• STEM Ambassador

Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities

Learn how to design effective activities as a STEM Ambassador or volunteer in science, tech, engineering or maths.

12,338 enrolled on this course

Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours

Discover how to plan inspiring and engaging STEM activities

Bringing to life science, technology, engineering and maths with practical activities is one of the best ways to engage young people in STEM subjects. As a volunteer you have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon, but how do you best inspire young people?

On this course you will learn how to plan, organise and design practical STEM activities effectively. You’ll learn how to select STEM activities to suit different contexts, such as running an activity with a teacher in a school, or being a guest speaker to a Guides or Scout group in a village hall.

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.


  • Week 1

    Engaging young people

    • Being engaging and inspiring

      Welcome to the second course in Inspiring Young People in STEM. What does it mean to be engaging and inspiring?

    • Volunteering activities

      There are many different types of volunteering activity. What activity do you want to do and would work for your context?

    • Linking your experience to curricula and frameworks

      Linking your activity to students' learning improves the relevance and effectiveness of your volunteering. How will you link your experience to the curriculum?

    • Logistics and learning outcomes

      Clear objectives help you design activities that work. You'll plan these with educators you work with. What other things will you discuss when planning activities?

  • Week 2

    Creating an activity plan

    • Risk assessments

      We start the second week of the course with risk assessments. They're very useful for helping you plan the detail of your activity. What might you do to make sure your activity runs as smoothly as possible?

    • Activity plans

      What needs to be in an activity plan? You now have the opportunity to put together a plan for a very simple, but very effective practical activity involving paper aeroplanes.

    • Create your own plan and practise your activity

      Time now to put what you've learnt so far into practice, ready for working with an educator or group leader. Create, share, practise and review a plan for your volunteering activity.

    • Taking your volunteering forward

      In the final part of this course, use our checklist to see where you'll go next and review your development plan from week 1. We hope you'll take your volunteering forward with us.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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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. This includes STEM Ambassadors in the UK, youth volunteering group organisers, field trip educators, scout groups (and similar), outdoor pursuit centres, outreach from NGOs. You will need knowledge of STEM subjects or experience of working in a STEM environment.

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

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.

STEM Ambassadors

STEM Ambassadors are volunteers from all STEM disciplines and backgrounds including engineers, designers, architects, scientists and technicians.

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