By Mary Jones 22nd June 2020

Available for practitioners across the Tayside and Fife regions, the aim of the STEM By Nature Professional Learning Programme is to build STEM skills through the use of nature settings and outdoor learning methodologies. It supports effective whole-school and interdisciplinary approaches to STEM and will develop skills and build confidence to deliver the entitlement to Learning for Sustainability for every pupil in Scotland.

The programme will be delivered through online learning.  An interdisciplinary approach will be supported, incorporating different subject areas and building skills in enquiry-based learning.

Practitioners (from primary, secondary, ASN and CLD) are invited to commit 10 hours of participation between September 2020 and March 2021 including online twilight sessions (provided by FSC Scotland and the John Muir Trust) and trialling techniques and resources with their own pupils.

This professional learning programme is free of charge for schools and participating establishments within the Tayside and Fife region thanks to funding from Education Scotland.

STEM By Nature Professional Learning Programme Outcomes

  • Help practitioners raise attainment by building confidence and developing skills to deliver inspirational, high quality interdisciplinary STEM teaching through contexts of nature, Citizen Science and Learning for Sustainability.
  • Promote and support interdisciplinary and team learning approaches by engaging practitioners in reflective practice within their local clusters (and their wider regional community) using the STEM and Learning for Sustainability self-evaluation and improvement frameworks.
  • Utilise outdoor learning pedagogy to engage all learners across both gender and attainment gaps, make explicit the connection between STEM and young people’s lives, and provide techniques for addressing gender stereotypes, unconscious bias and inequity.
  • Highlight ways to incorporate mathematics and numeracy (as well as literacy and creativity) by setting out STEM by Nature as an accessible and interdisciplinary model for learning, and one well suited to project work.
  • Make explicit links with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how to develop the skills and outlooks required of practitioners and learners to live in an interdependent world.

Proposed Programme of Learning

September/ October 2020

Introduction to STEM By Nature
Online Twilight session 1: Introduction to STEM By Nature (4- 6 pm, Wednesday 9 September)
Introduction to concept of STEM by Nature and connections between STEM and Learning for Sustainability. Context of ‘UN Global Goal #15 Life on Land ’ to illustrate STEM learning and activity links with national programmes and policy. Includes a practical, hands-on session to showcase outdoor learning pedagogy.

Local Learning Opportunity 1 (1 hour)
Practitioners to trial a nature connection activity back at school. Participants will be invited to utilise an online forum to critically reflect on their use of STEM by Nature resources and techniques with other practitioners.

October/ November 2020

Stem By Nature and Citizen Science

Online Twilight Session 2: STEM By Nature and Citizen Science (4 – 6 pm, Wednesday 30 September)
This session explores STEM By Nature in relation to Citizen Science and Social Action. Includes a practical, hands – on session to showcase Citizen Science.

• Local Learning Opportunity 2: (1 hours)
Participants will trial a Citizen Science Survey back at school. Participants will be invited to utilise an online forum to critically reflect on their use of STEM by Nature resources and techniques with other practitioners.

January/March 2021

STEM By Nature and Global Goals

Online Twilight Session 3: STEM By Nature and Global Goals (2 hours)
This session explores STEM By Nature in relation to relevant Sustainable Development Goals. Practitioners will critically consider practical approaches to learning and teaching in relation to these contexts.

Local Learning Opportunity 3:  (1 hours)
Participants will consider how their learning can be shared, e.g. taking a leadership opportunity within the school, delivering training to colleagues, influencing their school improvement plan, or organising a STEM by Nature event within their cluster as a transition or community engagement event.

Reflecting on Practice

Online Twilight session: Reflecting on Practice (1 hours)
A ‘live’ online event for practitioners will be an opportunity to reflect on and share their STEM by Nature achievements over 6 months, and/or share plans and projects for the upcoming term/academic year.

How can I get involved?

Applicants should be:

  • Teachers and practitioners working within the Tayside (Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross Councils) and Fife region. Priority will go to practitioners in Primary (second level) and Secondary (S1-S3) education including ASN and CLD practitioners.
  • Able to attend online training sessions.
  • Supported by their headteachers and wider school community.
  • Committed to sharing learning with colleagues in their establishment and across their learning cluster.


Complete the booking form now to secure your place, limited spaces available.

Using the subject ‘STEM By Nature’ please email [email protected] to reserve your place.