Progress report for Skirting Science 2014 – list of attending schools

As the arrangements for Skirting Science 2014 gather pace, the list of schools who will be attending this year’s event has been finalised. The following schools will be participating :

Clevedon School
Bristol Grammar School
Hans Price Academy
Sidcot School
Bristol Metropolitan Academy
Worle Community School
Ravenswood School
Gordano School
Henbury School
Colston’s Girls’ School
Bristol Brunel Academy
Backwell School
Churchill Academy
Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College

After the Credit Crunch, CBI is calling for measures to counter the Skills Crunch

Skirting Science seeks to encourage young female students to consider what science based careers have to offer. As this project spreads and SI Taunton hold their very first Skirting Science project later this month, support gathers from all directions for the need to fill the vacuum in science based skills. Today , a new fund has been unveiled  by the Science Minister David Willetts investing into several large scale science projects, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-26530729, and the CBI has called on the government to cut tuition fees in some STEM courses, http://www.cbi.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2014/03/cbi-demands-action-on-growing-skills-vacuum/.

What’s going on in the south west for National Science & Engineering Week?

National Science & Engineering Week (http://www.nsew.org.uk/) is fast approaching (14th – 23rd March) and there are a few events coming up in this area which you may be interested in…

It’s also National Astronomy Week this week (1st – 8th March). See: http://www.astronomyweek.org.uk/ for resources & ideas for practical activities (including ones that don’t need a telescope or a clear, dark night) as well as details of Public Star-Gazing Events in Cheltenham, Weston-Super-Mare, Wells, Bridgwater, the Forest of Dean & Marlborough.

ASE TeachMeet ‘Spring Into Science’ ~ Badminton School, Bristol ~ Monday 10th March, 6.30-8.00pm
All welcome to this informal Teachmeet, to give a short presentation on a science topic or teaching idea of your choice, or just to listen…
Sign up here: http://springintoscience2014.eventbrite.co.uk/

IOP Festival of Physics ~ Bath Assembly Rooms ~ Saturday 15th March, 10.00am-4.30pm
Free public event with talks and family workshops on a variety of physics topics, suitable for ages 11+
Flyer attached with booking details

Spectacular Science Show ~ At-Bristol Science Centre ~ 17th – 21st March
An exciting, inspiring live show for KS2 and KS3, full of spectacular demos celebrating the work of scientists. This high-energy half-hour has been especially designed for school groups, with lots of audience participation and will be the biggest science show ever attempted in At-Bristol!
See: http://www.at-bristol.org.uk/nsew2014 for booking details & prices.

Triple Science – Meet the Awarding Bodies ~ At-Bristol STEM Learning ~ 17th March, 9.00am-4.00pm
This FREE day conference for teachers provides an opportunity to meet with representatives from the awarding bodies (AQA, OCR & Edexcel) and learn about forthcoming changes which may impact on your school’s performance in Triple Science.
Book your place here: http://www.slcs.ac.uk/go/net/rd804j01

Teaching Physics with Toys ~ High School for Girls, Gloucester ~ Thursday 20th March, 4.30-6.30pm
Helen Reynolds (IOP) shows how to use a wide range of inexpensive toys (and some food!) to teach physics. It’s not just for Year 7 – the playful approach can be used throughout KS3, at GCSE and A level too.
Book your FREE place via Alessio Bernadelli aso.ber@ntlworld.com

Bath Taps Into Science ~ central Bath ~ Sunday 23rd March, 10.00am-4.00pm
This popular annual Science Fair will be more exciting than ever this year! The public hands-on science fair will be bigger and spread out to various locations, including Green Park Station & BRLSI on Queens Square.
There will also be a family talk at the University of Bath on Wednesday 19th March where James Grimes from The Millennium Mathematics Project will be talking about “Enigma and the Secret World of Code Breaking.” (Advance Booking required!)
See: http://www.bath.ac.uk/math-sci/extracurricular/bathtaps/

Science & Engineering Week at the Roman Baths ~ Abbey Church Yard, Bath
Science Busking Evening ~ Saturday 15th March, 5.30-8.00pm ~ Explore science throughout the museum and take part in a variety of investigations.
Hands-on Science ~ Monday 17th – Friday 21st March, 2.00-4.00pm ~ Get hands on with Roman science and engineering in object handling activities by the side of the Great Bath.
See: http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/whats_on/events/march_science_and_engineering.aspx

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Coding is to be taught in schools as part of the National Curriculum.

With the current debate  about coding being taught in schools could readers please leave their thoughts in response to this question, perhaps? BBC has reported the experience in other European  countries,http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25648769.   Also,  Google recently pledged £120,000 towards Code Club Pro, a training scheme designed to equip teachers with the skills required to teach students coding when the subject is introduced into the national curriculum later this year. Maybe this topic should be included in a workshop at Skirting Science.

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Research into low calorie chocolate

Skirting Science is a starting point to try and help young girl students to see the impact of science and new technologies on the career openings of the future. As a new age unfolds,  where the financial success of the world economies is  based on  rapidly expanding new technologies,  it is time to ensure that science is perceived as a core subject for many career paths and not just for geeks.    A new initiative  KTN, Knowledge transfer network,  is a new body recently launched  in order to help companies to share technologies that may have applications in more than one industry and which underlines the government’s commitment to support industry lead science and technology. This network of networks is designed to encourage all businesses to  exploit the latest technologies to drive their economic success. https://www.innovateuk.org/-/knowledge-transfer-networks#

Creator of Clumsy Ninja and Grand Theft Auto Graphics makes $527m

With  news that  NaturalMotion ,  the company behind some popular gaming graphics founded by  a doctoral researcher in Zoology, being sold for $527m, young entrepreneurs might be well advised to think twice as to their choice of HE and FE. Skirting science brings together students, research scientists and commercial organisations to allow the students to see STEM subjects  in action outside the classroom environment.  With a new era of technology based enterprises bringing innovation to all sorts of commercial applications, STEM education may be a key element for more and more of those wishing to set up business ventures.

http://www.balderton.com/portfolio/naturalmotion

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Over a million job vacancies in ICT !

Skirting Science aims to help inspire young female students to consider career opportunities in the light of STEM linked workshops. At a time  of chronic unemployment in much of Europe, especially in the under 30s age group, it is hoped that this project will help young women to find fulfilling and secure employment in the future. Since it is reported from Davos this week that there needs to be further action to remedy the  skills shortage in the ever expanding  fields of technology and communications, the role of Skirting Science seems even more pertinent than ever.

The problem is well set out in the report ‘Making Education Work’ chaired by Sir Roy Anderson (http://uk.pearson.com/making-education-work.html). The transition from job-destructive technology to income creative development may well be painful process, but without the skills to equip the youngsters of today for this brave new world, employers will have to search hard for the right skills.