Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second[Paul] Our STEM Ambassadors also receive direct skills because they're able to then not only plan and set up events. But then lead them and their ways of talking to students and reacting to questions and feedback from students and those in the community to benefit the students and their families that also pass on words of encouragement. That in turn helps our STEM Ambassadors to grow in our own leadership skills. [Allyson] I think the more communication work you do, and STEM Ambassadors basically all they're doing is different methods of communication. It really helps in whatever area you're working in academically, or research wise. There are a lot of conferences you go to in STEM research areas.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsYou have to talk a lot about your work to reach consensus in your community. And the more you talk, the better you are at it. And the more you talk to six-year-olds the better you are talking to adults because there's not a huge amount of difference between them. And so for me I love communicating science, whether it's the really technical aspects in my job. Or whether it's the really sort of base groundings that you get when you're talking to primary and secondary school kids. So the more practice I get in communication, the better it is for both my job and for my volunteer work.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds[Adam] The biggest impact for me was it contributes towards your chartership, with a professional institute. As it shows that one, you are willing to get involved voluntarily with furthering the profession of engineering, and it's also very good professionally to talk about, as part of any sort of review.

Linking feedback to volunteering skills

At the same time as gathering feedback on your volunteering activity, you will also be gathering feedback on how you can improve as a volunteer. You may wish to think about presentation, communication and organisational skills, for example. Whilst you might not have identified the volunteering skills you intend to develop on an activity plan, these will have formed part of your personal objectives for an activity.

If you’ve taken previous courses in the program, we asked you to complete a skills development task to work out what your personal objectives are. This task involved prioritising seven types of skills that you wished to focus on developing during your volunteering.

  • Communication skills
  • Facilitator skills
  • Mentoring skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Team working skills
  • Improve confidence

If you are a STEM Ambassador you will have been asked to identify your personal objectives based on this list when you express interest in an activity. By identifying objectives, you can try to gather feedback to help you improve these skills.

Personal and professional objectives

Watch the video above to hear from a couple of STEM Ambassadors about their personal and professional reasons and what motivates them to undertake volunteering activities. You will also hear from a director of a company and the type of skills he feels STEM Ambassadors develop. How do these relate to your own personal objectives?

Task

Revisit your personal objectives for your volunteering activity, or use the list above as a prompt.

What skills do you wish to focus your development on, and in turn gather feedback to help you do this? Capture your thinking by posting to the comments below.

If you wish to keep a record of what skills you intend to develop throughout your volunteering, you can use the skills development template to help you.

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This video is from the free online course:

Inspiring Young People In STEM: Using Feedback to Improve

National STEM Learning Centre