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STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths

What’s in it for me?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The Scottish Government has identified STEM as one of the most important areas to develop if Scotland is to be a prosperous country in the future.


There are many STEM competitions and challenges which are available for school pupils. These generally involve working in a team, quite often with involvement from people who work in industry or universities. You can get to use specialist equipment and develop skills and experience. Pupils who have taken part in challenges in the past have had a great time. There are usually excellent prizes to be had!


If you are interested in any of the competitions on this page then contact Mr MacLellan in Science for further information.

More about STEM


Science, technology and engineering have a crucial role to play in creating a sustainable future and dealing with the significant global challenges we face in the 21st century.


These include dealing with the reality of the changing climate, tackling hunger for hundreds of millions of people in the poorest countries and finding alternative sources of energy.


There are many opportunities for students who think they have a contribution to make in this area. Developing technologies such as carbon capture and storage and wind and tidal power will generate many thousands of jobs. In the next 10 to 15 years it is anticipated that some 60,000 to 90,000 jobs will be created in the green sector in Scotland in addition to the 80,000 that already exist.


Engineering is what unites the sciences, technological subjects and maths. It is interdisciplinary, using skills and knowledge from different disciplines to solve problems.


These are the skills that can be developed by taking part in a STEM challenge:


Learners can:

ask questions or hypothesise.

plan and design procedures and experiments.

select appropriate samples, equipment and other resources.

carry out experiments.

use practical analytical techniques.

observe, collect, measure and record evidence, taking account of safety and controlling risks and hazards.

present, analyse and interpret data to draw conclusions.

review and evaluate results to identify limitations and improvements.

present and report on findings.

report (hypothesis, activity, results, evaluate).


Learners can:

analyse products, systems, environments and services.

identify design issues.

search and retrieve information to inform thinking.

develop a range of ideas / possible solutions.

select and manage appropriate resources.

develop skills and dexterity in manipulating materials and components.

develop and use sketching techniques.

use a specification as a measure to evaluate performance.

be creative and innovative.

use tools, equipment, software and materials safely and effectively.


Learners can:

formulate questions.

make use of problem-solving skills: clarifying objectives, assembling and evaluating information, planning a solution, implementing the solution, checking results and rethinking the problem and steps towards solution, if necessary.

think creatively.

think critically.

design and build models and prototypes.

use tools, equipment, software and materials.

evaluate products, systems and services.

make connections and apply learning in new contexts.

collaborate, lead, show initiative and interact with others.

prepare and deliver presentations – oral, written, multimedia.


Learners can:





discuss, communicate and explain their thinking.

develop problem-solving capabilities.

develop critical thinking skills.

see patterns and relationships.

evaluate to make informed decisions.



STEM Links

STEM Central

BP Competition

Breakthrough Junior Challenge

National Engineering for Girls

Science : Fiction : Make : Believe

Strathclyde University


Royal Society Masterclasses for S1 and S2