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STEM UPDATE (Science, Technologies, Engineering, Maths)


Design and Technology Signage

Design and Technology is a Department which houses five subjects and offers over ten courses across all year groups. It is a department of constant change due to new and innovative technologies. Our work is supported by industry standard software packages on CAD, DeskTop Publishing and Illustration Packages. Links with these sectors are growing and pupils will have opportunities to visit Engineering firms, design labs, magazine publishers and many more employers to give real context to pupils’ learning and to show the variety of pathways open to them through our subjects.

As part of this “re-branding”, Miss Taylor came up with the idea of replacing the signage above the entrance to the Design & Technology Building. Pupils were given a vast choice of materials and paints and tasked with creating an exciting and vibrant design to reflect our Department. I think we can all agree they have surpassed expectations.

Higher National 5 Educational Visit 

The Graphic Communication Higher assignment requires candidates to design a reception desk for a gym and create a promotional document to coincide with this theme and similarly the National 5 is focussed on a Healthy Fruit Drink. To give context to their learning, and as part of their research and analysis, both groups visited Glasgow Club's flagship facility - Emirates Arena - home to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Events Arena, Gym and Spa. It was a fantastic educational visit packed with a tour of all the facilities and opportunities to capture images of many reception areas, sports drinks and the variety of advertising on display. This will be extremely beneficial and will inspire our pupils to produce industry standard designs. Already pupils have been back in the classroom uploading images and analysing their experience in the context of their assignment.  


Health and Safety


Tigers Construction Training S4 Design Technology


Tigers is a well-established Scottish Training Provider, Employment Broker and recruitment company, specialising in the training and preparation of Young People aged 16-24 for entry into the Construction, Childcare, Business Administration and Mechanics industries as well as other sectors.

Our S4 pupils who are aligning their pathways with the construction sector, had the privilege of piloting a training programme designed specifically for Secondary schools.

The aim of this course was to introduce pupils to the skills needed to work within the Construction Sector. Furthermore it allowed pupils to gain insight into the work environment, practicalities and health and safety regulations and equipment associated with this sector.

Pupils were able to enhance their knowledge of the Construction Industry as well as developing practical skills through a diverse range of quality and interactive training.


Introduction / Team Building


Pupils were given an Introduction into the world of construction and the different pathways within the sector. There was a clear emphasis on working as part of a team and the activity reflected this. A brief was given to teams of three with a specification which needed to be adhered to.




The most important message of the day was the adherence to regulations and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Pupils were given an in depth briefing followed by the issuing and demonstrations of how to use and wear the PPE.




The initial interactive training was Monoblocking a square area 2 meters x 2 meters. Pupils worked as part of a 3 person team and given a specific design and method to follow.

Cement Mixing and Laying


The last interactive training was Cement Mixing. Pupils worked as part of a 3 person team collecting a bag of cement, builder’s sand, gravel and water. Pupils worked together to mix the dry ingredients and slowly add water until the concrete was workable. To finish, pupils added their mix to the area and removed air pockets through a vibration technique.

Design Technology & Health Food Technology Christmas Truffle Project


Interdisciplinary learning is a planned approach to learning which uses links across different subjects to enhance learning experiences of our pupils.

As part of our commitment to create educational links across subjects, Design and Technology and Health and Food Technology ran an Interdisciplinary Project before Christmas.

The brief was to create a selection of luxuriously light & creamy truffles with a hint of fruit using the skills of coating, rolling and mixing and a box that would hold at a minimum four chocolate truffles. Furthermore the box needed to have a Christmas theme and pupils had a choice of it being a gift box or a box that would be sold in retailers or by the school. Pupils used their knowledge of design and DeskTop Publishing to research and create exciting and eye catching designs



 Advanced Higher Biologists


Our 8 Advanced Higher Biologists accompanied by Mr McPhee and Mrs Thyne braved the elements on a recent field trip to Kindrogan in Perthshire.  Battling through the wind, rain and heavy snow, all 8 pupils managed to plan and carry out their Advanced Higher Biology projects in the woodland and streams surrounding the field centre.  They worked very hard all weekend and had just about enough time to throw some snowballs before leaving the heavy snow behind. Well done to Declan Corral, Ross Nicol, Rachel Black, Gemilah Munglah, Deborah McLean, Hannah Gibson, Jamiee Walker and Beth Clyde!



Mathematics Masterclases


Nina Pawlak and Sam Liu S3 attended the University of Glasgow Mathematics Masterclasses on Saturday mornings during November and December.

Each session consisted of a talk followed by a problem solving activity where pupils from various schools worked together. University staff and students were available to help with the activities which included nature and patterns, knots and links. Our pupils had the opportunity to visit the university and to meet pupils from other schools who have an interest in Mathematics.

They each received a certificate of attendance, and yes, they actually enjoyed giving up their Saturday mornings to study Maths!


Small Piece Trust STEM Challenge


A large group of S1 pupils took part in a STEM challenge in December run by the Small Piece Trust. The pupils were tasked to construct and develop the inner workings of a SMART building. Well done to the winning group of girls.



 Ellie Craig, Emma Copeland, Christie Muir, Leah MacDonald, Aimee Hughes, Uma Wishart, Sude Kose



Equate STEM Work Experience


Some of Hillpark’s S5 girls took part in an initiative to introduce more girls into STEM careers. 3 of the girls have been selected to complete work experience placements in February to promote these STEM opportunities.


S5 Young STEM ambassadors


4 young STEM ambassadors (Louise Reilly, Courtney Wilson, Maryam Salim and Carmen Webster) visited Gowanbank primary and Merrylee primary to showcase the Hour of Code experience with P7 pupils.