Online course

Inspiring Young People In STEM: Planning Activities

Learn how to plan and design effective STEM activities that engage young people through your volunteering.

Inspiring Young People In STEM: Planning Activities

This course is part of the Inspiring Young People In STEM program, which will enable you to inspire a love of science, technology, engineering and maths in young people.

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?

  • Available now
    This course started 21 January 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?

Angela Rust

Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Works for STEM Learning as the Training Coordinator for the STEM Ambassador programme.

Deborah McNeill

Director and co-founder of the Glasgow Science Festival. Head of the Public Engagement Group in STEMM hosted by the University of Glasgow. Marine biology researcher working on coral reef ecology

Zara Gladman

Dr Zara Gladman is a highly experienced Public Engagement coordinator at Glasgow Science Festival. She has developed a wide range of PE projects, from award-winning theatre to science comedy and film.

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.

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Join this course


  • Access to this course for 4 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime