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Widening opportunities to learn about science

New Science E-Learning Resource Launched

A new e-learning version of successful science learning resource "Counting on a Greener Scotland" (COGS) has been launched.

The e-learning resource, which has been funded by the Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation, is being launched at Glasgow Clyde College’s new E-learning Centre.

COGS was originally developed in 2012 by the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) with Dr Heather Reid, OBE, and funded by Education Scotland. It is a set of teaching materials and learning activities for tutors to use with groups of adults and young people to teach the subjects of weather, climate change and energy — with an emphasis on the importance of developing strong numeracy skills.

COGS has been used successfully with groups of adults and young people around Scotland. It has been evaluated as an effective learning resource that can grow awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (known as the “STEM” subjects). The development of an e-learning version will maximise its impact, so that it can be used flexibly and in an interactive way to engage many more of Scotland’s learners.

The e-learning version of COGS has been developed by WEA Scotland, working with Heather Reid, in partnership with Glasgow Clyde College’s e-learning experts. It is available as an open educational resource, free to use by anyone in the world.

Dr Heather Reid said,

“I'm delighted that this new online and interactive version of COGS will enable many more learners to engage with the science of weather, climate change and renewables. The STEM subjects are becoming increasingly important to Scotland's economy and to our health and well-being. Consequently, raising awareness of STEM to adult learners, families and young people has never been more important.”

Glasgow Clyde College’s Assistant Principal, Eric Brownlie, said,

“The College welcomes the strong partnership between our e-learning team and the WEA. With significant funding support from Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation we have jointly developed free online learning materials that will help widen access and ensure some of the most disadvantaged individuals and groups have opportunities to undertake STEM-related learning. We look forward to continuing this partnership with further digital resources that will help raise the levels of STEM literacy, numeracy and employability skills across a wide range of communities”.

Ray McCowan, Director of WEA Scotland, said,

“This is a truly innovative and creative means of enabling people from all walks of life to engage with STEM subjects through our country’s interest in weather. Beyond the creativity in the course materials, the major advantage of the resource is that it can be accessed by anyone and can be studied totally flexibly at dates time and places that best suit the needs of each individual. COGS is also an excellent example of partnership working and provides a great illustration of what can be achieved when people collaborate instead of compete.”

The Foundation’s Director, Pauline Cameron said:

“We're delighted that the Foundation's funding has enabled this high quality, free to access, learning resource to be used across a much wider reach of communities, learners and teaching institutions than was previously possible, through utilising the digital skills and expertise of Glasgow Clyde College's E-learning team. This compliments the ongoing partnership work between WEA Scotland and the College on a digital 'Science for a Successful Scotland' supported by the Foundation.“