Finding resources is the first step in thinking about how you might put a practical activity together for young people. Resources give you ideas for topics and tasks. In this step we will look at a range of resources, both physical and online, and ask you to look at what is already available.
Using what is already available
You may be concerned that you have to spend a lot of time creating your own activities but there is a wide variety of ready-made resources available. Some can be used as they are. Others will need adapting to suit your audience. We are going to start by showing you where to find resources, but be aware that you still need to think about the group of young people you’ll work with. We’ll come to that a bit later in this course and in more detail in the next course on planning.
Resources underpin the practical activities that you are going to do in the classroom or outside in the community. Choosing an unreliable resource that contains errors or a resource that is inappropriate for your audience, can lead the activity to fail and have limited impact on the young people you work with.
For the first part of this activity we would just like you to find resources that look interesting to you, but are still from reliable sources.
How to find trusted resources
Physical resources, such as kits, often come with ready-made tools and materials. When looking for physical resources, try and borrow or purchase resources in advance and have a go before your event or workshop. They may need to be adapted to suit your intended audience. In the UK, resource kits for practical activities are available from STEM Ambassador Hubs.
Information on the internet can vary in accuracy, reliability and value, because the contents of many websites go through no formal publishing process. Websites are created for many different reasons and are not always suitable for educational purposes. It is essential to evaluate web material before making use of it.
Evaluation of resources
You can use an evaluation checklist to help you assess the quality of an online resource.
One source of quality-checked resources specifically for volunteers is available on the STEM Learning website, which we’ll look at in the next step.
Many organisations provide educational resources for young people, teachers or parents. We’d like you to find if your organisation provides materials you could use in volunteering. Your marketing, communications, education or outreach officer may help. If you don’t work for a large organisation, you can take a look at some of the suggestions provided in the links above.
- Select a resource provided by your organisation or from the links above.
Share your initial thoughts about this resource in the comments below. Include:
a) A short description of the resource.
b) One good thing about this resource.
c) One thing you might wish to change.