every year now going forward, including the Urdd Eisteddfod, which is aimed specifically at younger children.”
Through this stall, colleagues across the BCUHB, RCPath members, and IBMS Wales Region members helped to raise awareness of the work done by pathology laboratories and of the role of biomedical science in healthcare.  

Visitors took the opportunity to ask questions about the field, how samples are processed in laboratories, and the breadth of analysis that biomedical scientists can undertake. Many were particularly fascinated to find out how important laboratory test results are to any diagnostic process and to the provision of personalised medicine.
Our members were additionally able to discuss careers with school students across varying age groups. With A-level students, members highlighted the importance of IBMS Accredited biomedical science degrees and explained apprenticeship opportunities available in pathology as well. For younger children, members were able to utilise the new Welsh language version of our Superlab comics to engage children in science-related conversations.

 Another STEM Ambassador who was involved with a different stall shared this comment:
“The STEM activities were welcomed by all those I interacted with and our presence seemed to be greatly appreciated by the local community. 
One of the main benefits was reaching young people who would not normally have the opportunity to participate in STEM activities in this very rural area. Regularly children, notably a high proportion of girls aged 3 to 11, either dragged their parents or came alone to the stall so that they could take part. They were clearly keen on STEM and their successes with our activities both supported and reinforced their desire for STEM involvement in their lives. For many of these young people the event provided a rare opportunity for them to interact with STEM and the enthusiasm shown only highlighted the need to reach this demographic. On a personal level I found this very rewarding.”

STEM Ambassadors are available for school visits all year round. To learn how you can request a STEM Ambassador for your school, contact ambassadors@see-science.co.uk.

Latest STEM news and updates

In July the BSA shared the latest CREST impact report. You can download it here. The report found that CREST participation soared in 2021 and 2022. It reveals the types of schools that ran CREST, the gender ratio of students, and proven benefits of CREST for students and teachers.

CREST provides enrichment activities to inspire, engage and connect young people aged 5-19 across the UK with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Through statistics and the voices of students, teachers and employers, the 2021/22 impact report explores how CREST:

  • raised the STEM aspirations of more than 56,000 children and young people across the UK, with a focus on those most often underrepresented in science

  • helped educators respond to the challenges of embedding hands-on practical learning in the science curriculum, against a backdrop of increased financial, time and resource pressures

  • provided employers with unique opportunities to inspire tomorrow’s scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

The report demonstrates many of the ways CREST has helped young people, teachers and employers overcome barriers to STEM engagement in 2021/22.

  • In the 2021/22 academic year, 50% of CREST participants were girls. With women accounting for just 27% of the UK’s STEM workforce, the scheme provided girls with opportunities they might not otherwise have to discover a passion for science and raise their STEM aspirations.

  • Students who complete Silver CREST Awards are 21% more likely to study STEM subjects at AS Level, and that this rises to 38% for students eligible for free school meals.If you would like to discuss how to use CREST at your school, contact llinos.misra@see-science.co.uk


Explore Your STEM Future

Explore Your STEM Future - STEM Learning Mentoring Scheme for 14 to 18 year olds

This free national online mentoring scheme, in partnership with The Brightside Trust, is designed to help 14-18-year-olds explore their future career options. By chatting with trained and experienced STEM professionals, young people can:

  • ask for careers advice

  • learn more about potential careers

  • consider life after school, including education at university, apprenticeships, or preparing for employment

The programme is fully funded so participation is free for UK students. The next cohort of mentoring will run from Monday 9th October until Monday 18th December 2023. The deadline for applications is Monday 2nd October.
Sign up here.


ESA School Projects launching in September

The European Space Agency offers a range of Space themed challenges for schools and they will all be launching during September for the coming school year:

The European Astro Pi Challenge (all ages) - Have you ever dreamt of performing an experiment in space? All you need to do is write a computer programme for our special Raspberry Pi computers (called Astro Pis) on board the International Space Station! 

CanSat (14 to 19 yr olds) - What’s it like to make a real space project from A to Z? Work together as a team to imagine, build, launch and operate a CanSat to find out! CanSat challenges high-school students to fit the key components of a satellite in the volume of a soda can.

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut (8 to 12 yr olds) - It’s time to get up, move your body, and train like an astronaut! In Mission X, you’ll learn the key elements to keeping fit and staying healthy in space and on Earth.

Moon Camp Challenge (all ages) - Become an expert in lunar exploration and 3D design with the Moon Camp Challenge! Choose the level that best fits your team, from beginner to advanced, and start designing an out-of-this-world lunar base.

Climate Detectives (all ages) - In the Climate Detectives school project, teams of students are challenged to identify and investigate a local climate problem using real satellite images, historical climate data, or even their own measurements. They then use this data to propose simple actions to raise awareness or reduce the problem they investigated, that is… to make a difference for our planet. 

Why not request a STEM Ambassador to help with one or more of these challenges?

Details here.


Chemical Engineering Workshops for 16 to 19 year olds. Dates throughout September. Schools across South Wales.

Chemical engineers play a vital role in how things are made at scale, from manufacturing food such as chocolate, personal care items such as toothpaste and large-scale production of pharmaceuticals such as vaccines. But how does it link to sustainability?

Dr Francesco Del Guidice (Swansea University) will be on the road through September to visit schools in South Wales to show them how. His 1hr masterclass includes an intro to Chemical Engineering plus hands on activities for your students. Suitable for year 12 / 13 students studying Maths or Science. His workshop activities are centred around sustainable production. 

Activities include: 

  • From crap to crop: designing a chemical plant to convert biomass into fertilisers. 
  • Water for everyone: commissioning and troubleshooting a benchtop pipeline system to transport water.

Dates available: 11th, 12th, 13th, 21st, 22nd September and week of 25th – 29th September. 

To book or for more information, please contact Laura at l.j.penney@swansea.ac.uk


Materials Engineering Workshops for years 11 to 13. Dates throughout the term. Schools across South Wales.

Find out about Materials Engineering - the Most Important Subject You've Never Heard Of!

Dr Mark Coleman is on a mission to inspire the next generation of engineers. Mark is passionate about materials engineering and runs a careers session that will enthuse your students about the paths that engineering could take them on.

Session to include an interactive case study and a live microscopy demo.

To book or for more information, please contact Laura at l.j.penney@swansea.ac.uk

National Event

Wales Tech Week 2023. 16 - 18 October. International Convention Centre Wales, Newport.

Brought to you by Technology Connected, Wales Tech Week showcases Welsh technology, its ecosystem and champions the industry on the global stage.

It connects, promotes and develops Wales as a centre of expertise and opportunity for enabling and emerging technologies and their applications for today’s business and society.

After two years virtual, it’s now time to get physical. Wales Tech Week 2023 will be a hybrid, international Tech Summit bringing together the global tech community to connect, collaborate and do business.

Suitable for school years 9 to 13. Details and registration here.

Online Event

Top tips for submitting Silver & Gold CREST Awards. Tuesday 12 September, 4-5pm. Online

During this informal online meeting, the BSA’s Education Team will provide a practical overview about how to submit project work for Silver and Gold CREST Awards.

Who should attend?

• Students submitting independent project work for a Silver or Gold CREST Award

• Students submitting project work undertaken as part of CREST aligned schemes and work placements (including Nuffield Research Placements)

• Teachers supporting students that are planning to submit project work for Silver and Gold Awards.

Details and booking here.

Online Event

Ready, steady, chemistry week is go – Welsh chemistry teacher network.  Tuesday 19 September, 4-5pm . Online

A Royal Society of Chemistry session for Secondary teachers.

Are you all ready for Chemistry week 2023? At this month’s Welsh chemistry teacher network meeting we will be sharing ideas that you can use to bring Chemistry week alive for your learners.  This year’s theme is Chemistry making the world a better place, and it is a wonderful way to showcase the important role that chemistry plays across all aspects of society. Although called Chemistry week, we are encouraging you to make November, Chemistry month! 

Details and booking here.

Online Event

Spooky STEM-tacular activities! Thursday 5 October. 12.30 - 1.15pm. Online

If you are unable to join this session live, be sure to register on Eventbrite and you will receive a recording of the session.

Halloween is the perfect excuse for some Spooky STEM-tacular fun! 

Join us for some great activity ideas ideal for teachers to show at school before half term and pupils to try them at home on the big day, or for STEM Ambassadors to run a half-term session with a community group. All activities will use readily-available, low cost ingredients. Register here.

Online Event

CREST Discovery information session for teachers and STEM Ambassadors. Monday 23 October. 12.30 - 1.15pm. Online

If you are unable to join this session live, be sure to register on Eventbrite and you will receive a recording of the session.

Session repeated in Welsh Tuesday 24 October 12.30 - 1.15pm.

CREST Discovery Awards offer an introduction to real project work in STEM and give students aged 10 to 14yrs the freedom to run their own investigations. Perfect for the Curriculum for Wales! They can be completed in one day, or over a number of lessons or STEM Club sessions, with students working together in self-managed groups. At the end of the project every student earns a CREST Discovery Award and these are FREE in Wales.

During this session one of the downloadable CREST Discovery resources will be highlighted - Sustainable Solutions  - an activity where students are challenged to use digital tools and new technologies to tackle climate change in their local area.

CREST activities provide a great opportunity for STEM Ambassadors to engage with schools as they are all based on real-world challenges.

Register here for the English session. Register here for the Welsh session.

Events in your local area

Space for Everyone. 14 - 18 September. Queens Square, Wrexham

The UK Space Agency’s "Space for Everyone" rocket tour lands in Wrexham, at Queens Square, 14th September -  18th September! 

The event is a STEAM Outreach Programme with a mission to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in the UK space industry, particularly those from under-represented groups. No tickets required, just turn up! Event features include:

  • A colossal 72 ft replica of the LauncherOne rocket 
  • Virtual reality experiences
  • Careers advice from local space professionals 
  • Space-related activities

Group Tours - It is highly recommended to visit the event as a group and enjoy a personal tour of the event with one of our dedicated hosts. Minimum of 10 people per tour. To book a group tour timeslot email hello@ha-lo.co.uk with a preferred date/time. 

Details here.

Events in your local area

Nickel: Past, present and future. Thursday 28 September, 9.30am–2.30pm. Vale’s Clydach Nickel Refinery, Swansea

A Royal Society of Chemistry/STEM Learning event for secondary science teachers, technicians, subject leaders and student teachers.

Join us to discover the role of chemistry in nickel refining and to explore Vale’s Clydach Nickel Refinery, The Mond.  During the day you will have the opportunity to tour the Mond, to learn about the importance of nickel, to discover how algae is helping to reduce industrial emissions, and to find out about some of careers that are available in this industry.

STEM Learning bursaries are available and lunch will be provided.

Details and booking here.


DVLA Code Challenge

The Code Challenge enables students of all ages to develop their problem solving, teamworking skills and improve their knowledge of computer programming in a fun and innovative way and also to win thousands of pounds of IT Equipment for their schools or Groups.

All schools, clubs and groups working with children aged 16 years or under based in Wales are eligible to enter the Competition.

Each school, group or club can enter as many teams as desired. Each team must consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of six children. 

There is a wide choice of themes and teams can select one or more themes but can only submit one entry per theme.  

Closing date Friday 6 October. All details here.


Starpack Schools Competition 2024

Register now for the new  Schools Starpack Competition for pupils aged 9 to 17.  The competition has been designed to link to and support the school curriculum, especially Design &  Technology, and encourage young people to consider  the important role played by packaging in protecting  the products we take for granted.

There are three briefs for secondary schools with separate  categories for years 7 & 8, 9 & 10 and year 12: 

  • Product design brief 
  • Product analysis brief 
  • Packaging research brief

In addition, we have launched a brief for KS2 focussing on  recycling packaging and identifying packaging materials. 

The briefs have all been designed in such a way that they  may be incorporated into your scheme of work for delivery  in lessons, or they can be run as an extracurricular activity  such as a STEM club or STEM Day. 

Registration opens in early June and a package of guidance  and support is available for each brief. The competition is  free to enter, and great prizes are available for the winning  pupils. Closing date for submissions 26 July 2024. Details and registration here.


FIRST LEGO League 2023-2024

The 2023-24 FIRST LEGO League MASTERPIECE season has officially begun! This season is all about putting the Art in to ‘STEAM’, with teams imagining and innovating new ways to create and communicate art across the globe. We are really excited to see all of the amazing and creative ideas that we know will be produced this season. 

Schools can apply for FIRST LEGO League Funding Packages.

More information here.


CyberCenturion competition

CyberCenturion is a national cyber education initiative for 12-18 year-olds in the UK and UK overseas territories. The program is designed to excite, educate and motivate students to pursue further education and careers in STEM and cybersecurity, which helps to build a diverse talent pool to supply the UK’s workforce needs.

Its objective is to deliver an inspirational competitive education experience, which provides: 

  • practical learning about cyber in the real world 
  • development of technical and employability skills that are useful in any industry 
  • motivation to pursue Cyber/STEM subjects and careers

Teams participate in a series of virtual competition rounds against one another and the clock and are tasked with securing a range of computer systems.

Closing date for registration is Monday 9 October. Details here


Teen Tech Awards

Register now for the 2024 competition and join the Top Tips for Teachers session on October 17.

Are you an innovator? Do you have an idea which could make life easier, simpler or better? Do you have a skill that you would like to showcase? Or do you have an interest in an area that you would like to research?

The TeenTech Awards are for students aged 11 to 16 (Years 7 to 11) and 17 to 19 (Years 12 to 13) and you can work individually, or in a team of up to three. They present a wonderful and powerful opportunity to develop your potential and showcase qualities which are appreciated by both employers and further education.

The best projects go forward to the TeenTech Awards Final for judging and the winning school in each category will receive a cash prize.

Details here.


Science without Borders® Challenge Student Art Contest

The Science Without Borders® Challenge is an international contest that engages students and teachers in ocean conservation through art. This annual competition inspires students to be creative while promoting public awareness of the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world’s oceans and aquatic resources, contributing to the overarching goals of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation.
The theme for the 2024 Science without Borders® Challenge is “Hidden Wonders of the Deep.” To apply for this year’s contest, students should submit artwork depicting mysterious and unique deep-sea creatures or ecosystems, highlighting the beauty and diversity that often goes unseen. 

To help teachers encourage their students to participate in the Science Without Borders® Challenge, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has compiled a number of resources to help them do so.

The Challenge is open to students 11-19 years old, with scholarships of up to $500 awarded to the winning entries.

Closing date for entries, March 4, 2024 Details here.


UKROC Competition

UKROC is a competition for young people aged 11-18 from any secondary schools, colleges, educational facilities or youth groups to design, build and launch a model rocket, ensuring its fragile cargo (a raw egg!) is safely delivered back to the ground without breaking.

UKROC is a great way to spark young people’s interest in STEM subjects and inspire them to consider a career in the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors. .

The deadline for teams to enter is February 2024 with regional events planned across the UK in April 2024. Details here.

Request a STEM Ambassador

STEM Ambassador's involvement can engage and enthuse both students and teachers. If you are interested in asking a STEM Ambassador to assist you can make your request here. We’ve created brief guides to encourage both STEM Ambassadors and educators to use the self-service. 

Any teacher can request a STEM Ambassador for their school so please encourage colleagues to register with STEM Learning in order to receive the See Science newsletter in the future and learn about the programme.  

CPD from STEM Learning

High-impact intensive science CPD from STEM Learning

STEM Learning is dedicated to delivering quality face-to-face professional development in authentic classroom environments at their National STEM Learning Centre in York. Work with like-minded teachers, network, and develop your teaching in interactive and impactful ways.
Subsidies are available to contribute towards the costs of travel and cover to help teachers participate in CPD. They provide funding to support the teacher to embed their learning in terms of their own professional practice and disseminate learnings with their colleagues aligned to school and departmental priorities.
Details here.

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