2nd January 2009 at 00:00


Built to last

Young people are showing that a Roman wall, which has largely disappeared, still remains relevant to them and their communities.

Historic Scotland and its partners have been running a project which has seen young people take part in a unique consultation on the Antonine Wall, which ran for about 37 miles from Bo'ness in the east to Old Kilpatrick, in West Dunbartonshire.

Pupils from Clydebank High, Bo'ness Academy, Glasgow's Cleveden Secondary and St Ninian's High in East Dunbartonshire have been looking into what the Antonine Wall means for the communities surrounding it and why it is worth preserving. They presented their findings to Culture Minister Linda Fabiani in an exhibition last month. Falkirk Council, Glasgow City Council and social enterprise company Space Unlimited were also involved in the project.

Information about the project will be posted on Historic Scotland's website towards the end of January.



When leaving home

Young Scot, the youth information portal, has launched a new website on independent living in conjunction with the Scottish Centre for Financial Education.

The resource, called Launchpad, is designed to help young people find their way when they set out in the world. The site is based around six video clips highlighting some of the issues that can arise when it comes to leaving home, getting into debt and budgeting. Having watched the clips, youngsters can opt to find out more by downloading factsheets or calling the Young Scot information line.



Run rings around Saturn

Winners of a science-based competition will control a satellite orbiting the planet Saturn. The Cassini Scientist for a Day competition is run by Queen Mary, University of London, with help from the United States space agency Nasa and the Ideas Foundation. It is open to people aged 11 to 18 attending school or college in the UK. Winners will direct the Cassini satellite and choose which areas of the Saturnian system to investigate and photograph.



Boys book their place

Aberdeenshire libraries have won an award for making reading attractive to an increasing number of young people, especially boys.

The Aberdeenshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge was presented with the award from Grampian Information, a not-for-profit partnership of library, archive, records management, information and advice services based throughout the north of Scotland and beyond, at their conference last month.

The libraries ran a series of initiatives to encourage school children to visit their local library and continue reading during the summer break.


Vegging aloud

The European Commission has launched the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 (EYCI) with the slogan "Imagine. Create. Innovate". The aim of the year is to raise awareness of the importance of creativity and innovation in personal, social and economic development throughout the European Union.

EYCI is intended to act as a platform for policy debate and is geared to promoting the importance of the European Union prospering in the global market place.

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra is set to perform for the official handover from the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue to its 2009 successor. The orchestra will showcase its ingenuity and play on instruments made solely of vegetables.



Getting the wind up

Every secondary school in Scotland is being sent a renewable energy education pack created by ScottishPower Renewables.

It includes an interactive DVD dealing with how renewable energy works, the process of building a windfarm, electrical safety and energy conservation. A second disc provides lesson plans, exercises and games.

Neil Henderson, a science teacher at Bearsden's Boclair Academy, has used the pack and says it will work well with a range of age groups. He was also impressed that it was based on a real Scottish windfarm which pupils can visit, making electrical generation through renewables "more real".



Food for thought

Sponsors are needed for a project which enables people with learning disabilities to research the life and work of Robert Burns.

The two-year Aberdeenshire scheme is based in Stonehaven and was inspired by Burns's father, William Burness, who came from the area.

Father of the Bard will lead to a DVD, exhibition materials and an education pack. There will also be a family history project focusing on the Burns family.

A series of business lunches, where guests are served traditional Scots food and invited to share their knowledge of Burns, will be followed by the publication of a cookery book. The food is being prepared and served by people with learning disabilities, with help from Aberdeen College and the Forest View Day Centre.

Dave Ramsay T: 01569 764167



Best in Britain go to Brussels

Pupils from Greenock Academy in Inverclyde have been on an all expenses paid trip to Brussels after coming third in a Europe-wide poster competition focusing on children's right to protection, which attracted 8,000 entries.

The S2 team, The Mobilizers, were pipped at the post by pupils from Italy and Greece for the 10 to 14-year-old age group.

Their poster, deemed the best in Britain for their age category, was designed to look like a special "EU mobile phone" with speed dial buttons to various people or organisations that could help young people in a time of need.

"We enter this competition every year with our S2 when they study prejudice, discrimination and use of power," said Liz MacKenzie, a teacher of RME at Greenock Academy. "It's a great cross-curricular project and both the art and the graphic communication departments are heavily involved.

"One of the most important messages to come across through the competition is that the issue of children's rights isn't just the responsibility of adults but also of the young people themselves."

Greenock Academy is no stranger to success in the EU poster competition as they also came second and third in the same age category in the UK competition last year.

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