Response 387768834

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DONALD CAIRNS

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Questions

1. Do you agree with the definition provided of STEM for the purposes of this Strategy?

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Do you agree with the definition provided of STEM for the purposes of this Strategy?
Some definitions of STEM include Pharmacy, while others do not. The MPharm (Master of Pharmacy) degree is a science degree and should be included in STEM subjects.

2. Do you think the aims of this Strategy and the four priority themes are the right ones to address the challenges identified?

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No

3. Are these success criteria right?

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No

4. Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?

Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?
I think training and development that employers provide for their workforce would be a good addition.

5. Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.

Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.
I think the work underway is a good start, but there is much still to do to encourage the teaching of and research into STEM subjects. The election of Trump as President will set science in the US back for the next 4 years. We must not allow a similar result here in UK.

6. Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.

Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.
Parliament and the Media are full of decision makers and influencers who ARE NOT SCIENTIFICALLY TRAINED. This is very damaging, and I detect an 'anti-expert' feeling among leading politicians and political commenters. Trump's election in US will make this situation worse.

7. Do you agree with the principles set out for implementation?

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Ticked Yes
No

8. What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?

What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?
The Government should begin listening to experts in scientific education, research, etc.

9. Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?

Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?
Maybe - I will wait and see how the proposals are implemented.

10. Will this Strategy improve equity of outcomes? If not, tell us what else it should include, in particular for women and girls and other groups of people – disabled people, care leavers and minority ethnic communities.

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No
Will this Strategy improve equity of outcomes? If not, tell us what else it should include, in particular for women and girls and other groups of people – disabled people, care leavers and minority ethnic communities.
It is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to enable disabled people to access science education (wheelchair access, adjustable benching, use of VLEs to enable deaf and partially sighted students to access lecture material). Students in my area are predominantly female, so gender balance needs to recruit more male students to the subject.

11. What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?

What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?
As above. We must ANTICIPATE the needs of students with special needs. If the student has to request adjustments to access learning, then we have failed.

12. What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies.

What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies
They have a role to play - perhaps advisory? The responsibility in DDA act etc lies with the provider.

13. What more could science centres and festivals do to complement and enhance STEM formal education, to inspire scientists of the future, and to ensure their activities support those of the Scottish Government and its agencies?

What more could science centres and festivals do to complement and enhance STEM formal education, to inspire scientists of the future, and to ensure their activities support those of the Scottish Government and its agencies?
Yes, good idea - if the Govt. can find the funding to support it (and it should!).

14. Should this Strategy identify more actions for particular sectors, for example in relation to workplace and work-based training and development? Please make suggestions on what these actions could be.

Should this Strategy identify more actions for particular sectors, for example in relation to workplace and work-based training and development? Please make suggestions on what these actions could be.
My own university identifies named 'Champions' for each of the protected characteristics. This works well and should be extended to all providers.

15. Tell us what you think about this Improvement Framework. How can we best ensure uptake of this Framework in early years learning settings, schools and clusters?

Tell us what you think about this Improvement Framework. How can we best ensure uptake of this Framework in early years learning settings, schools and clusters?
Not really my area of expertise, but I do believe science education should begin in Primary school. When my kids were young, they received science education, but the teachers were not science specialists (their degrees were in Arts, Music, Social Sciences, etc.). This is very damaging, and I had to correct many of the notes my kids received while receiving science education.

16. Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?
Good idea - the SCQF is a good framework and should allow seamless transition from stage to stage.

17. Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?
Good idea - I would be happy to become involved. More should be done through social media. I tweet scientific info every day to point my students to resources, or to highlight developments and advances. This should become a part of every lecturer's role.

19. Tell us about what you are doing in your organisation, establishment or community that supports the aims and priorities of this Strategy.

Tell us about what you are doing in your organisation, establishment or community that supports the aims and priorities of this Strategy.
I am a Professor and Head of a School of Science. I see it as part of my role to advance STEM subjects in the university and outside

20. What could employers do to attract and retain more diverse STEM talent?

What could employers do to attract and retain more diverse STEM talent?
Work more closely with HEIs and Colleges to ensure students are being trained to 'hit the ground running' I think it I time that the Professions became more involved in the training of the next generation (i.e. the medical model.