Education Scotland is pleased to announce 19 settings have been awarded with a full STEM Nation Award, including Monifieth High School in Angus.
In September 2019, Education Scotland launched the STEM Nation Award programme as a pilot. The programme celebrates, promotes and builds effective practice in STEM education. Since the launch, over 70 schools and early learning and childcare settings across Scotland have got involved in the award.
To achieve the full award, settings reviewed their existing STEM practice, identified strengths and areas for development. These were then presented to validators, with submissions including extracts from school improvement plans, photographs, video links and examples of engagement with partners and the school community through social media. The final stage of the process concluded with virtual validation conversations.
Validators for the STEM Nation Award praised Monifieth High School for their work on changing perceptions and supporting pupils to acknowledge that STEM is for all. Validators also noted Monifieth’s collaborative approach, working with parents to support young people, resulting in an increased uptake in STEM qualifications.
To achieve the STEM Nation Award, practitioners were encouraged to apply for recognition across 5 award areas:
- Leadership in STEM – celebrating effective leadership at all levels including children and young people leading STEM learning.
- STEM family learning – recognising commitment to family learning and practice which is helping to build the STEM capital of learners and their families.
- Employability and STEM partnership working – celebrating sustained collaboration between settings and their STEM partner(s) to develop learners’ STEM and employability skills.
- STEM curriculum and learner pathways – recognising the work of settings in developing an inspiring STEM curriculum and associated learner pathways.
- Equity and equality in STEM – celebrating the work settings are undertaking to address the issues of equity and equality in STEM.
Education Scotland’s Strategic Director Alan Armstrong said “Throughout the STEM Nation Award pilot we have seen an inspiring breadth of STEM learning experiences across Scotland, with pupils developing 21st century skills.
“Education Scotland is delighted to award the full STEM Nation Award to Monifieth High School in Angus. The school has demonstrated rich, engaging and varied STEM experiences for learners.”
Science Minister Richard Lochhead said: “Many congratulations to those schools who have achieved STEM Nation Awards.
“The efforts of those schools to offer pupils the chance to develop skills and awareness of STEM subjects will open up fantastic career opportunities to them and help to make sure that the workforce of the future is equipped to protect Scotland’s reputation as a true science and technology nation.”
Angus Council’s Children and Learning Convener, Councillor Derek Wann said: “Congratulations to Monifieth High School for being awarded with a full STEM Nation Award. This award highlights your commitment and determination to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects to all your students.”
M-C McInally, Head Teacher, Monifieth High School said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded the full STEM Nation Award which we achieved in a year, with the help and support from pupils, parents and partners. The pupils are chuffed that their efforts have been recognised. The school community is loving the Barista coffees and hot chocolates and we are looking forward to getting real customers in to get their nails done by the nail technicians. All our STEM initiatives have helped us to achieve this recognition.”