Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation Awards £80k for Partnership

Making Sense of Science

The Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation has earmarked nearly £80,000 to fund a groundbreaking science resource for teaching and learning. The funding, awarded to the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) in Scotland, is the first of its Community Partnership grants to be awarded by the Foundation, a charity established in 2014 to support Glasgow Clyde College as a world class teaching and learning facility. Funding is granted for projects, including those developing learning opportunities in the wider community, which help improve the life chances of existing and potential students of the College.

The Science resource 'Science for a Successful Scotland' to be developed by WEA, Dr Heather Reid OBE (known throughout Scottish media as ‘Heather the Weather’) and the College will be used with groups of adult learners in the community served by Glasgow Clyde College which has campuses in Anniesland, Langside and Cardonald currently serving over 20,000 students, as well as working with partners such as the Glasgow Science Centre and GalGael..

Exploring Energy exhibits at the Glasgow Science Centre with adult learner Karen McDonagh, Dr Heather Reid said,

“I am delighted to be working with WEA Scotland and the Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation to develop this adult learning science resource. As science and technology continue to underpin our economy and society, it is increasingly important that all of us have an awareness of the importance of science, its relevance to everyday life and the job opportunities that exist within science and engineering.”

Adult learners, like Karen, will be able to increase their knowledge of sciences as well as develop important skills such as communication and numeracy. The College itself will also support the e-enablement of the resource, putting the material ‘online’ for students and wider community groups to access directly.

Science for a Successful Scotland is intended to help adult learners to move into further science learning at Glasgow Clyde and other FE Colleges, with a view to opening up a whole new range of job opportunities in the future. The project team also hope to work with adults to support their children to make subject and career choices that include science subjects.

The Foundation’s Director, Pauline Cameron said:

“We’re excited to be awarding the first of our community based grants to a resource that will ignite interest in the sciences and other STEM subjects, an area where employers continue to report skills shortages. Learning materials will open the door to science, starting adult learners on a journey to understanding how the fields of science, technology and engineering are integral to our future health, and economic prosperity”.

The learning resource will be developed in partnership with the College’s Faculties, bridging the gap between formal and informal learning to encourage further students to progress to College education. It fits well with Glasgow Clyde College’s own commitment to embed STEM education at the heart of the development of the young and emerging workforce.

The College launched its own STEM Manifesto, in October 2015, following the New Engineering Foundation’s (NEF) award of ‘Stem Assured’ status, recognising excellence in STEM and the College’s focus on industry relevance and STEM skills across a range of learning areas.

The resource will include easy-to-understand information about the sciences, together with learning activities and inspiring stories about careers in relevant industries. It will be available as a printed book and also as an online, interactive resource. There will be five sections:

  • Science and the Creative Industries
  • Energy
  • Life Sciences
  • The Science of Food and Drink
  • Scottish Tourism and Environmental Science

Jayne Stuart, Director of WEA Scotland who have been granted the funding, said,

"WEA are delighted to receive this award, which will enable highly innovative work to be taken forward with excellent partners. Engaging adults and communities in learning about science and technology is extremely important for Scotland, and this new resource will help us take steps towards an exciting emerging future.”