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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre & STEM Ambassadors's online course, Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities. Join the course to learn more.

Types of activity

There are many ways that you can work with young people. You may wish to support teachers in delivering parts of the curriculum. Your company might host work experience placements. Or you may be involved in an online mentoring programme.

Practical activities are a great way to bring a topic to life, enabling participation and creating a memorable experience.

So, let’s think about what these could be.

In our experience, young people respond incredibly well when given the opportunity to get hands-on and involved. In our recent outreach project, ‘A Shedload of Science’, we created an arts/science workshop space (our shed) and took it into playgrounds during lunch breaks, community spaces, street corners and music festivals. We delivered a vast range of chemistry-inspired activities, enabling thousands of young people to experiment and play.

The practical activity doesn’t even have to be in-situ or as elaborate as a touring shed. Tools like Skype allow us to be pretty inventive about who and what resources we can use. Perhaps you have an amazing piece of kit in your lab you want to show off or your colleague is currently doing some fieldwork in an exciting location? You might be time-limited and can’t take a half day out of the office to travel to and from school but still want to volunteer. Perhaps you could spare 30 minutes to be ‘beamed in’?

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This article is from the free online course:

Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities

National STEM Learning Centre