Conference highlights transformation of learning in Highland schools

Science conference
Organisers and speakers at the conference were: Back (left to right) Peter Finlayson and Stuart Black Highland Council, Andrew Johnston (Project Director Science Skills Academy), Anthony Standing (Head of Region SDS), Anita Martin (Wood foundation). Front (left to right) Gayle Duffus(Education Scotland), Sam Clark,(STEM Manager UHI), Alessio Gusmeroli (STEM Engagement Adviser SDS),Charlotte Wright, (Acting Chief Executive HIE)

The transformation of future learning in Highland schools was discussed by around 100 head teachers at a Science and Technology Conference last week in Inverness.

Key speakers from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, FIRST Scandinavia and the Science and Skills Academy addressed the conference on the importance of STEM experiences and qualifications for young people in the Highlands. They also outline how the use of digital technology can transform learning for young people.

The conference was organised by Highland Council to inform head teachers of the Primary Scicence Wood Foundation Programme; the development of the Highland Science Skills Academy and the progress of the council’s ICT roll-out in schools which includes a commitment to provide a device for every child from P6 to S6.

Stressing the importance of STEM to the economic wellbeing of the Highland area, guest speaker Charlotte Wright, Acting Chief Executive of HIE informed delegates to the conference.

Skills Development Scotland, Head of Region, Anthony Standing supported the welcome outlining the pathways for STEM in Highland.

Conference sponsors, Wood Foundation, Anita Martin explained how the Wood Foundation is supporting Primary Science in the region.

Stuart Black, Highland Council’s Director of Development and Infrastructure explained how the City Region Deal funding is enabling the Highland Science Skills Academy to progress.

Stan Elstad, Chief Executive of FIRST Scandinavia informed delegates how Science Skills Academy works in Norway and its relevance and connections to Highland schools.

Andrew Johnston, Project Director of the Highland Science Skills Academy outlined how the Academy will work in Highland, with the first two Newton Rooms in Lochaber and Caithness.

During the afternoon session Ollie Bray Kingussie High School Head Teacher and Fergus Weir, Highland Parent Council Chair highlighted how digital technology can transform learning.

Teachers attending the conference shared their experiences of digital learning and the roll out of chrome books, usage of apps and other education applications to pilot schools.

The Science and Technology Conference was held in Inverness on Wednesday 3 May.

8 May 2017
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