Skip to 0 minutes and 17 secondsIn this course, we will be looking at the question how can the way someone say something be inspiring? The course is aimed at anyone who wants to deliver an activity based on science, technology, engineering, or maths to young people. For example, STEM Ambassadors, youth leaders, and other volunteers. It is the third in a series of four courses in the Inspiring Young People in Stem Program. What exactly is it that makes someone inspiring?

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 secondsThe outcomes of this course are to demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication, inspire young people to continue studying STEM subjects through appropriate presentation, collaboration, and discussion techniques. And build your confidence, skills, and ability to deliver activities with young people. Throughout this course, I'd like you to share your experiences and ideas with others in the comments and activities. Do take the time to reflect on your practice and contribute to discussions, as this will help you get the most out of this course. [MUSIC]

Communicating to inspire young people

In our society, we communicate in a huge variety of ways, from speaking to a friend or with family, to watching TV or listening to the radio, and reading or watching what we find on social media. The manner in which information is communicated to us can have a lasting impact.

When was the last time you were inspired by someone or something? How did the activity or the way an idea was communicated make you feel inspired? How will you develop your volunteering skills and activities to be just as inspiring?

Welcome to the course

Welcome to ‘Activities and improving communication’, the third course in the Inspiring Young People in STEM program. If you are developing a volunteering activity, it’s worth taking the first two courses in the program which address resourcing, diversity and planning an activity.

Delivering an activity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects can be a rewarding experience for the person delivering it and, when done well, it can be an engaging experience for the young people. But how do you go about communicating with young people effectively? What are the features of effective communication? How do you deliver engaging activities?

On this course

In Week 1 you’ll look at verbal and non-verbal communication skills. In Week 2, we’ll look at presentation technique and how to run a practical activity, before you go off and volunteer with young people.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective verbal and non-verbal communication with young people
  • Inspire young people to continue with STEM subjects and/or careers through appropriate use of presentation, collaboration and discussion techniques
  • Build the confidence, skills and ability to do practical activities with young people

Course team

Angela Rust, Training Coordinator at STEM Learning, will guide you through the course. The course will be supported between 7 – 20 May 2018. If you have joined us after then, please draw upon the comments from other learners or if you have any particular queries, sign up for the next run of the course.

Course authors

This course has been co-authored by Linda Scott and Zoe Chesher, West Midlands STEM Ambassador Hub.


If you’re new to online learning, or new to FutureLearn, you may find the How it works guide helpful. The Crowdsourced Guide to Learning and Six tips and tools for social learning on FutureLearn may also be of interest.

Tasks and discussions

Tasks are titled as such and are highlighted with a vertical line in the left-margin - like the one against this paragraph. The first tasks of this course are at the bottom of this page.

Learning together

This course is designed so you learn with your fellow participants, particularly via the discussions. By writing comments you take the time to think and reflect on your understanding. Share your thoughts and questions about the course and your experiences as a volunteer. If you need help, post a question as a comment in the relevant course step. If you can help a fellow learner, don’t be afraid to reply and make a suggestion.

Technical support

If you need any technical support use the Support button at the bottom right of your screen or email If you wish to get in contact with the National STEM Learning Centre directly about this course, please email

STEM Learning resources

You can access a huge range of resources to support your volunteering. Some of these will be on the STEM Learning website and you can register for free access. If you are in the UK, this is also where you can sign up and start the process of becoming a STEM Ambassador volunteer. If you are not based in the UK, you will need to register as ‘Other’ (not as a STEM Ambassador).

Get started

For the first discussion, please share who you are, where you come from and what volunteering you are involved in.

Mark complete

When you complete a step on the course, click ‘Mark as complete’ at the bottom right. This helps you keep track of your progress. Mark over 90% of the course steps complete and you’ll be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement when you Upgrade.

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Inspiring Young People In STEM: Activities and Improving Communication

National STEM Learning Centre