See a Show, Attend a Gig!!

Welcome back to another Stow College Blog update.  We have some more reminders this week, so let’s get started.

Electric Honey 20th Anniversary Gig

POSTER 31st SmallerRead the press release in the Daily Record.

Friday the 31st of May sees Electric Honey celebrate their 20th anniversary bash at Oran Mor for West End Festival.

Electric Honey was set up in 1993 and since then they have signed acts such as Snow Patrol, Woodenbox, Baby Chaos and Young Aviators – amongst others.

Any staff or students who wish to come along to the 20th anniversary Electric Honey Bash at Oran Mor please contact Cara Graham – cgraham@stow.ac.uk and she will issue you with a badge/ticket for this special event. Why not bring a friend/partner and have fun doors are at 7pm and it will all be over by 10pm.

Stowaways Epic Production

Well, Jesus arrived for his dress rehearsal on the 28th of May at the Rutherglen Town hall and our very own Les was there to see it and he had his handy camera with him.

These are just a few shots he took to entice you to come along to the last Stow College Musical. Get your tickets booked now. It really is a cracker of a show.  Many thanks to Les for the usual exceptionally high quality photographs.

If you like the look of these pictures and want to attend the main event then the performance starts at 7.30 pm from Wednesday the 29th to Friday the 31st of May (tonight is the last night so don’t miss out) in Rutherglen Town Hall.

Tickets available by booking on line at – http://boxoffice.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/ – or telephone the box office on 0141 613 5700.

Blooming Great Tea Party

Tea PartyAs you know we are having our “Blooming Great Tea Party” next Wednesday 5th June.

We would appreciate it you have any unwanted items for our bric-a-brac stall and also our tombola.  We need more to help us make our target.

Also if there are any bakers out there who would love to donate their baking to us we would be delighted to have it.

All items can be handed into to the Enterprise room on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.  Baking can be handed in on the morning or the day before our tea party.

Thanks in advance for  your donations!!

ILS News Of The Week!

FitzwilliamA new collection of images has been added to JISC MediaHub – Fitzwilliam Museum.  This new collection is 1,000 images selected from the rich, diverse and internationally significant holdings of The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, including major artists such as Canaletto, JMW Turner, George Stubbs and John Constable.  You can see the collection by following this link: http://jiscmediahub.ac.uk/explore/collection?cid=20

Every image is tagged by geographical location and a date or period.  The Fitzwilliam collection was licensed by JISC Collections for JISC MediaHub as part of the Digital Images for Education project. To access this resource you need a personal Athens account – so get in touch with ILS if you need one set up.

fwclogoIt is World Environment Day on 5 June, and to compliment this, ILS have a mini-exhibition of environmental related materials on display from 4-7 June in the Learning Centre – why not drop-in and have a look at our display?

ILS would also like to remind you that all books are due back on Friday 7 June – you will be invoiced for late books after this date.

Crafts and Antiques Fair

Hear Ye Hear YeOh Yeh!  Oh Yeh!  Hear Ye! Hear Ye!  All persons of good intent who support charitable works please note that a truly wonderful Crafts and Antiques Fair is planned for the 18th of June, being a Tuesday two weeks hence, in the environs of the fifth floor of the venerable Stow College. (enough of the olde worlde stuff! – Ed).

The Healthy Working Lives Committee are organising a Crafts and Antiques Fair for Tuesday 18 June in and around Café Connect on the fifth floor of the city campus.  The main Fair will run from 10 am to 1 pm and is designed to be a fun and interesting day which will raise funds for two very worthwhile causes – Glasgow City Mission (who feed the homeless) and Glasgow Association for Mental Health (who support those with mental health issues and their carers).

Please put a reminder in your diary now!

Stalls will include:

  • Antiques and collectables:
  • Jewellery;
  • Handmade greeting cards;
  • Chocolate Bouquets;
  • Pantrepreneur pants and pyjamas;
  • Floral arrangements;
  • Records/CDs/DVDs and video games ;
  • Kleeneze cleaning products;
  • Books.

Stall holders will donate £10 or 10% of takings to charity.

That’s us again for this week, but come back next Friday for the new Stow College Blog update.

A Fantastic Launch and a Birthday!!

March already!!!  Where did February go?  At least it went out with a bang with our launch last night, but more about that later, other news first.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2013

Skills Development Scotland pledges this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week ‘bigger and better’.  Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2013, will run from the 20th to the 24th of May, and will focus on the value and benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, businesses and communities across the country.

This event highlights the commitment of employers who have offered a vital first step on the career or wisely decided to up-skill key people in their workforce.

It showcases those apprentices who have chosen this practical skills path, investing their talent, commitment and hard work in their own future and their employer’s future.

Skills Development Scotland hopes that during Scottish Apprenticeship Week employers, training providers and all other partners will encourage many more employers to participate in the programme.

Stow plan on taking part in this week and we will keep you up to date with any events or activities we arrange.

ILS New Of The Week!

research An updated guide is now available in the Information Skills series – the Research Skills booklet.  You can pick up the updated version in print format in the Learning Centre (Room 3/14), or download it from the Learning Gateway or Moodle (ILS page in the Student Area).

We have 4 information skills series booklets which can be picked up or downloaded from Moodle or Learning Gateway. The titles are: Research Skills; Exam Preparation; Writing Skills; and Citations, Referencing and Bibliographies. These guides are designed to help you with study and information literacy skills so why not have a look and see how you can improve your skills?

Don’t forget we still have our How to series of quick guides available – on Moodle, Learning Gateway or in the Learning Centre – which now number 24!  So there is bound to be something to help with your study skills development.

Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning: LaunchPad 2013

Last night (Thursday the 28th of February) saw Stow College launch the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning: LaunchPad 2013 in our Stow West Campus in Hotspur Street.

The evening began at 6.30 pm and saw host to over 150 guests, a variety of entertainment and guest speakers.

Background music was provided by, the Academy of Music and Sound, Jazz band, then we had a stunning performance by Stow College’s Musical Theatre students.  The evenings final piece of entertainment was by Electric Honey act Harry and the Hendersons.

We weren’t let down by the speakers either, words of wisdom and inspiration were passed on by Fintan Donohue (Gazelle Global), Graham Smith (AV9 Limited), Harry Cunningham (TUC), Calum Graham (Glasgow Regeneration Agency), Robin Millar (Creative and Cultural Skills Scotland) and of course our Keynote Speaker for the evening, Michael Russell MSP.

Even if you weren’t at this event you could follow what was happening.  Natalie Morrison, one of our Peter Jones Enterprise Academy student took over the Stow Twitter account for the night.  She tweeted activities and posted pictures and retweeted others comments so everyone could get a feel of the evening.  Thanks to Natalie for doing this for us.

Overall a great night was had by all that attended, this was reflected in some of the comment made on Twitter, here are just a few.

  • “Stow takes action that’s why they are part of Gazelle!” Fintan Donohue, Chief Executive, Gazelle Global (tweeted by Natalie during Fintan’s speech)
  • The value & beauty of teamwork -Great key note speech, Robin Millar, Creative & Cultural Skills UK Trustee (YEZ Glasgow @YEZGlasgow)
  • @StowCollege great night! Great speakers. Thought Robin was inspirational. (Tig Tag Events @Tigtagevents)
  • Excellent event this evening at @StowCollege this evening launching centre for Entrepreneurial Learning @PJEA_Stow (Gordon Hunt @glhunt31)
  • Evening everyone in #ukfechat land. I’m in an FE mood after attending @StowCollege & @PJEA_Stow entrepreneurial launchpad event! Great eve (William Jenkins @Tech_Stories)
  • Truly inspiring night (S3R1GN @serignb)

Thanks to everyone that worked hard to get this event up and running and to everyone that attended.  The following photos were taken by Natalie during the evening.

Congratulations!!!

Electric Honey 20 years oldCongratulations to Electric Honey who are celebrating 20 years in the record label industry.

Described by Uncut Magazine as “The best student run record label in the world”, Electric Honey set up in 1993 and since then they have signed acts such as Snow Patrol, Woodenbox, Baby Chaos and Young Aviators – amongst others.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Electric Honey!!

That’s everything for this week, hope to see you again next Friday.

Woodenbox

An Inspirational Talk and an Inaugural Event!!

Thanks for joining us for another Stow College blog update, we have a couple of stories for you this week and one opportunity.

First this week is news from Mark Baillie about how Woodenbox and Live Music Stage teamed up for inaugural live streaming event in Stow College: The Faculty of Creative Industries recently played host to a live streaming music event showcasing new technology designed by Finnish company Live Music Stage, in conjunction with Scottish music and media company AV9.

The event incorporated the various talents of tutors and students from TV Production, Sound Production, Music Business and Events Management, and involved the live streaming of a filmed performance by Electric Honey’s Woodenbox from Room 1/24 to an international audience online. The result was a great success for all parties concerned, with the band’s lead singer Ali Downer, in a live interview with Music Business student Marco Fusco enthusiastically embracing the project and it’s potential for allowing the band to reach it’s increasing worldwide fanbase.

Mark Baillie, Lecturer faculty of Creative Industries, said on the night “This was a great opportunity for Electric Honey and Stow College to engage with this exciting project, and to host the inaugural Live Music Stage Scottish showcase. We are keenly aware of the importance of digital technology in the creative industries and therefore it is important for us to remain at the forefront of new developments”

Next, one of Scotland’s most respected industry leaders has given an inspirational talk to students at Stow College.  Dr. Peter Hughes spoke to more than 200 engineering students, giving them an insight into his life and what it takes to excel in an industry which is once again booming.

The series of talks, at Stow College’s engineering department, took place just months ahead of Dr. Hughes’s retirement after a long and incredibly successful career. Currently Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering, Dr. Hughes began his career in the country’s once vibrant steelworks, eventually going on to own his own foundry, which he would later sell to a major US firm.

The businessman was invited to Stow College to inspire students who have just joined the College or are preparing for their second or third year of study in a wide range of subjects from Mechanical Engineering to Computer Networking.

Alan Roseweir, Head of Faculty Engineering and Technology at Stow College, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Dr. Hughes to the College to share his experiences and also to dispel some of the myths that still exist around job opportunities in the field. He’s a really inspirational figure who really got across the importance of staying focussed, setting firm goals and aiming for the highest standards. I know that many of the students will really pay attention to his words and put them to use when they start their careers.”

Now an opportunity for all you budding designers out there.  Angel Dairo from Model Scotland has contacted us about an up-coming event.  Scotland Top Fashion Designers fashion show 2012 (STFD) seeks and supports a community of up-and-coming and undiscovered talent in the realm of fashion. STFD believes in the value of spotlighting a new generation of innovative designers in the multiple genres of fashion. The mission of the STFD is to offer a platform for aspiring designers living in Scotland to showcase their talent on the runway in Glasgow capturing the attention of national press and buyers.  This event will maximize exposure to Scotland Most talented up and coming designers.

This competition is suitable for anyone wishing to take their designers career serious and to an upper level. Successful candidates will be receiving the chance to showcase their garments in front of high profile fashion icons and potential buyers and representatives of Uk Biggest Fashion houses.

Each Designer will be required to showcase 10 most unique and creative Garments of their collection. You will get the opportunity to express and translate your garment.  We do encourage Fashion Students to take part as this is a great opportunity not to be missed!  TO apply, please send us your Designer CV or images of your previous or current work for more information.  Email Angel Dairo on angeldairo@modelscotland.co.uk  or visit the Model Scotland website for more information.

Finally just a quick reminder that the college will be closed on Friday the 21st  and Monday the 24th of September for the September weekend.  There will be no classes on these days, but they will resume on Tuesday the 25th as normal.

That’s us for now, but look out for next week’s updates

The Filmmaker, The Band and Constructionarium Team

Welcome back to you all after the Easter break, we hope you all had a great time and didn’t over-indulge too much.

Well we may have been quiet over the break, but we have a multitude of updates and stories for you this week, from visiting students and cake sales to short courses for Amey and student submissions.  All this plus a good few photo’s so let’s get started.

We will begin this week with the first of our two student submissions (yes not one, but two).  Fraser Brand is an ex HNC Music Performance student and he will be letting us know about his band Ocean House.

Ocean House are a Glasgow Rock/Post Grunge band with influences from such bands as Creed, Nickelback, Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, Blink 182 and many more.  Ocean House have just released their latest EP Life Through Glass which includes the bands latest single “Down Inside”.  2012 has been a good year so far with the bands release of Life Through Glass as well as a list of shows taking place during April and May before the band starts recording their debut album.

Ocean House came together back in 2008 under a different moniker, however members decided to take a break to focus on other things.  In 2010 the original members reunited and recruited new Guitarist Ross to make the final line up of Fraser Brand – Lead Vocals and Guitar, Ross Hainey – Lead Guitar, Keir Laird – Drums and Sean Beaton – Bass Guitar. 

Both Fraser Brand and Ross Hainey have a Stow College background, Fraser graduated the HNC Music Performance course in 2010 and then continued on to HND at North Glasgow College and now studies Commercial Music at the University of the West of Scotland.  Ross Hainey is currently finishing his Stow College HND in Sound Engineering while working with Ocean House and will be the head engineer for their record. Both members feel they have gained knowledge from Stow College especially in the performance and practical side of the Creative Industries.  This knowledge has helped their technical ability and playing ability therefore helping them to excel to the next level of showmanship.

Ocean House have currently finished the material for their debut album and are now rehearsing for pre-recording and upcoming shows. The bands next show is at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on the 27th of April 2012, with tickets at only £6 this show is sure to be sold out so get your tickets now.  Life Through Glass is out in Glasgow stores Monorail, Love Music and Fopp as well as being available for download on reputable download stores.”

Thanks to Fraser for that, it’s always great to hear stories like this.  If you want to know more about Ocean House then visit their Website, Facebook, MySpace or YouTube sites.

Now some news from Ron Dillin about some French visitors.  Stow College is delighted to welcome three computing students from the University of Reims in France who are here for 10 week work placements in the Faculty of Creative Industries.  Loïc, Jean-Séverin and Mathilde arrived on 2nd April and are progressing well with their projects.  They took time out to sample some Scottish culture, scenery and whisky with a tour of Glengoyne Distillery and a boat trip on Loch Lomond with Ron Dillin.  The sun shone for them (yes, really!) and the whisky was excellent!

The trio are based in room 2/14 so please pop in to say ‘Bonjour, ça va?’ or even ‘Hello! How are you?’  Their English is excellent so if you see them around the college, please do say hello.  Loïc is programming a video game using C#/XNA, Jean-Séverin is developing notes for the Arduino interfacing kit and Mathilde is working on a project to help automate the backup of courses from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2.2.  They are being supervised by Finlay McGregor, David McDade and Derek Doyle.

The college is delighted to continue to support our long-standing links with our Reims partners and we are sure the projects will be of great benefit to the college.  (In the pictures, left to right, are Loïc, Jean-Séverin and Mathilde.)

Next, an update we have been waiting to hear about for a few weeks – Electric Honey and their South by Southwest visit.  This year Mark Baillie and Ken McCluskey attended the annual South by South West music conference and  festival in Austin, Texas as part of our staff development.   Creative Scotland had also invited two of  the bands from the Stow College record label Electric Honey, Woodenbox and the French Wives to represent Scotland at their sponsored showcases over the five days in mid march.  This was a great opportunity for them as lecturers to keep abreast of the ever changing business that is music in the digital age and a fantastic experience for the bands to represent their country while making contacts with various music promoters, radio stations ,Interactive media and networking with musicians and their managers from around the world.

The music event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to over 16,000 registrants this year and has really placed Austins eclectic music scene on the map with the idea that  too much attention was been given to cities such as Los Angeles and New York.  As Austin has grown and diversified, film companies and high-tech companies have played a major role in the Austin and the Texas economies. In 1994, SXSW added a film and interactive component to accommodate these growth industries. SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive events together attract approximately 32,000 registrants to Austin every March.

There was a great awareness of Scottish music at the Conference and Ken is pleased to report that they all enjoyed a very warm and open armed welcome and general hospitality through our connection with the college and the  Electric Honey label. Through networking we have already invited some of the Texan acts over to Scotland for live gigs and recording sessions in the near future and hope to build on these connections for the good of the College, the students and Electric Honey.

We now move to the Engineering Faculty for a moment or two.  Stow College has been involved in Constructionarium for the last 5 years & are the only FE College in Britain to be invited.  Since 2010 the project has been run in Scotland and Stow College received a ‘Highly Commended’ Award  that year at the SQA Star Awards recognising their partnership with Constructionarium.  Recognised as “sector leading” by HMIE at the last college visit, Constructionarium has no academic qualification but by allowing the students to experience a taste of  the reality of construction operations, the project has been very successful, so much so the enthusiastic 2nd year students participating expressed a wish that it become a formal part of the HND course rather than an enhancement.

The 2nd year Engineering students – in 3 teams & under the watchful eye of Kevin Gallacher - gave up 5 days of the easter break to take part, braving hail, snow & torrential rain to complete the construction of their chosen project, having to work together, plan & construct with assistance from Contractors Laing O’Rourke.  Due to the success of the project & the enthusiasm of the staff & students, The Faculty of Engineering are planning to roll this out to 1st year full time students for the first time this term.

See the video of Constructionarium Easter 2012 (produced by Fraser Purdie) -http://youtu.be/hIZlCus6gZA  More info on Constructionarium: http://www.constructionarium.co.uk/

Some more engineering news, but this time from Douglas Thomson.  The college ran the first of (hopefully many more to come) short engineering courses for Amey facilities staff.  These employees work at Edinburgh and Glasgow airports and were getting basic training in repairs and maintenance, plumbing, joinery, electrical safety etc.

This was a 3 day course titled “Basic Engineering – Repairs and Maintenance” and was set up for Amey who have contracts to look after schools, airports and other buildings.  They have facilities staff (janitors) who are there all the time but can’t do basic repairs – so, Amey would need to call out an engineer to fix it.  This course provided the people on the course with the skills they needed.  They did very well, so congratulations to all involved.

A totally new subject now ….. Learner Services provides pre-entry guidance and information on a wide variety of areas to assist students as they begin their journey through Education. One of the most important areas is Student Funding. Historically we have given “Finance talks” to individuals or groups as they arrive for interview. This is crucial to students arriving in August prepared for the year ahead.

In order that we provide a consistent, clear and professionally delivered message to our applicants we decided to move from delivering a talk or a presentation to the production of 2 separate films (F.E. and H.E.). Not only do we feel that this will be more effective for our students on the day but it also allows us to place both films on our Website and Moodle. We can also e-mail the film to every student who has an offer with us and ensure that our applicants  who are interviewed in different campuses will not miss out.  Hopefully this will prove to be yet another improvement to the services we deliver for our students.

The filming process was not without its difficulties during scripting, filming or editing with several “difficult actors” to deal with. Red Dawnie Brasco Gillespie and Ryan O’Neil Gillen-haugh gave the studio particular difficulties and “will never appear in another one of my pictures again” according to Director Fraser Fellini Purdie.  If you would like to see these videos then go to the following links – FE Video or HE Video.

Now for our second student feature this week and this comes from James Tew a 2nd Year HND TV Production student..  James recent work has receive quite a bit of attention and he has kindly agreed to tell us about it.  The pictures with this section are stills from his film, as with all the other pictures they are captioned (just point with your mouse)

Helena, Renee and Me  -  In early March 2012 I began planning a documentary about my friend Renee. For nearly two years I had served her double gin and tonics and she always returned me absorbing conversation. Since I had met her she had been involved with helping other people; devising adult learning courses, hosting community radio shows, planning local fairs and all while remaining politically pro-active within the city of Aberdeen. These admirable traits were to form the main focus of my film.

Not long after ten oclock on the 2nd of this month I was awoken by my phone, it was Renee. She was talking faster than my morning ears could listen. What she was attempting to explain and what I was slowly beginning to understand was that in mid March she had successfully entered a shop window mannequin into Aberdeens upcoming local council elections. Furthermore, not only had the council and the police now discovered this remarkable example of electoral lampooning so too had the national press. That very day Renee and said mannequin had their very own full-page spread in the Scottish Sun newspaper. By the morning of the 3rd another entire page of the same red top had been dedicated to the story as Renee was now under investigation. Helena of Torry and her election agent Renee Slater were now well-recognised public figures. Consequently my documentary plans had to evolve, and so, Helena of Torry, named after her heroin Helen of Troy, became the joint centrepiece of the film alongside Renee. However, unlike her heroin who managed to somehow start a war by being a bit too pretty, Helena instead became the poster girl for an undercurrent of civil unrest that presently resonates among many Aberdonians.

By the morning of the 4th my name was appearing in the Sun. I had yet to begin filming and already I was haphazardly describing my intentions for ‘my forthcoming production’ to the nation through a tabloid newspaper. I would like to say this is what usually happens to me the week before I begin a college project but it really isn’t. Renee and her irrepressible enthusiasm for everything had brought me and Helena into the public eye……And so began the story of Renee, Helena and I( …..or possibly ‘& me’…still cant decide).

Principal photography began as soon as the newspaper coverage did. I felt compelled to capture my excitement and quickly a day-by-day video diary was underway. During this period I went on an extensive email offensive with Aberdeenshire council as my quarry.  Abruptly I discovered that no one would be willing to talk to me let alone give me an interview. Even with my overtly flowery rhetoric and wholesome promise to reveal all intended interview questions before the event, none could be persuaded. I did receive a multitude of email replies all of various differing lengths. The Chief Executive and Returning Officer for the election both politely declined in the usual convoluted bureaucratic manner expected of public officials, they got someone else to do it for them. A few of the candidates who, if all things had remained secret, would have been running in the same ward as Helena, also sent brief and to the point responses. However, two of these candidates did in fact send extensive replies in which they fully explained their reasons for not wishing to participate. The Aberdeenshire Police has yet to get back to me but as Helena’s bid for election is now being treated as a serious crime I believe they are legally bound to stay tight-lipped.

I arrived in Aberdeen on Monday the 9th and started filming; by the 14th as I was set to depart south I knew had just experienced one of the most rewarding weeks of my brief film-making career. The documentary is set to be finished late next month as I wish to include some facts and figures and any possible fallout from the elections on the 3rd of May.

Subsequent to the Union Terrace Gardens referendum, a subject I would encourage anyone interested in conservation and/or corruption to research further, many people in Aberdeen now harbour a strong disdain for the governing bodies in place in the city. Thus, whatever interpretation you may take from Renees person brand of satire there is something that cannot be denied. Renee and Helena have raised the profile of an event that would usually have to come to pass with a large majority of people preferring to ignore it. Now they are talking….”

Thank you to James, that was a really interesting piece.  James will be appearing on Sunny Govan Community Radio Station, on the Ash & Sev show. Very soon, a date hasn’t been set yet, but he will keep us updated.  You can see more of James’s work on his Vimeo and YouTube sites.

Finally this week Morven Thomson has some sweet news.  Last year we had a cake sale in aid of the MS Society, we raised an impressive £520.01. We were bowled over by everyone’s generosity and by the high quality of the baking we were given.  So much so that we are going to do it all again! We will be holding a Cake Sale Thursday 03 May 2012 in the College Foyer as part of their MS Society National Cake Break fundraising event. You can help us in three ways:

  • Bake for us, or bribe a loved one to bake. It can be anything that can easily be divided up and sold to an appreciative public and we won’t tell if you didn’t bake it yourself!
  • Save us any margarine or ice cream tubs etc for packaging the cakes in
  • Most importantly, come and buy some cakes, or lots of cakes

The aim of the fundraising event is to help the MS Society provide essential practical and emotional support, financial assistance and care to help people affected by Multiple Sclerosis and allow them to invest in vital research to find a cause and cure.  MS affects around 100,000 people in the UK with Scotland and Northern Ireland having the highest prevalence of the condition in the world. For more information on the MS Society and their work visit their website at:  http://www.mssociety.org.uk/

Please have a go, all donations will be gratefully received whatever the shape or size.  Like the Lurpak advert says “It doesn’t matter if its squint, you don’t measure taste with a spirit level!”

Well that’s us, thanks for sticking with us through this long, news packed update and we hope to see you back next week.

Support Glasgow 2014 and a Transatlantic Showcase

It’s that time again, the end of the week and time for a Blog update.  It’s not too long this week, but we do have some interesting info for you.

First up, Sport Your Trainers is a national Campaign which encourages everyone across the country to wear their trainers on Commonwealth Day, which is the 12th  of March and Glasgow 2014 wants everyone from all over Scotland, whether they are at home, work or play, to show their support for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by ditching their normal footwear and wearing their trainers for the day.  Last year 820,000 people got involved in the campaign and this year the want more organisations to take part, they want all – schools, businesses and Games Partners to be involved.

This year Glasgow 2014 also have a further challenge, they want organisations to Step Up, by creating a healthy challenge.  Participants can Step Up and create an individual or group pledge here.  This pledge could be simply wearing their trainers for the day on 12th of March, taking the stairs at work or going for a walk at lunchtime.  There is no cost and they have some great prizes on offer: Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony tickets, Limited edition trainers and Official Glasgow 2014 shoelaces.  Why not take part, where your trainers to College on Monday the 12th of March and if you make a pledge, let us know and we’ll include you in next week’s blog, email your details to Tracey Borland and tell us what your pledge was.

Now a word or two from Margaret Cairns – Have you ever checked out the Student Room in Moodle?  You can get a certificate in: Protecting the Environment, Equality & Diversity in Practice or Data Protection Essentials.  Cylix online courses which the College has purchased for staff training are also available for students to complete. The courses are short (maximum time about an hour), fully interactive and very informative.  The courses include up-to-date information on the latest legislation (particularly useful for the work place) and the course certificates are extras you can add to your CV. AND it’s all free…….just go to the Student Room in Moodle.

Next some food news from John Briody.  On Monday the 12th of March we have an amazing food concept coming to Stow College. Elior have gathered top Chef`s  from around the world to create this fantastic array of VIBRANT Flavours.  Each day we will be featuring dishes from Asia and the sub Continent to tempt your taste buds and take you to some amazing far flung places.  The name of this Concept is CHU.  Why not come and see for yourself and visit our CHU Stand in Food on Five and the Refectory at Stow West.

How about some Creative Industries news, well Archie Dickson has passed some on.  The MOBO Tour rolled into Glasgow on Saturday 25th of February and SMIA, Hear Glasgow! and Urban Development collaborated to produce the MOBO ACADEMY – a day of training, seminars and events, all for free!  This event was promoted to our students and some of them volunteered to go along on the day and help out.   The volunteers who went to the event on Saturday impressed everyone with their enthusiasm, professionalism and “can do” approach, in fact they impressed so much the companies involved want to work with  them again.  We are sure they found the experience valuable and interesting.

Finally for this week Ken McCluskey has given us a wee reminder of the up and coming big event for Electric Honey.  Mark Baillie and Ken are going to the South by Southwest conference in Austin Texas next week.  Two of Stow Colleges  Electric Honey bands Woodenbox and the French Wives have been chosen by Creative Scotland to represent the country’s continued success through music this year.  They will join bands such as We Were Promised Jetpacks, Django Django, Three Blind Wolves and Tango in the Attic in a Showcasing of Scotland.  We wish Electric Honey, Woodenbox and French Wives all the best for this exciting opportunity.  Ken has promised us updates from Texas so we should be able to tell you more next week.

Well, that’s us again for this week, but come back next week for more news, updates and pictures.

Music Festivals, A Rally and A Fantastic Opportunity!

The end of another week and just a teeny, tiny bit closer to Spring, when we will get just as much rain, but it may be warmer.  To take away the chill just now we have a few great stories and updates for you so let’s get started.

A few weeks ago we told you about the success of the Electric Honey label and how Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers  and The French Wives have been signed up to perform in front of crowds of thousands at the South by SouthWest Music Festival, which takes place in March in Austin, Texas.  Well we have a bit more information for you.

The event, which has taken place every year since 1987, draws music lovers from across the world with an eclectic mix of genres and styles. To make it onto such a huge billing, the bands had to go through a tough bidding process to receive funding from Creative Scotland. The money gained was then used to submit ‘press kits’ to judges in the USA. Finally both acts had to persuade a South by SouthWest panel.

Mark Baillie, Lecturer in Creative Industries at Stow College, said: “South by SouthWest is simply huge. Both Woodenbox and The French Wives are fast becoming established music names, but after this festival they are sure to get big career boosts. This is the first time acts signed to Electric Honey have performed at the event, so we’re naturally completely delighted.”  Mark added: “Electric Honey has built up a fierce reputation in the music business. Making it to South by SouthWest is another achievement along an amazing road of success.  So congratulations to both bands and Electric Honey on this fantastic achievement.

Now for some great news from Archie Dickson.  Once again Stow College Students have been invited to be part of one of Glasgow’s most prestigious events; the Glasgow Film Festival.  1st and 2nd year students from Stow College’s TV production course are currently involved in a variety of high profile roles for 10 events (for the duration of the event) at this year’s event, these will include filming interviews with many of the directors, screenwriters and cast from the featured films and providing completed edits of these interviews for inclusion on the GFT website.  Having opportunities like these enhances the value of the course and gives the students invaluable experience of the industry.

More from our Creative Industries Faculty, but this time it’s about a performances.  The production was held at the Theatre Royal with 31 of our 1st and 2nd year HND Professional Stage Dance Students involved. Stow’s contribution to the production was a fourteen minute condensed piece from Shakespeare’s famous stage play Romeo and Juliet.  The Stow students were integral to the success of the opening ceremony for the show on Valentines Day and were asked to conclude the event on the Saturday at the final gala performance. Students by being involved in this spectacular show achieved and completed their assessments in Advanced Performance Skills as a result.  Stow’s part in this production was a result of the close partnership that has been established over the past 4years between Stow College and Creative Learning Team at the Kings Theatre and the Theatre Royal.

Next an event and also an opportunity that you may be interested in.  First, on Saturday the 25th of February Unite Against Facism (UAF) will have a Rally and Music Event in George Square beginning at 12 noon.  This is to celebrate a multicultural Glasgow and also to show the Scottish Defence League, who are planning to hold a demonstration on the same day, that we will not tolerate their racist views or violent methods.  ‘Glasgow has a proud history of challenging prejudice and promoting equality’.  If you would like more information, please read the attached leaflet or visit the UAF website.

You will want to know about that opportunity now, well Bernadette Kelly from a television company called Twofour.  Bernadette has told us that they are currently making a new business series with the help of Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Smoothies.  This is where you come in, they are looking for 500 young entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to Mr Reed.  To take part you need to be over 18 to apply and you will have either started a small business or have a great idea that you really want to follow through with.  Mr Reed will give £100 to 500 people who will then have to video diary what they have used the money on. They will then be invited to an Expo in May where the entrants will be whittled down and given a larger amount of money, until he is left with one who he will invest up to a million in.  This is a great opportunity for a young entrepreneur to give them a chance to get started.  A website with all the information you need will be launched on Monday so make sure you check Facebook and Twitter for the address.

Finally for this week, the college is having a Healthy Heart Week Awareness Campaign in the college, starting today (Friday the 25th February). You only have one heart and you need to take care of it, so keep an eye out for hints, tips and guidelines displayed around the college on how to keep yourself and your heart healthy.  You can also get helpful leaflet and booklets from the British Heart Foundation website.

Well that’s us, see you all back here again next Friday.

A Free Course, Healthy Activities and a Chinese Celebration!!

Welcome back to Stow College’s blog, we have some more interesting news and updates for you so let’s begin.

First up this week, some news from Ron Dillin.  Stow has links with the Lyceé Victor Hugo in Marseilles, France.  Last year we hosted placement visits for two of their IT students.  Pierre Bany and Maria Lauthier visited this week to discuss placements for this year’s students.  The possibility of sending Stow students to Marseilles on placement was also raised.  Further discussions will take place on this.  We’ll let you know more soon.

Now news about Electric Honey band Woodenbox, they will be opening the Glasgow Film Festival on February 16 in the GFT.  Glasgow Film Festival 2012 will take place from 16 – 26 February in sixteen different venues across the city (including a swimming pool and The Tall Ship!) and will include feature films, shorts, special events, and live and interactive happenings. Events management students from both 1st and 2nd year will be volunteering in various capacities across the festival.

Did you know that …… The average UK carbon footprint is currently around ten times the sustainable limit?  We are responsible for the production of around half our own body weight in carbon dioxide each day?  In the US and Australia this figure is double that of the UK?  The biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK are energy production and travel?

These are just some of the facts, for more information log on to the online course ‘Protecting the Environment’ which is now available in the moodle. This is FREE to all staff and students so check out the ‘Staff Room’ and the ‘Student Room’.  This course is an introduction, it’s easy to follow and being interactive you get to test your knowledge. You even get a score. Find out more about the issues and what we can do to protect our environment for now and the future.  Maximum time? ………about an hour, but it’s up to you

Next, do you want to stop smoking?  If you do then you should visit Our Drop-In Service.  Wednesday the 14th of March 2012 is No Smoking Day and we want to help you succeed in stopping.  So we have arranged for trained advisors will provide a Drop-In service where they will discuss Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and if appropriate give you a form to take to your doctor or pharmacist to request the product of your choice.  This service started on Wednesday the 8th of February, but will continue until the 14th of March.  Advisors will be in Cafe Connect, 5th floor from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm.

Next up is news of our Health MOT week.  Come along to one of our two Health days and see how healthy you are,  The venues are as follows:

City Campus – Café Connect on Wednesday 15th February 2012 from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm

Stow West – Ground Floor Hall on Thursday 16th February 2012 from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm

The following activities will take place: Blood pressure test, Flexibility test, Lung capacity test, Body Mass Index(BMI) test and Body Fat content test.  Try and get along to one of the sessions and take part in our health checks.

Finaly this week, thanks to Stow’s continuing excellent and unique relationship with The Glasgow Chinese School, staff from Stow were invited to experience the beauty of Chinese music, dance, and culture at a Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday 4th February at the See Woo Restaurant in Saracen Street. Celebrating the Year of the Dragon, the festival got under way with an exuberant performance by dragon dancers. Other activities included Chinese Dance, Singing and a Musical Instrument Magic Show. After a delicious buffet feast the show turned the spotlight towards on our very own Paula Porteous who took to the karaoke stage to sing her old favourite ‘The coalminers daughter’. It was a great night, there were even some dignitaries from local Chinese educational institutions attending.

If you would like to see a short video of the Dragon Dance performed during the evening, then Douglas Thomson has kindly given his permission for you to view his recording which he uploaded to YouTube.

That’s everything for now, but make sure you come back next week for new updates and news.