News New outdoor STEM venture for Mid Argyll Harnessing our expertise in outdoor learning, climate literacy and the natural environment here in Argyll and Bute, we launched a new outdoor STEM learning venture for Mid Argyll in October. Thanks to support from the Drax Foundation, we are working with home educators and local primary schools to strengthen and grow outdoor science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities in the area. Learning outdoors nurtures young children’s innate tendency to explore and stimulate their senses. We see the benefits of this in action at our MAKI Pups outdoor nursery and this makes us committed to the benefits of teaching outdoors. We know that STEM subjects can be brought to life using the diverse natural environment of Mid Argyll as our classroom. Integrating with the Curriculum for Excellence STEM development practitioner Kirsty Rolland and ACTNow project manager Jamie Joyce are leading the project, which will run for the remainder of the 2023 to 2024 academic year. By integrating the Curriculum for Excellence in our lessons, we are aligning with the ambitions of teachers and educators throughout the local authority. Jamie comments: ‘It is an incredible and unique opportunity to be involved in the growth of STEM learning, particularly in outdoor settings. This first year will allow us to gather evidence on the value of outdoor STEM learning, which will be useful to all those involved in planning for or teaching these subjects. Through working with a wide range of educators, we’re excited to see how this work will strengthen and support the current teaching of STEM in Mid Argyll.’ Would you like to learn more? Email our ACT Now project manager Jamie Joyce. Photo: DRAX team visit our MAKI Pups outdoor nursery in September. ACT’s STEM development practitioner Kirsty, ACT's chief executive Julie and ACTNow project manager Jamie showed Drax community manager Sarah Cameron and Drax head of community Shona King (not pictured) around MAKI Pups. About our funder ACT chief executive Julie Young says: “We believe that learning outdoors is extremely beneficial to young children and nurtures their innate curiosity. The Drax Foundation have given us support this year, which means that we can extend our STEM outdoor learning sessions to a wider age range and number of young learners. We are really grateful for the support.” Drax Foundation is the corporate foundation of renewable energy company Drax Group. Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology. Drax Foundation funds initiatives that support education and skills development in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM), as well as those that improve green spaces and enhance biodiversity within local communities. Learn more about Drax Foundation.