Are you a company, charity, school, college, university, chartered body or Local Authority looking to inspire young people in digital tech but not sure where to start? Why not consider partnering with an existing organisation already engaging young people in tech? Or perhaps you are looking for a little extra help or an industry professional to deliver a careers talk? Whatever you need, check out some of the resources available in Scotland to assist you.
Please also let us know if there is an organisation/resource that should also be listed – all we request is for the activities to focus on boosting interest in computing and technology among young people in Scotland.
Volunteering to support a tech club is your chance to inspire the next generation of tech enthusiasts. Whether you’re a school teacher, a youth worker, or a volunteer with a technical background, you can make an impact!
Take a look at these resources to help get you started:
These resources have been created by Skills Development Scotland and Digital Skills Education as part of a programme to support tech clubs across Scotland.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Scotland’s national skills body is responsible for helping to create a skilled workforce that’s ready to face the future. SDS’ apprenticeships family plays a key role in setting people up for success in their careers. Apprenticeships are designed to tackle potential skills gaps, and support new or existing employees to develop. SDS works closely with Scotland’s industries to make sure apprenticeships meet their needs. Skills Development Scotland administers the funding for apprenticeships training, on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Apps for Good unlocks the confidence and talent of young people through creative learning programmes. Students use new technologies to design and make products that can make a difference to their world. Apps for Good equips students to research, design and make digital products and take them to market. Teachers act as their guides through the programme, connecting them to developers and experts outside school to get real world insight.
The Barefoot project empowers all primary school teachers tp deliver computing curriculum in engaging and practical ways. There are three main key elements at the heart of the Barefoot Computing Project: Lessons: over 80 cross-curricular lesson plans and engaging resources; Online Guides to help primary teachers quickly and easily improve their computer science subject knowledge and confidence and Barefoot Workshops: free CPD sessions run by volunteer experts to introduce teachers to the Barefoot computing resources.
Code Club Scotland supports a nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Code Club’s projects are easy to follow step-by-step guides which help children learn Scratch, HTML & CSS and Python by making games, animations, and websites. The projects gradually introduce coding concepts to allow children to build their knowledge incrementally. In 2015 Code Club joined forces with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
CoderDojo Scotland is part of a global collaboration that provides free coding clubs for young people. At a CoderDojo, Young people aged 7 – 18, can learn new programming languages, create apps for their computer, tablet or phone, build websites, make games, in fact everything they need to become a great programmer in a fun and sociable environment. There is only one rule: “Above all; Be cool”. The driving force behind CoderDojo Scotland are volunteers and mentors from technology and education backgrounds.
ComputerXplorers provides fun and engaging quality technology and computing education for young people aged 3 to 13. ComputerXplorers offers children specialist computing education in their own school or nursery, which may be after school computing clubs, creative computing theme days or daily classes during the school day. In Scotland, ComputerXplorers operates across Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian, Midlothian, Falkirk, and the Borders as well as Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, and Dumfries & Galloway.
Digital Schools Awards is an independent organisation backed by industry partners that specialises in digital education programmes for schools to enhance teacher and pupil digital competences and have these acknowledged. In 2021, Digital Schools Awards launched a new Digital Wellbeing Award which is a whole-school approach to develop positive, constructive and resilient students in the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to maximise the benefits of digital technologies for personal, social and learning purposes.
Digital World is an multi channel promotion initiative to inspire and support people in Scotland to take up careers in digital technologies. It has been developed by Scotland’s digital technologies sector and Skills Development Scotland. Digital World’s aim is to meet increasing demand in the jobs market to support the long-term tech industry in Scotland. It achieves this by informing a very broad range of people – students, parents, teachers, industry members, job switchers – about the variety of opportunities in digital technology.
dressCode is a multi-award winning charity aspiring to make a dent in the Computing Science gender gap; with the aim of engaging, inspiring and raising awareness of opportunities in the world of tech. dressCode has an online free pupil portal to help schools run a free lunchtime club for girls aged 11-13. Participants will learn about Games Design, making projects on Scratch 3.0, Web Development and Cyber Security with App Design coming soon too! dressCode also offers free pick up and play resources as well as running various hackathons and online competitions for girls.
Edinburgh Science is an educational charity that aims to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the wonder of science and technology. Annually it delivers one of Europe’s largest science festivals, inspires young learners by bringing science shows and workshops to primary schools all over the country with Generation Science – the UK’s largest science education outreach programme – and offers a unique immersive STEM focused careers education experience for S1-S3 pupils with Careers Hive.
ESP Scotland is a collaboration of Scotland’s colleges and industry partners aiming to increase Scotland’s capacity to deliver the right skills for the energy, engineering and construction sectors to meet industry demand. ESP has introduced and supported a number of STEM challenges across Scotland including IET FIRST® LEGO® League, SUBS in Schools, Greenpower and STEM into Renewables.
FIRST® LEGO® League is a global STEM challenge which encourages an interest in real world issues and develops skills crucial for future careers. FIRST® LEGO® League Explore is a STEM programme suitable for 6–9-year-old. Each year a theme relevant to the world around them is chosen as a focus for the children’s work. The teams research the topic, displaying their ideas on a team poster, build a LEGO® model and program one part to move using LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 or LEGO® SPIKE Essential software.
Founders4Schools is an award-winning charity with a free online service enabling educators to connect with local business leaders to help inspire pupils about the world of work through impactful events such as career talks, group mentoring and workplace visits. Founders4Schools events are based on the Gatsby Foundation’s Good Career Guidance Benchmarks along with research data proving that students with four employer encounters are 86% less likely to become NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training).
The Girl Geek Scotland (GGS) network and community is for people working and studying in the technology, computing, IT, digital, creative, media, business, enterprise and related sectors in Scotland who are able to connect and support each other at entry-level and throughout their careers. GGS provides an interdisciplinary forum for people working in related industries to develop a social and career network and learn from peers & leaders in the field at the same time.
Hello World is a computing and digital making magazine for educators. In partnership with Raspberry Pi, Computing at School and BCS Academy of Computing, the magazine includes engaging articles to bring computing to life for students and shares experience from teachers about various computing projects to real-life research. The magazine, published three times per year and available free of charge for for UK-based educators.
iDEA is an independent and charitable organisation helping learners (age 6 to 93) to develop digital and enterprise skills, discover new talents and gain digital confidence, for free. Learners work through bite-sized, interactive modules and are rewarded with digital badges and points which are collected, and count towards achieving the Bronze, Silver or Gold Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award. Learners can keep a record of their achievement and add their achievements to their CV’s to help them get jobs.
LiveCode allows young people to get into programming in an intuitive way, due to the similarity of the scripting language to English. It allows students to speak to a computer the same way they think and talk. It also allows students to learn graphical and creative skills, owing to LiveCode’s user interface, while simultaneously learning the core elements of computational thinking. LiveCode is a perfect bridge between Scratch for students at primary school, and Python for older students. It is taught in one third of high schools in Scotland as well as high schools and universities around the world.
Marketplace is an online tool connecting schools and colleges with businesses in Scotland to bring industry insight into the classroom. Employers can register their activities such as workshops, talks, workplace visits or placements via the Our Skillsforce website to help pass on knowledge of their sector. Using the dedicated Marketplace area on My World of Work, teachers can search the opportunities posted by employers. Marketplace has also paired with Founders4Schools to give educators another tool to help find and invite local business leaders to events.
My World of Work Live is a set of fun, interactive activities that help young people understand possible future careers. Aimed at pupils in P5 to S6 across Scotland, activities are designed and delivered by experts with a passion for education and learning. Using the latest technology, the activities help young people identify their own skills and learn about the world of work, the key sectors and what jobs Scotland will need.
Rampaging Chariot is a powerful, radio controlled featherweight sporting robot that is used by schools and youth groups, with teams aged 13- 17, to compete in a tournament – the annual Scottish Robotic Games – to determine the Robotic Games Champion. It is a project aimed at interesting young people in engineering organised by the Rampaging Chariots Guilds. You receive the first robot as a free kit and your team builds it and tests it (this takes about 12 hours work). You can then design unique bodywork and think of ideas to improve its performance.
Robotical designs and manufactures Marty the Robot, a walking, dancing, eyebrow-wiggling robot that brings coding alive in a fun, hands-on way. Perfect for primary age pupils, Marty helps teach programming and robotics to children with specific coding environments based on Scratch and ScratchJr. Marty supports learning progression into secondary school with text based language, Python and can be used right across the curriculum. Marty comes with a free lesson library, which includes over 100 lesson plans and teacher guides.
SmartSTEMs exist to inspire the next generation about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) through cost effective collaboration between industry and education. They have a vision that every child in the world, regardless of age, gender, background, ethnicity, religion, location, will have equal and fair access to STEM education and career opportunities. Their mission is to provide equal access to inspire and realise the full potential of future generations, through facilitating cost-effective collaboration with industry and education.
Speakers for Schools was created to help level the playing field for UK state schools and their students to give them the same access to inspiring talks and engagement as available in the country’s most respected public schools. Working with the UK’s leading figures across sectors and fields, Speakers for Schools help them give their time directly in a state school each year, and host work experience for the students who lack these opportunities the most.
Sphero is transforming education with accessible tools that encourage exploration, imagination, and perseverance through STEAM and computer science. With the help of educators around the world, they are empowering learners of all backgrounds and abilities to discover their interests and passions while equipping them with the skills they need to be the world’s future Changemakers.
Over 33,000 STEM Ambassadors, from 17-70 years old, from over 2,500 different employers, volunteer their time, enthusiasm and experiences to encourage and inspire young people to achieve more and progress further in STEM. STEM Ambassadors are able to enhance and enrich the teaching and learning of STEM subjects by sharing their own interest, skills and experience in STEM. The STEM Ambassadors in Scotland Hub is based at SSERC.
Stemettes seeks to inspire the next generation of females, starting at age 5, into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields by showing them the amazing women already in STEM via a series of free, fun, food-filled experiences – panel events, hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring schemes. Almost 15,000 young women have attended Stemette events since February 2013, across the UK, Ireland & Europe with a target of 2 million by 2025.
TechFuture Girls is an out-of-the-box after-school club that has been specifically designed to encourage girls to stay engaged in IT. It helps girls develop their tech skills through a series of fun challenges, themed around their interests – like music, sport and dance. Running TechFuture Girls doesn’t need any specialist IT expertise or software, it’s fully curriculum-compliant, and girls love it. It supports girls’ learning in IT and across the curriculum, and benefits their confidence and self-esteem.
VEX Robotics offers range of educational robotics kits are suitable for P1 to S6 pupils. In a primary setting, VEX 123 and VEX GO are used with the STEM Labs lesson plans to teach computing whilst providing strong links to science, maths and technology. In secondary schools, VEX IQ, VEX EXP and VEX V5 provide a complete STEM learning experience through robotics lessons and extra-curricular competitions. Learning with physical robots is also supplemented using VEXcode VR, a virtual robot coding tool that students can access from anywhere.
Young Engineers and Science Clubs Scotland (YESC) is a Scotland wide primary and secondary school education programme run by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and supported by many of public or private sector members. YESC’s projects are designed to grow interest and spark enthusiasm in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects by encouraging young people to have a go at fun, hands-on activities and experiments. Students work alongside teachers and industry experts.
The Young STEM Leader Programme is an exciting opportunity for young people in Scotland to discover, create, inspire and lead in STEM. The key aim of the programme is to facilitate the development of peer-to-peer STEM role models, inspiring more young people to develop an interest in STEM. As part of the award, young people will create and plan STEM activities for others, build their leadership, communication and employability skills, and help to build STEM capital within their learning community.
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