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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Linking Curriculum Learning to STEM Careers. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsNEIL WILLIS: Embedding careers learning and careers activity are two separate things. They both have a huge place. So if we start with careers activity, careers activity are really what we could class as additional activity. They don't replace parts of the curriculum. They take place as well as parts of curriculum. So for example, we could think of a group of students visiting a factory as a careers activity. We could use an example of someone from industry coming in and taking an assembly. And it's a careers activity. Those activities may have links to the curriculum. However, they certainly don't drive the curriculum. However, they do have huge value. They raise awareness of career pathways.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 secondsThey can create competitiveness in terms of challenges and competitions. They can stimulate interest and-- for careers and next steps. For those students who have less social capital, have less connections, have less opportunities outside of the classroom, they-- those activities are really important because that really opens their eyes to which otherwise they would never see. In terms of embedding careers learning, it becomes an intrinsic part of curriculum delivery. We can think of it as entwining careers learning with curriculum content. And it should almost get to the point where you can't distinguish one or the other. They are often ways of delivering careers learning that doesn't take time away from what might traditionally be thought as conventional curriculum time.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 secondsSo teachers may say, well, I haven't got time to do careers activity because I'm going to lose a lesson, whereas when we embed careers learning, it's part of the learning and the curriculum delivery.

Comparing enrichment activities to career learning in the curriculum

We start the final week of the course by comparing curriculum-linked career learning with the opportunities provided by enrichment activities.

Enrichment activities (for example STEM Clubs) are out-of-timetable sessions that give students the chance to explore aspects of STEM subjects in more informal settings. Activities may concentrate on one aspect of STEM or involve cross-discipline challenges.

Research shows that taking an active part in a school STEM Club can motivate young people to consider STEM subjects for further study and as a potential career path.

There are some things to bear in mind:

  • Delivery of careers linked content should be done in addition to lesson based activity. STEM Club careers learning cannot replace the career learning that needs to be planned into lessons.
  • Are there students who are missing out on enrichment learning who would benefit from the opportunity? Is there a way of targeting these students? (I.e. selection criteria, focus of enrichment activity, altering the timing or location of activity)
  • Are enrichment activities an opportunity to attract employer support? Would an employer be willing to participate, or support a STEM Club?


What is the place for careers in STEM enrichment activities? As Neil explains in the video, there is a distinction and a place for both curriculum-linked career learning and career enrichment activities.

Share your thoughts about the balance to be had by having career learning in both the curriculum and enrichment activity.

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This video is from the free online course:

Linking Curriculum Learning to STEM Careers

National STEM Learning Centre