‘Generation Science’ is celebrating 30 years this year, having reached around 1,172,696 pupils around the country over the three decades. Through ‘Generation Science’ and various other Edinburgh Science Learning projects, the charity reaches 60,000 people every year.
Delivered by Edinburgh Science Learning, the education arm of the Edinburgh Science charity, ‘Generation Science’ is an educational programme touring Scottish schools and delivering a fantastic range of engaging workshops and shows for school children, inspiring them to learn more about STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects. The programme plays a vital role in the Scottish Government’s STEM strategy to support the children’s science education and broaden access to it.
Dr Simon Gage, Edinburgh Science Director and CEO, said: “The world needs more imaginative and determined problem solvers, now more than ever. The seed of the idea to become one germinates in young minds in their primary school classrooms. ‘Generation Science’ is, and has been for 30 years, our way of feeding and cultivating this talent and desire in young people, wherever they are in Scotland and whatever their background. City centre, rural, island schools – we go to them all.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government is pleased to support ‘Generation Science’ in delivering STEM learning to schools across Scotland, particularly this year, as the programme evolves to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an important initiative which inspires young people, offers real-life experience and provides exciting opportunities for up to 60,000 people each year.
“My congratulations to ‘Generation Science’ on reaching the milestone of 30 years and I thank all involved in delivery of the programme for their sterling work over three decades.”
Thanks to the generous support from funders and partners, this year Generation Science is being delivered for free to over 10,000 children around the country via 420 boxes which will be distributed among schools with the science experiences taking place between 19 April and 18 June.
Samantha Pattman, Sponsorship Manager at Baillie Gifford said: “We have been impressed by how Edinburgh Science has adapted over the last year, ensuring that despite the circumstances we all found ourselves in, they innovated in order to keep the ‘Generation Science’ programme going. Their 2021 programme is engaging and inventive in equal measure, and one we are proud to support.”
The ‘Generation Science 2021’ offer has been reshaped for remote delivery in classrooms to make sure the pupils don’t miss out on the unique science experiences the programme delivers every year. Including 5 engaging science experiences designed for children as young as nursery up to P7, ‘Generation Science’ offers a variety of pre-recorded content, loan kits and make-along boxes to get children out of their chairs and hands-on. The programme is linked to the Curriculum for Excellence and includes everything a teacher needs to engage and inspire their pupils to explore STEM-related subjects.
Every year the offer also includes follow-up teachers’ resources, training and access to the expert team of science communicators and 2021 is no different.
A teacher at Gullane Primary School in East Lothian said: “A fantastic workshop which the children thoroughly enjoyed. Linked brilliantly to curriculum outcomes and gave the children the opportunity to use resources schools are not able to provide.”
A teacher at Kirkhill Primary School in Highlands said: Brilliant engaging workshop. The children thoroughly enjoyed it! The teachers’ notes are simple and useful and give us confidence when we’re unsure how to follow up.”
This year’s offer includes 3 new products: The Power Pack, during which pupils learn all about electricity and renewable energy as they build electric circuits, Speedy Sails which invites children to take a problem-solving approach to building a land yacht and experience the fun of engineering in the process, and Make a Move which explores the mysteries of the human body and sees pupils making their own working finger using a make-along box.
The popular Robo Constructors is back as a loan kit available to schools for up to 10 days, getting children to solve problems creatively as they use a simple and intuitive set of Cubelets to build and command a robot. The Generation Science offer also includes Ella’s Wobble, an immersive storytelling experience which is all about sound – its creation, capture and movement – and sees young children build their very own musical instruments.
In the last few weeks before primary schools fully reopened, children of key workers at St John Vianney’s and Stenhouse Primary Schools have been using the Robo Constructors Loan Box as part of the Generation Science offer. Describing their experience of building the robots, the pupils said: “They are challenging at first but then when you get the hang of them you can do amazing things” and “I really liked them because I want to build things like robots when I’m older”.
Edinburgh Science Foundation is a charity which also runs UK’s biggest Science Festival, delivers science projects and events around the world as well as various educational projects such as STEM careers-focused Careers Hive (26 April – 1 May 2021).