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This week

Stemnet contract awarded

Dundee Science Centre has become the only one in Scotland to be awarded one of four Stemnet contracts to help teachers improve the way they teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and steer pupils towards science-related careers. As part of the four-year contract, the centre will recruit and manage unpaid voluntary ambassadors - from scientists and engineers to gamers and environmentalists to provide support to teachers.

Parents' views on mobile phones

One in 10 parents feels it is appropriate for children as young as four to own a mobile phone, while one in 10 children already owns an iPhone, according to research by cloud service company Westcoastcloud, which launched a new internet security product for schools this week. Its poll of 2,000 parents also found that one in 10 primary-aged children had a social networking account.

Stoppard steps into debate

Czech-born playwright Tom Stoppard presented a 3,000-strong petition to the Scottish Parliament, demanding ring-fenced funding for vulnerable modern languages. It has been put before the Petitions Committee as part of a campaign by the University and College Union to protect and promote the teaching of languages and cultures at Scottish universities.

A Right Wee Blether launched

Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, has launched A Right Wee Blether, to build on his 2010 consultation of 74,000 school-aged children. This time round, he will encourage children aged two to five to express their ideas and thoughts to him. The consultation will run until 31 October.

Voice technology is stepped up

The latest development in Scottish voice technology, "Stuart", has been unveiled to help young males with communication difficulties express themselves. Stuart joins "Heather", the current Scottish synthetic voice available to pupils, so that boys can, for the first time, have a male synthetic voice to use in their school studies. The Scottish Government provided funding to CALL Scotland, based at Edinburgh University.

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