Online course in Teaching

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.

Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $44 Find out more

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 secondsHow 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 secondsThis 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 secondsWe 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.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 14 Oct 2019

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 will you learn with?

Matt Cornock

Matt Cornock

Online CPD Coordinator, National STEM Learning Centre and Network. I work with expert authors to design CPD for STEM teachers that makes an impact

Natalie Cheung

Natalie Cheung

Hello, I am Natalie Cheung and part of the team who delivers the STEM Ambassador programme across the London boroughs. I am a civil engineer and have been a proud STEM Ambassador for 5 years

Who developed the course?

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

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 4 weeks


Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$239 $179 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.
Available until 31 October 2019. T&Cs apply.