Primary Schools


On the advice of the Scottish Government, the University of the Highlands and Islands STEM Team are currently working from home. Please see our STEM @ HOME page for some ideas and activities to engage with STEM while at home.

All STEM Team projects are completely free of charge to schools.

Lend-A-Lab content


This project allows schools to borrow equipment and receive lesson ideas and training on different STEM topics. This activity is suitable for CfE Levels 1 and 2 classes (P2-P7).

Lend-A-Lab is a programme that provides equipment, support and inspiration to teachers to allow them to deliver engaging and effective Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths activities in the classroom. It is completely free of charge to primary schools in the Highland Council area and supported where possible by the STEM team at the university.

What do you get?

  • To borrow quality STEM equipment and resources for a five week period.
  • 3 lesson plans to assist you to use equipment in the class.
  • Online or telephone assistance as required.
  • Our procedure for safe lending during COVID.

Children in science lab

How to sign up to Lend-A-Lab content

How to sign up to Lend-A-Lab

How to sign up to Lend-A-Lab

Equipment available for loan (restrictions may apply as dependent on number of pieces of equipment available). All equipment is accompanied by full lesson plans. Equipment loan is free and for a 5 week period.

If your school would like to be borrow Lend-A-Lab please email with the following details :

  • School name
  • Which equipment set you are interested in
  • Number of equipment sets required (one kit per student) where appropriate.
  • School staff contact name and email address

We will endeavour to get back to you with one week to discuss a suitable date and delivery arrangements. Please be aware that we have very limited resources and hence will not be able to fill all requests.

What topics are available? content

What topics are available?

What topics are available?

Early Coding

Get children excited about coding! Using simple coding toys; this session provides a very basic introduction to computers and how we can give them instructions for early level children. Children will enjoy getting hands-on and solving simple problems with our robots. 

  • Suitable for : Nursery, P1
  • What is in this kit box : Code-a-pillar
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : TCH 0-13a, TCH 0-14a, TCH 0-14b 
  • Ideally two teacher demonstration sets per kit.
  • Maximum 8 Code-a-pillar available.

Science Investigators

This equipment and activity set allows first level pupils to build practical science skills. Activities include conducting a simple experiment, analysing alkalis and acids and making predictions.

  • Suitable for : P2-P4
  • What is in this kit box : Lab coats and goggles; Pipettes, test tubes, petri dishes and test tube racks; Materials to test
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : First level sciences: enquiry and investigative skills. SCN 1-15a, SCN 1-16a 
  • Full class set available


Pupils will discover how a microscope works and then work with a selection of different microscopes to explore what a range of samples looks like. We will compare samples of living and non-living things, thinking about what the differences are and then record our findings just like real scientists! 

  • Suitable for : P2-P4                         
  • What is in this kit box (examples) : Petri-dishes; Pipettes; Rock/mineral samples; Seeds and bark; Magnifying glasses; USB microscope with computer; Matching game
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : SCN 1-01, SCN 1-12b  
  • Full class set available

STEM Careers

Explore the world of STEM careers. Pupils will take part in fun, interactive games finding out about the different skills you need for a range of STEM jobs. 

  • Suitable for : P5-P7  
  • What is in this kit box : White board sheets; Sticky notes; STEM Challenge Cards and associated equipment for challenge; Roll of wallpaper; Prospectus as carers reference material
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : Sciences SCN 2-20a                                        
  • Full class set available


The engineering kit provides equipment and activity ideas to help pupils to develop their engineering knowledge and teamworking skills by constructing projects using super-sized building materials. Activities include building a car, exploring angles and building a catapult.

  • Suitable for : P4-P7
  • What is in this kit box : Hard wearing building kit including nuts, bolts, joints, planks
  • Curriculum for excellence links : Technology  TCH 2-11a  and TCH 2-12a
  • Maximum 15 kits.

Digital Lend-a-Labs

These assume students have access to a Chromebook and the internet.

Coding 1

Pupils will be introduced to the basic concepts of computer programming. Taking part in hands-on, floor based activities, pupils will learn about the importance of logic and quality of information in programming. Encouraging pupils to start coding for themselves we will introduce some online games that they can continue to practise at school or at home. 

  • Suitable for : P5-P7
  • What is in this kit box : Floor mats; Electricity game to explain parallel and series circuits; Binary game
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : Technologies TCH 2-09a
  • Full class set available  (assumes floor mats will be used by children in rotation)

Coding 2 

This sessions is an introduction to using the coding language ‘Scratch’. Pupils will be taken through the basics and by the end of the session will have produced their own game on ‘Scratch’. 

  • Suitable for : P5-P7
  • Curriculum for Excellence links: Technologies TCH 2-09a
  • Contact for lesson plans

Coding 3 

Pupils will have the opportunity to download some code they have created to a CodeBug! Pupils will be challenged to use their problem solving skills to get their CodeBug to complete different tasks. 

  • Suitable for : P5-P7
  • What is in this kit box : Codebugs; Crocodile clips
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : Technologies TCH 2-09a
  • Full class set available          

BBC Micro:bit 1

Examine the wonderful world of the BBC micro:bit and the micro:bit foundation web site. Students will learn all about algorithms and  different computer languages, create a simple game using the micro:bit and use the micro:bit to play music. 

  • Suitable for : P5-P7
  • What is in this kit box : Micro:bits in protective plastic covers; External speakers; Crocodile clips
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : Technologies TCH 2-09a
  • Full class set available

Data Handling (BBC Micro:bit online lessons)

Pupils explore data and the sensors on the BBC micro:bit through a variety of unplugged and programming activities   Pupils explore using data collected by the sensors on the micro:bit as a condition in programs.

  • Suitable for : P5-P7
  • What is in this kit box : Micro:bits in protective plastic covers; Crocodile clips
  • Curriculum for Excellence links: Technologies TCH 2-09a
  • Full class set available

Sphero Project

The Sphero kit is an excellent way to introduce pupils of all ages to computer science and technology. Activities include; an introduction to coding with Sphero, advanced coding including using loops and variables.

  • What is in this kit box : Sphero with charging base; Kindle
  • Additional Spheros are available for schools who wish to use Chromebooks as the controller. This requires you to download the free Sphero app. Please contact if you wish to discuss this.
  • Curriculum for Excellence links : Technology TC2-13a, TC2–14a and  TC2-15a
  • Full class set available.

Composite  / ASN

We have additional kit in limited numbers that might be of suitable use where only two or three items are needed for individual student use. Please contact the STEM Team at to discuss this further.

What teachers are saying about Lend-A-Lab content

What teachers are saying about Lend-A-Lab

What teachers are saying about Lend-A-Lab

'It was excellent that the CPD training could be timed directly after class delivery as it inspired the teachers to find out more, having seen their pupils so fully engaged during their lesson. Mairi was able to give all the staff confidence to further develop skills with their own classes and build on previous learning.'

Farr (Suth) Primary School

‘Plans were amazingly clear and well organised so that I was able to go straight into the class and deliver a session as laid out in the lesson plans without having to spend hours familiarising myself with equipment.’

Carrbridge Primary School

'I thought this was a great resource and used it with children from P1-7. They all got so much out of it. I picked ideas out of the lesson plans but structured them my own way to suit the age/stage of the children. Mairi explained it very clearly to the children and adults and gave me good ideas for how I could use it in forth coming maths lessons on angles. I would love to have it in school again!'

North West Sutherland Schools