Edinburgh College continues to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals

Edinburgh College’s Engineering team has continued to inspire pupils across Edinburgh and the Lothians through its STEM Inspiration Experience Days – adapting their teaching to deliver the course remotely.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Engineering team welcomed more than 100 pupils from P7 and S1 age groups to Midlothian Campus on a weekly basis, giving them an introduction to key STEM principles and an insight into careers which rely on STEM expertise.

Session 2020/21 has presented STEM team with new challenges, but this has not deterred them from giving pupils across the region with an experience to remember.

This term’s STEM Inspiration Experience Days have been delivered entirely online, with resources being delivered to school classrooms prior to pupils joining a Microsoft Teams tutorial. S1 pupils learn how to design, build and test hot air balloons, while P7s are tasked with bridge building.

Pupils then receive valuable feedback on the task before entering into lively ‘Ask an Engineer’ Q&A sessions with College lecturers. These sessions allow pupils to ask a range of questions about the lecturers’ route into Engineering and the and various highs and lows of their careers and profession.

Since the start of term, pupils from Knox Academy and primary schools within the Tynecastle cluster have taken part – with more schools from across the region having scheduled sessions for December.

“Two mornings of thoroughly enjoyable STEM activities centred around hot air balloons.  The pupils were engaged from the start and had a real insight into the process that takes an idea through to a working product.  Hats off to Edinburgh College for organising such a great event. The live, online sessions with real life engineers opened our pupils’ eyes to the experiences that engineers have from their training to their successes and failures.  The emphasis that the failures were just learning experiences that helped in journey to a successful product was a useful life lesson too.”

Knox Academy teacher John Taylor

“The determination and ingenuity our team has shown has helped to develop another route to STEM for pupils which is exceptional. The online activity and live ‘Ask an Engineer’ sessions have been brilliantly well received and can act as a template for other programmes to follow. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project a fantastic success.”

Engineering Curriculum Manager Ross Milligan