The findings are in a report commissioned by The Wood Foundation for its RAiSE programme.
Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science said:
“The RAiSE programme is an excellent example of how a joint venture between education and business can enhance pupils’ experience of STEM learning in schools. Our STEM Strategy aims to build the capacity of the education and training system so that employers have the skilled workforce they need and RAiSE helps to support this.”
RAiSE, which is led by Education Scotland, equips teachers with the skills to confidently teach STEM to primary school children, incorporating it with wider curriculum objectives.
Gayle Duffus, National Education Officer for RAiSE, said:
“It is wonderful there is such a desire from learners to engage with science. However, our report also found that less than 30% envisaged themselves working as a scientist when they grew up. What we need to do is harness the potential and motivation of learners at this formative stage and ensure they have exciting and creative opportunities to learn about science. Through positive, early engagement with Science and STEM, we can equip the next generation with both the skills and the desire to become Scotland’s STEM workforce of the future.
Questions were asked of pupils, teachers and school leaders as they were about to embark on the RAiSE programme in Fife, Glasgow, Angus and Dumfries and Galloway. Science was ‘liked’ by 88% of children, with ICT attracting 96% and PE 94%.
The main reason for head teachers engaging with the programme was to promote pupils’ aspirations regarding science and technology careers and the overall quality of learning and teaching methods of science.
Likewise, teachers’ top priority was promoting career aspirations for young people. Teachers also wanted to increase interdisciplinary learning approaches, as well as developing their own knowledge and skills in relation to science teaching.
“The survey responses show that, with the right support, Scotland’s teachers and head teachers are keen to incorporate STEM in a more meaningful way into the curriculum to support pupil development and attainment.”