CPD workshops

An overview

by Fellowship Agency August 15, 2018

What’s In My Tray – supporting you to make the best use of your resources

Gratnells’ bespoke collection of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops has been developed to support the delivery of practical work in schools. The workshops are run as a fast-paced, hands-on, practical carousels. Each workshop groups together five or six individual What’s In My Tray activities into a 60-90 minute STEM adventure.

The CPD workshops have all been created, curated and developed by Dr Katherine Forsey, Gratnells’ Learning Rooms and STEM Consultant. Dr Forsey also worked with a range of contributors from the education community who either provided or inspired some of the individual What’s In My Tray activities, you will see details of the contributors on each activity.

Gratnells What’s In My Tray CPD workshops are delivered at education conferences by Dr Forsey or Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Alumni who have previously attended one of Dr Forsey’s workshops. If you would like Gratnells to deliver a What’s In My Tray workshop at your event please contact us with your requirements.

If you have previously attended one of our CPD workshops and would like to recreate it in your own setting for your students, colleagues or local network, the information below and the presentation materials you were provided with after your workshop attendance will support you in doing so.

Each STEM What’s In My Tray CPD workshop is curated to contain a mixture of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and STEM challenges and tailored to either the Primary or Secondary curriculum. You could also add or swap in any of our other What’s In My Tray activities, or create your own What’s In My Tray activities, to customise any carousel to meet your needs.

What can What’s In My Tray activities be used for?

Teachers and technicians can recreate the individual What’s In My Tray activities or whole carousels in their own settings for the benefit of their students. What’s In My Tray activities can be used:

  • Individually as lesson starters or to support theory work
  • As a carousel for open days or parents evenings
  • For end of term round-ups
  • For science or STEM clubs
  • To improve or assess subject knowledge
  • To cascade training to other teachers or technicians in your school or local network

What’s In My Tray Workshops – The Carousel

  • 5 groups of 4 people
  • 5 activities on 5 separate tables
  • 5 minutes per activity
  • 1 minute to tidy after each activity
  • Rotate around all activities
  • Participants will need to work quickly as a team to accomplish all the tasks


Collate or source all the equipment detailed in the ‘you will need’ section of each individual activity and carry out all preparation steps. Each activity station should be placed on a separate table with enough room for a team of four participants to access it.


Each team starts at a different table/activity. Each team undertakes their first activity (as per the diagram). When the activity time allocation has elapsed, there is one minute to tidy up and put everything back in the trays ready for the next team or to put out a new tray of consumables. All teams then move around to the next table/activity. By the end of the carousel, all teams will have completed all activities.

Please note:

Some carousels are designed for six groups of four people and therefore have six activity stations. Some carousels run for six minutes per activity as the activities included take longer to complete. Each carousel can be adapted to include more or fewer activities to accommodate different numbers of participants as required. If team numbers are smaller than four people per team, or participants are of a lower age or ability, you may need to increase the amount of time allocated to each activity. In short, each carousel can be adapted to your individual needs.

Once all stations have been completed by all teams, you will need to run tests of the STEM challenges and allocate points to each team accordingly e.g. fly your aeroplanes, set off the marble runs, launch your rockets etc.

The teams should then swap answer sheets and mark each other’s sheets as you reveal the answers for each activity.

The team with the most points is the winner.

How you can join in…

We love to see pictures and hear about your What’s In My Tray adventures and inventions, you can share pictures with us via social media @Gratnells using #WhatsInMyTray.