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Colleges Partner to Boost STEM Learning for Fife Kids

New learning opportunities will help kids to engage with technology and engineering through at-home activities.

The Children’s University (CU) Scotland and Fife College are partnering to give around 700 Fife kids access to a range of new STEM learning opportunities.

A partnership project supported by funding from The Robertson Trust has developed a “comprehensive learning programme” which has enabled kids from all backgrounds to engage.

Work in the first twelve months of the two-year project has focussed on providing learning-at-home opportunities, with the college providing access to online activities during the pandemic.

The activities include an online engineering club that offers children the opportunity to engage with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects through at-home activities.

Kids will also gain access to Wonderbox, CU Scotland’s offline resource which will support children’s learning and wellbeing with free, easy-to-use activities.

Commenting on the new collaboration, Iain Hawker, Assistant Principal at Fife College, said: “We are so proud of our first year of partnership work with Children’s University Scotland.

“The year presented many challenges due to the pandemic. However, by working together we were able to provide young people from across Fife, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds, with access to fun and exciting learning activities which could be done safely from home.

“We look forward to continuing to work together on similar initiatives with Children’s University Scotland in the year ahead, providing even more young people with the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom and explore different subjects they are passionate about.”

Neil Mathers, Chief Executive at Children’s University Scotland, added: “This last year has been challenging for so many children and families, and the value of out-of-school learning opportunities has never been so clear.

“The pandemic has caused the world to get smaller for children, forcing them to spend more time in front of screens, less time with their friends and created stress and worry in their lives.

“Together with Fife College, and with support from The Robertson Trust, we have been able to give children and families opportunities to enjoy fun learning at home.

“Children have been able to take part in our awards scheme, gaining recognition for their efforts and helping to build their confidence and support their wellbeing.”

STEM learning is already supported by a range of initiatives looking to get Scottish kids interested in technology for the future, something that is becoming increasingly important during, and after, the pandemic.

Programmes such as Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) are designed to support teachers’ confidence and ability to deliver high-quality, engaging STEM lessons to young people.

A report released before the pandemic revealed that deprivation, gender, unconscious bias and rurality needed to be addressed to improve experiences and learning in STEM subjects.

This latest collaboration between Children’s University (CU) Scotland and Fife College could be an important step towards getting kids interested in tech-related fields.

Jim McCormick, Chief Executive at The Robertson Trust, said: “As a long-term partner of Fife College, we know first-hand the fantastic work they deliver with children and young people across Fife.

“The Robertson Trust’s vision is of a fair and compassionate Scotland where everyone is valued and able to flourish.

“Widening access to Further and Higher Education is key to this and we are excited to see how the partnership with Children’s University Scotland and First Chances Fife will continue to open up opportunities for young people in the area over the coming year.”

Source: DIGIT

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