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21 April 2023

Young explorers take on Castle CSI challenge in new learning initiative

New cross-curricular activities and resources in partnership with Glasgow Science Centre highlights key aspect technology played in the construction and preservation of Scotland’s historical sites

A bird's eye photo of Craigmillar Castle

A new learning resource for schools and communities exploring the role science and technology played in the construction of historic sites such as Scotland’s castles - and how it is used to preserve them today - has been launched.

Castle CSI is a cross-curricular learning initiative and educational resource from HES in partnership with the Glasgow Science Centre aimed at primary school children and communities which looks to bring alive - in a fun, engaging and interactive way - the key role STEM subjects such as science, maths and engineering played in castle construction. This unique mix of history and science topics is backed by a range of learning resources, workshops, interactive materials, and digital assets for schools and includes wider learning linked to topics such as careers.  

Officially launched with the interactive Castles Rock live show at Glasgow Science Centre’s Science Show Theatre, the initiative will be rolled out to schools and communities by HES over the coming weeks. As well as the live science show, pupils from Kirklandneuk and Mossvale primaries in Paisley also helped launch the new initiative by taking part in an interactive workshop bringing the concept to life in Glasgow Science Centre's lab.  

The project highlights how our much-loved castles across Scotland were both impenetrable fortresses and incredible feats of technology and innovation with technology continuing to provide innovative ways to deal with modern-day threats such as climate change. An innovative hybrid approach means the show and workshops can be delivered in person or digitally with online resources accessible to everyone.  

Craig Fletcher, Head of Learning and Inclusion at HES said:

This partnership with Glasgow Science Centre takes an innovative cross-curricular approach that mixes history and science. Scotland boasts some of the most impressive castles in the world and they play an integral role in telling stories of our past and are hugely popular as visitor attractions.

“Their construction involved some incredible feats of engineering and for the times, hugely innovative technology. This new partnership takes a unique cross-curricular approach that mixes up history and science and provides opportunities to learn how technology has influenced the past and the present. The option to deliver on different platforms ensures there will be opportunities for learners across Scotland to engage in-person or online."

Dr Gillian Lang, Director of Experience Development at Glasgow Science Centre said:

"We're delighted to be working with Historic Environment Scotland on this fascinating project to inspire pupils to think about how we can use science and technology to explore and preserve our wonderful historic sites.” 

Explore some of the new Castle Science learning resources

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Barry McPherson
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07880 134 601