Funding opportunity

Digital Xtra Fund

£75,000 to help boost digital skills in Scotland

Opens: 30.08.18

On 30 August, the Digital Xtra Fund will launch its next round with a total of £75,000 available. Grants of up to £5,000 will be awarded to extracurricular activity providers that teach skills such as coding, data science, and computational thinking, and help inspire Scotland’s next generation of designers, developers, and digital technologists.

The closing date for applications is 1 November and awardees will be chosen by a panel made up Digital Xtra Fund Partners and EdTech experts. Funding will be awarded to successful initiatives from mid-December 2018. Full details here.



Past events

Bioinformatics CPD opportunities (FREE)

30.05.18 - Fort William, 31.05.18 - Inverness, 01.06.18 - Thurso

The Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh, is organising three CPD in sessions in Fort William (30th May AM, West Highland College), Inverness (31st May PM, Inverness College) and Thurso (1st June AM, North Highland College), in collaboration with Science Skills Academy.
Each 3 hour session will cover bioinformatics exercises that are closely linked to the Higher, Higher Human and Advanced Higher Biology curricula, so that you will be able to incorporate the material into your own lessons.

For more info or to book a place email Dr Heleen Plaiser (


Lab Rats and Geek Friday after-school classes

From 12.01.18

Skills Development Scotland, Church Street, Inverness

Both after-school classes allowed pupils to explore different ways of using science, technology, engineering and maths in a hands on way using our state-of-the-art equipment such as Lego Education, VR headsets, 3D cameras and more!


National CyberFirst Girls Competition

From 16.01.18

Centre for Health Science, Inverness

The national CyberFirst Girls Competition allowed teams of up to four to take on online challenges set by the NCSC. It was a unique opportunity for teams of school girls in S2 compete in fun online cyber security challenges.  More information at 


Royal Society of Biology – Biology Challenge

Challenge completed in school between 6th – 26th March 2018

Biology Challenge stimulated students’ curiosity for the natural world and encouraged them to take an interest in biology outside of school. Questions were set on the school curriculum, but the competition also rewarded those students whose knowledge of the subject has been increased by reading books and magazines, watching natural history programmes, taking notice of the news media for items of biological interest, and are generally aware of our natural flora and fauna.

For more information follow this link.


Science Summer School

Aplication deadline 16.03.18

Highland Wildlife Park and Edinburgh Zoo (RZSS)

A FREE week long course was run at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park designed to give students real world experience in the fields of research and conservation within the setting of our Zoos.

The science summer school courses were run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Community Conservation Department and were aimed at young people aged 16 - 18 years old (S5 - S6).
This was a great opportunity for young scientists to get together, explore the science behind zoos, meet some unusual challenges and have fun as well as work hard.

More information visit


Data Talent Scotland



Now in its third year, Data Talent Scotland brought together aspiring data science and engineering students with employers from across the country. The event was an opportunity to network, discuss and learn from some of Scotland’s leading data leaders, professionals and researchers.


Primary  NHS Health Science Days (Lochaber)

01.02.18 and 02.02.18

Caol Community Centre, Fort William

P6 pupils from primary schools throughout Lochaber had the opportunity to learn about health sciences at this fun and interactive session run in collaboration by NHS Highland and the Science Skills Academy. Pupils had the opportunity to take part in some simulated medical scenarios, and got hands-on with medical equipment used by doctors and nurses, to learn more about the health science profession.


Dino Digs and Monster Myths (RSE@Inverness)

03.02.18 10:00-16:00

Inverness Town House, Inverness

The theme of this year’s New Year Event was ‘Dino Digs and Monster Myths’ and considered how myths, legends and scientific enquiry have combined to fascinate and inspire our ancient ancestors through to current generations.

Click here for info More info.


Earth, Ocean and Space Camp

19.02.18  09:30-16:30

Skills Development Scotland, Church Street, Inverness

We invited enthusiastic young people in S2-S3 from Highland to spend a day with guests from the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Association for Marine Science, as well as our own STEM engagement advisor, Alessio, to take part in hands on activities to discover Earth, Ocean and Space in a whole new way!

The day began at the bottom of the ocean, with Clare Hill (SAMS) highlighting her research on the North Sea. Then, explore under the surface of our blue planet learning how to identify different sharks and rays: some are deadly predators whilst others gentle giants of the sea. Finally, Matjaz Vidmar (University of Edinburgh) took us on a journey into space using pictures from outer space to study earth’s environment, demonstrating how satellites out in Space take pictures of the Earth, which are used by scientists to study our environment. We then used real satellite images to find out more about the places we know by looking at them from Space.


History and Forensics: Lord Lovat ‘The Old Fox’ (RSE@Inverness)

18.01.17 19:00-21:00

Kingsmills Hotel,  Inverness

Lord Lovat, ‘ The Old Fox’, is currently known to readers and TV audiences as the grandfather of Jamie Fraser, the lead character in the ‘Outlander’ series. The notorious 18th Century clan chief, a Jacobite sympathiser, was beheaded in London for supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie. However, for centuries, there has been debate as to whether his remains lie in the family’s mausoleum near Inverness. Scientists, led by Professor Dame Sue Black, have undertaken a careful examination of these remains and revealed their findings at this event.


Primary NHS Health Science Day (Inverness)


Centre for Health Science, Inverness

P6 pupils from Raigmore Primary School had the opportunity to learn about health sciences at this fun and interactive session run in collaboration by NHS Highland and the Science Skills Academy. Pupils visited the Clinical Skills Centre in Inverness, where doctors and nurses from the Highlands receive their training, and got the opportunity to take part in some simulated medical scenarios.


Cyber Security Christmas Lectures

11.12.17   10:00-12:00 or 12:30-14:30

Hello Digital, An Lochran, Inverness

The Skills Development Scotland annual High School Christmas lectures are now in their 6th year. The lectures are always the ‘week before, the week before’ Christmas and 2017 was no exception. The format is two hours of interactive presentations on a wide range of subjects around Cyber Security. The aim of the lectures are to encourage a new generation of Cyber Security experts through examples of how fun the career can be. This is achieved through great speakers, demonstrations and many, many Kilos of chocolate.
Click here for more information.


Secondary Health Science Day


An Lochran, Inverness

S2 pupils from Ullapool High School visited the UHI STEM Hub to learn about various aspects of health science and associated careers, in this day-long event run in collaboration by the Science Skills Academy, University of the Highlands and Islands, and Skills Development Scotland. Pupils took part in a carousel of activities including baseline fitness testing; investigating the composition of inhaled and exhaled air, pulse oximetry and blood pressure; and making and coding a heart rate monitor.


Thurso Science Festival

18.10.17 and 19.10.17

Engineering, Technology and Energy Centre (ETEC), North Highland College, UHI

The University of the Highlands and Islands STEM team, and North Highland College hosted two days of Creative Science and Tech holiday sessions, in collaboration with the Engineering, Technology and Energy Centre, the Environmental Research Institute and the Science Skills Academy.
Day 1 was a free drop-in family session for children of all ages and included interactive activities such as Fight a virus with Nerf guns; DIY science experiments, design your own catapult, make a dinosaur puppet and lots more! Day 2 was open to children aged 8-12 and sessions included using microscopes to get up close and personal with some creepy crawlies and building a mini chariot and programming a Sphero robot



October Holidays Science Session


An Lochran, Inverness

The Science Skills Academy was delighted to host this fun and interactive holiday session for P1-S1 pupils, at the UHI STEM Hub. Younger children got the opportunity to investigate whether household liquids are acid or base, and built their own volcano before watching it erupt! Older children took part in a microscopy activity to discover how much pollen is actually in honey, and also watched a dissection demonstration.



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