Response 558345685

Back to Response listing

Questions

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

3. Are these success criteria right?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

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

Please select one item
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 principles in the strategy are good, however what is going on at present in Industry and Education is far too limited to have any effect. I'm a female teacher who previously worked in the Oil and Gas industry and in Construction. I feel strongly about supporting girls to enter the STEM subject areas and in general supporting girls and boys to build up an interest for technology. However due to cost cutting and time restraint in Education this is very difficult to achieve. Here are a few examples; I wanted to attend a "How to close the gender gap in STEM" attended by women from all over Scotland. Sadly because the school couldn't afford to pay for cover, I was told the day before I couldn't go. I have tried to organise trips to Girls STEM days and again no cover has been available. Due to the heavy workload in the qualifying classes we can't take them out during the school day. I organised a Digital learning event at Edinburgh College. The pupils found the course to be fantastic and the pupils learnt industry relevant skills. The course ran for four Friday afternoons after school with only 10 pupils attending rather than the 20 or 30 I think should have had the opportunity by going during the school day. A large local Engineering company with 35 STEM ambassadors in Edinburgh offered to work with schools, however when it came to organising an event we were told that they didn't have time to see the 15 pupils who had signed up for the visit! IT in S1 and S2 is often only taught 1 period a week and 2 / 3 of that often has to cover the subject Business management and Administration hence a lot of Powerpoints and Spreadsheets are being taught rather than exciting STEM relevant and problem solving skills that can be gained from using MicroBits, Scratch, Swift, Lego Mindstorm, Creative graphic etc. Finally, to keep up with technology and prepare new teaching material takes time, which teacher do not have! We need to catch boys and girls interest in S1 and S2 before they choose anything but STEM subjects. To do this we have to invest in technology for schools and in the training of teachers to deliver exciting and relevant courses hence enticing the youngsters.

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.

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked 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.
Both mum and dad will not be able to work in industries such as construction and engineering due to long working hours, expensive childcare and an old fashion attitude towards women in industry. My husbands company didn't look kindly on "child's sick days" which meant I always had to stay at home. One of the parents has to give up work and sadly it is often the women. (personal experience) After several years out of the industry it is very difficult to return. So why are so many women able to work as engineers in Scandinavia? Dads take as long paternity leave as mums, Childcare is heavily supported and after-school clubs are available for free or for very little cost, Mums and Dads share the picking up and bringing of children to school and after-school activities.

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?
I'm a female teacher who previously worked in the Oil and Gas industry and in Construction. I feel strongly about supporting girls to enter the STEM subject areas and in general supporting girls and boys to build up an interest in technology. However due to cost cutting and time restraint in Education this is very difficult to achieve. Here are a few examples; I wanted to attend a "How to close the gender gap in STEM" attended by women from all over Scotland. Sadly because the school couldn't afford to pay for cover, I was told the day before I couldn't go. I have tried to organise trips to Girls STEM days and only on the day and with a lot of complaints was cover sorted out. IT in S1 and S2 is often only taught 1 period a week and 2 / 3 of that often has to cover the subject Business management and Administration hence a lot of Powerpoints and Spreadsheets are being taught rather than exciting STEM relevant and problem solving skills that can be gained from using MicroBits, Scratch, Swift, Lego Mindstorm, Creative graphic etc. Finally, it takes time to keep up with technology and prepare new teaching material, which teachers do not have. We need to catch boys and girls interest in S1 and S2 before they choose anything but STEM subjects. To do this we have to invest in technology for schools and in the training of teachers to deliver exciting and relevant courses hence enticing the youngsters.

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?
Due to the heavy workload in the qualifying classes we can't take S4/S5 pupils out during the school day. I organised for senior pupils to attend a Digital learning event at Edinburgh College. The course was fantastic and the pupils learnt industry relevant skills. The course ran for four Friday afternoons after school with only 10 pupils attending rather than the 20 or 30 I think should have had the opportunity. A large local Engineering company with 35 STEM ambassadors in Edinburgh offered to work with schools, however when it came to organising an event we were told that they didn't have time to see the 15 pupils who had signed up.