The Watt Box Project is an innovative new P7-S1 transition project that has been codesigned by Heriot-Watt University Outreach, and teachers in Inveralmond Community High School and Peel Primary, in Livingston. The project is currently running in Inveralmond Community High School in Livingston, Braes High School in Falkirk and in each high schools, surrounding feeder primary schools.
The project takes an evidence-based approach to tackling the main barriers to STEM learning, confidence, capacity, and culture. The project utilises a cascade model whereby students and academics from Heriot-Watt University work together with senior phase high school students, who will in turn work with local primary schools. Senior school pupils can use the project to help obtain a Young STEM Leader award. Research has shown that pupils are influenced most by role models who are like them: this could be close in age, come from a similar background or even look like them. By utilising the cascade approach each level is learning from the level above allowing each pupil to visualise their future selves in STEM based roles or study.
Pupils increase their confidence in transferable STEM skills and gain greater awareness of career pathways and higher education. While university students will gain key skills such as leadership, lesson planning and public speaking. Schools are given access to STEM equipment and resources, while school practitioners will receive Continuous Lifelong Professional Learning opportunities.
“The co-design aspect of this project is what makes it so appealing, unique and engaging. It is fantastic to work in collaboration with university staff to develop and tailor a project that really works for our students, in our school, instead of trying edit an "off-the-shelf" set of activities or resources. It is invaluable for my students to see older students from the same area, engaging in STEM and realising that STEM is a viable pathway for their future whilst they develop their own authentic skills, knowledge and understanding.