Norwegian-style ‘Newton room’ STEM learning centres to be established in Caithness and Lochaber

Written by Tom Freeman on 21 February 2017 in News

Rural skills gaps in science, technology and digital to be targeted by Scandinavian-style learning centres in the Highlands

Caithness Duncansby Stacks - credit Theo K

A Norwegian scheme to boost interest in science and technology using dedicated industry facilities is to be trialled in the north of Scotland.

There are over 30 ‘Newton Rooms’ in Norway which sees industry provide facilities where school pupils can undertake a multidisciplinary educational programme in science.

These allow schools across broad rural areas to access state of the art facilities.


RELATED CONTENT

STEM teacher recruitment campaign launched

MSPs reject Highlands and Islands Enterprise plan


The first Scottish centres are set to be established in Caithness and Lochaber by the Science Skills Academy (SSA), a partnership between Highland and Islands Enterprise, the University of the Highlands and Islands and Highland Council and industry leaders. The initiative is funded as part of the Inverness city deal

It is hoped the centres will help encourage school pupils to consider careers in the Highlands where there are considerable skills gaps, like biosciences and renewable energy.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “These new facilities for Caithness and Lochaber will address the shortage of skills related to science, technology, engineering and maths/digital to help us meet current and future needs of the STEM labour market.”

Councillor Roger Saxon, who chairs the regional committee for Caithness, said: “Newton Rooms are very well equipped science rooms and will encourage primary, high school and tertiary students to study STEM/D subjects: science, technology, engineering, maths and digital.

“It is good to see some of the city region deal money coming to the north and there is no better way to invest this than in building future skills and opportunities in our workforce.”

Lochaber area chair councillor Thomas Maclennan said it was “great news” for the local economy. “This creates an opening for major local employers to get involved with shaping the skills base for the future,” he said.

SSA funding was confirmed at a formal signing of the £315m Inverness and Highland city region deal on 30 January.

Tags

Categories

Related Articles

Scottish libraries launch Code Clubs for kids
7 March 2017

Libraries across Scotland have launched Code Clubs to teach digital skills in a fun environment

Tech 100: 'Across government we’re going to have to see ourselves as a far more flexible organisation than we have in the past'
16 November 2016

In the second part of our interview with Sarah Davidson, the Scottish Government director general for communities reflects on efforts to tackle the skills dilemma

Libraries awarded over £2.3m of funding since launch of library strategy
28 September 2016

Scottish libraries have been awarded over £2.3m of funding since Scotland’s first public libraries strategy was launched last year

Related Sponsored Articles

Health Innovators You Should Know About: FlowForma's no-code, logic-only solution
19 December 2016

Microsoft partner FlowForma walks through its efforts to empower local government as part of a series that highlights local government innovators across the UK

Ready to innovate: How local government is responding to budget pressure
19 December 2016

Microsoft partner CPS walks through its efforts to empower local government as part of a series that highlights local government innovators across the UK

Transforming the Public Sector with Dynamics 365
7 December 2016

Microsoft looks at how intelligent business applications can help the public sector improve service delivery

Share this page