Volunteering in the Classroom: Planning and Organising Practical STEM Activities

Learn how to plan effective classroom activities for volunteering in STEM lessons to engage and inspire young people.

12,729 enrolled on this course

Volunteering in the classroom
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Discover how to plan inspiring and engaging STEM activities

Improve the way you support the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects as a volunteer with this course designed to help you plan effective practical activities for young people.

This course will help you develop your skills as a volunteer from a STEM background. Upon completion, you will understand how to create an activity plan, with the aim to increase student engagement and inspire more young people in STEM subjects and careers.

Deliver more effective practical classroom activities for STEM subjects

This course will teach you how to organise and prepare for your STEM activities, whether it’s for a lesson in science, technology, engineering, or maths, or for a community group.

Learn the importance of connecting your practical STEM activities with your students’ learning framework and curriculum when supporting teaching of STEM subjects in schools.

Explore ways to link your experiences as a STEM professional to the curriculum. Discover why educators need clear learning objectives when planning and organising STEM activities.

Boost student engagement with inspiring practical STEM activities

Building on your existing skills, this course will give you the tools to inspire young people about STEM careers.

The course walks you through best practice when planning and organising classroom activities for STEM lessons.

You’ll come away a more effective volunteer, ready to work with educators in schools and youth groups. Gain confidence when engaging young people in STEM subjects as well as experience in using learning frameworks and objectives to plan practical classroom activities to promote STEM in schools.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds How would you volunteer with young people, to inspire them in science, technology, engineering or mathematics? What links your experience, and professional work, to students’ educational curriculum? How do you plan an effective and engaging activity? There are many ways to get young people involved in STEM subjects. Practical activities are a great way to bring a topic to life, enabling participation and creating a memorable experience. Science festivals, code clubs, lessons in schools or talks in museums, all provide opportunities for volunteers to help young people to learn more about STEM and its role in their everyday lives.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds This course is designed for STEM Ambassadors, and other volunteers in STEM, helping you to design activities to engage and inspire young people of different age groups. You will explore approaches to communicating effectively and plan in collaboration with teachers, community groups and educational leaders in organisations. This course will also support your planning of activities by helping you to consider risk in school and non-school contexts, and logistics for running an activity with young people. Throughout, you’ll explore a number of examples and hear from teachers and young people about the impact of practical activities on their learning. ‘Planning activities’ is the second course in the ‘Inspiring Young People in STEM’ program.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds We will build upon the previous course, which introduced resources for STEM activities and how to adapt activities for diverse audiences. By the end of this course you will be able to create a completed activity plan, and start your involvement as a STEM Ambassador or other volunteer working with young people in STEM. Join us online and discover how, with effective planning, you can make a real difference.

What topics will you cover?

This two-week, self-paced course will guide you through the planning stages for a volunteering activity, asking you to consider:

  • What is engaging and inspiring for young people.
  • How to link activities with the STEM curriculum and other frameworks.
  • Discussing your activity with educators in schools and non-school settings.
  • Risk assessments, plans and practising activities.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop an engaging and inspiring STEM-related activity for young people.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the STEM curriculum by communicating, negotiating and agreeing an activity with educators and group leaders.
  • Design a practical activity to be delivered within a school or non-school organisation, with an awareness of the audience, ability and age group.
  • Produce an activity plan to use when delivering a practical activity in a school or non-school organisation.

Who is the course for?

This course has been created for anyone volunteering with young people in STEM. You may be part of a formal volunteering scheme and be known as a STEM champion or STEM ambassador, or you may be a youth volunteering group organiser, field trip educator, working with scout groups (and similar), outdoor pursuit centres, outreach from NGOs.

To get the most out of this course, learners should complete the introductory course beforehand:

This course is not designed for teachers. Please see other courses from STEM Learning for teacher professional development in STEM subjects.

Who developed the course?

National STEM Learning Centre

The National STEM Learning Centre provides world-class professional development activities and resources to support the teaching of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Join the conversation on social media

You can use the hashtag #FLSTEMVolunteering to talk about this course on social media.