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Sharing best STEM practice in Train the Trainer workshop

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Staff members from various Scottish Borders secondary schools were recently welcomed to a pilot training event, hosted by Borders College, aimed at encouraging shared Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) resources within the region.

In collaboration with Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) and directed by Education Scotland, the College held a ‘Train the Trainer’ session specifically for STEM affiliated secondary school staff, the first to be undertaken in the Borders.

Attendees, from Peebles, Kelso and Selkirk High Schools as well as Jedburgh Grammar School, enjoyed a tour of the Tweedbank Construction Hub before being invited to participate in 4 practical group tasks using the MTa STEM Kits, which were developed by company founder Martin Thompson in collaboration with the Royal Air Force.

Session facilitator, Wendy Findlay (Employer Support Manager, ESP), said:

“My primary role is to engage with employers who work with STEM initiatives and help them with their engagement strategies.”

This event provided school staff the opportunity to try out MTa experiential learning materials, as well as to ascertain whether there is scope to utilise it, in collaboration with Borders College and ESP, in their own curriculum.

Dale Clancy (Engineering Lecturer), commented:

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“In recent weeks we have been able to engage with 7 of our 9 local secondary schools regarding these STEM initiatives, with teachers from 4 different schools in attendance today.

“They will be able to go away and consider how they could embed the activities in their own curriculum.”

The kits (which Borders secondary schools will now be able to borrow from Borders College and ESP as well as reach out for further training) were created to enable fun, memorable and challenging activities, allow students to build structures and mechanical items, and get young people excited about STEM careers to name a few.

Iona Minto, one of the teachers attending the pilot session, commented:

“These events are great as they allow me as the STEM co-ordinator at Peebles High School to get these initiatives to the right areas of the school to see if it can help the teachers and the students with their learning experience and development. It’s also fantastic to come down and see the facilities at the college and take part in the training as it gives me an understanding of what is available to staff and students out with our school and its own resources.”

To explore this STEM initiative further and find out more about the MTa kits, visit www.experientiallearning.org

Pictured are Borders College Lecturers Dale Clancy (rear left) and Dave Black (rear right) with the ‘Train the Trainer’ participants

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