Posts Tagged ‘stem’

My World of Work for S1

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum, Personal

All of our S1 students took part in a workshop delivered by Skills Development Scotland today. Our SDS Careers Advisers delivered the My World of Work Live (MyWOW Live) programme in the Hall all day.

The programme is an early taste of the potential careers available for students studying STEM subjects (Science, Technologies, Engineering and Maths). The hands on activities allowed our young people to get deeply engaged in some fascinating science as well as learn about potential career opportunities. Thanks to all at SDS for supporting this programme.

S4 Bridge to Employment: Ashfield Music Festival

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal

At our second STEMinar on Thursday 19 November we learnt how Physics is applied during the planning of a music festival. At the start of the day we were assigned different roles within our group of six eg Project Manager, Sound Engineer and Health and Safety Advisor.

Throughout the day we learnt what was involved in each job. In the afternoon we had to work together to put forward a plan and detailed costs for a music festival with the aid of a poster. Our presentations had to convince a panel of judges to provide us with the funding needed for a festival.

Overall we really enjoyed this STEMinar and it helped to improve our team working and communication skills as well as boosting our confidence.

by Sami Cochrane (4T) and Gabi Gill (4L)


Samantha Cochrane (4T1)

Samantha Cochrane (4T1)

Gabrielle Gill (4L1)

Gabrielle Gill (4L1)








Read more about Bridge to Employment HERE. It is delivered in partnership with several companies, including Scottish and Southern Energy and Lifescan.

S4 Bridge to Employment pupils:

Danielle Ross 4K1; Gabrielle Gill 4L1; Bruce Campbell 4L2; Ashwin Crombie 4L2; Jacob Hodgson 4L2; Eilidh McCormick  4L2; Adam; MacDougall 4L2; Tyler Whitty 4L2; Szymon Kryszczyszyn 4S1; Miar Kyle 4S1; Sasha Brandon 4T; Samantha Cochrane 4T; Robbie Henderson 4T; Megan Meldrum 4T; Ross Watson 4T.

Maplin Bus

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

We welcomed the Maplin Technology Bus to Charleston Academy on Thursday. Pupils in S3 were able to visit the bus during the day. Outside, Maplin had a display of various radio control equipment which the pupils were able to try out including a self balancing robot which could carry objects on a tray while following pupils around.

One of the highlights was the appearance of a top-of-the-range Phantom Drone. Despite the strong wind, we managed two successful take offs during breaks in the weather and pupils were entertained by the amazing control and manoeuvrability of the quadcopter, which ascended to heights above the school. We will have the footage on You-Tube soon.

Downstairs on the bus the pupils were able to see a range of equipment which can allow people to control their home remotely.  Heating, lighting and electrical sockets could be controlled from anywhere in the world using a mobile phone.

Upstairs there were various activities for the pupils to interact with including 3Doodle pens for creating 3D sculptures and  a Raspberry Pi controlled robotic arm.  One of the most popular activities with the pupils was the 3D scanner. Some S3 girls loved scanning their head into the computer and giving themselves a virtual makeover.   The most popular activity was  trying out the “Makey Makey” kit which had been set up in such a way that pupils could play a virtual piano using real bananas instead of keys.

Trevor White Manager of Maplin Inverness handed over a generous donation of four Raspberry Pi kits including a range of sensors, Pi cameras and a 24” HDMI monitor.  These will be used in the first instance to help make progress with our on-going Space Mission weather balloon project before being used in other curricular and extra-curricular projects.

We are really grateful to Trevor and all at Maplin for working with us, for the donation of equipment, and for making the day a great success.

Mr Duncan Dyker, PT Computing / Mr Brendan McMahon, PT Business Education

Vocational Skills at the Black Isle Show

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal

On Wednesday the 10th of June, 14 S4 Charleston pupils travelled to the Black Isle Show ground with 172 other pupils from Highland schools.  We arrived in the morning and were put into separate groups made up of pupils from different schools to practice our team building skills. Throughout the day we did various challenges and tasks set up by different companies to do with STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).  The tasks ranged from being blind folded and guided around an obstacle course by a partner to working in a team building a tower out of newspapers. One of our teams constructed the highest tower of the day – which reached a height of 4.5 metres!

Our favourite challenges were building the tower and also going through an obstacle course with a 70kg dummy. We liked these tasks as they helped us build our teamwork skills and develop our leadership skills while also making new friends with pupils from Lochaber and Glen Urquhart Schools.

Throughout the whole experience we learnt more about the Bridge to Employment scheme and what it is all about. We have the choice to continue with the Programme until Sixth year.

Bridge to Employment is an education-business partnership programme set up to help young people in Scotland improve their employability skills.  Within Highland Region each school has a different partner company for instance ours is SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy)  along with Lochaber and Glen Urquhart High Schools.  Other organisations involved in the delivery of BTE include HIAL (Highlands and Islands Airports) Cap Gemini, LifeScan, the CITB (Construction Industry Training board) and the University of the Highlands and Islands .

Throughout the year we will go out on various trips to discover what it is like to work in the energy industry and how important STEM is to many of the jobs and careers that we may wish to have in the future.

Overall we enjoyed our first day of the Bridge to Employment programme and we have decided already that we want to continue with it until we decide to leave school.

by Sami Cochrane (4T), Megan Meldrum (4T) and Sasha Brandon (4T)

Samantha Cochrane (4T)

Samantha Cochrane (4T)

Megan Meldrum (4T)

Megan Meldrum (4T)

Sasha Brandon (4T)

Sasha Brandon (4T)


Science Club Success

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Personal, Wider Curriculum

At the recent Celebration of Science Event at Eden Court, Charleston Academy’s S6 Science Prefects excelled in several categories. Their work assisting Mrs Pam Hamilton our Science Technician is outstanding. Every Wednesday at lunchtime Mrs Hamilton and the Science Prefects run a Science Club for younger pupils to inspire, enthuse and motivate them. The Club is part of our STEM (Science, Technologies, Engineering and Maths) projects and has received several grants and awards over the years. However Mrs Hamilton was delighted to see the students recognised for their part in the club.

The students won in two categories – winners of the Watt’s Watt Challenge and the prestigious Science Club of the Year for the North of Scotland, awarded by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. They will now be put forward for the Scottish Final to be held later this year. Read more about the work of our lunchtime Science Club.

Bridge to Employment Programme

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

Fifteen S4 pupils have been taking part in the Bridge to Employment scheme this year.  The school is working in partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy along with pupils from Glenurquhart High and Lochaber High.  The scheme aims to enhance employability skills and raise awareness of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Pupils have a series of STEMinars from Lifescan, Highlands and Islands Airports and Cap Gemini.  UHI are also partners to this initiative and they are hosting a live link up to the USA in January where pupils will have an opportunity to watch live surgery.

The pupils are growing in confidence and are working well with the pupils from the other schools as can be seen from the pictures from the latest STEMinar where they had to work in teams to build a model wind turbine.

Previous STEMinars have seen them debating the best route for a power line,  planning to use technology to enhance a community event, investigating the effects of enzymes on sugar, changing a wheel and designing infrastructure for a new town.  This has required a huge commitment from the pupils with visits to Lochaber, Drumnadrochit and Torachilty Power station.  They will now be preparing for their poster presentation and the graduation in February.

Miss Rona Macpherson, Depute Rector & Bridge to Employment Coordinator

S3 Physics Pupils organise Music Festival!

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Wider Curriculum

S3 Physics pupils spent the day working with STEM Ambassadors in our community building. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths representatives worked with the Institute of Physics to deliver a programme called Ashfield Music Festival. Pupils had to focus on the technical aspects of organising a music festival, considering the lighting, sound, and audio-visual requirements. They had to budget for the equipment they required, consider the amount of cabling and pyrotechnics they might use and work out ticket costs in order to make a profit.

Pupils worked in groups along with a STEM ambassador, planning and developing their arrangements. In the afternoon pupils presented their proposals to the STEM judges using PowerPoint, posters, and good persuasion. Pupils were judged on the technical innovations, health and safety, and profitability. The wining group of girls each won a music voucher.

This was a really successful day and the first time the package for the Ashfield Music Festival has been delivered in Highland. In future we plan to expand the day to involve S3 pupils from other subjects and make the day more inter-disciplinary and cross-curricular.

Mr Michael Sharkey, PT Physics