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Keeping students engaged

Educators talking about how to engage young people.

Picture this, you’re half way through the activity now but you’re worried that the young people are losing engagement. You’ve noticed someone doodling in the corner and you’re pretty sure one group has stopped doing the task. How can you keep them all engaged at the same time?

Watch the video above with contributions from teachers talking about how they keep young people engaged throughout an activity.

Top tips

  • Make sure students understand the task
  • Don’t make it too easy or too hard
  • Provide a context
  • Make sure the young people have enough prior knowledge
  • Make sure it doesn’t take too long or it is over too quickly
  • Make sure the equipment works
  • Make sure there is enough equipment so everyone gets to do something
  • Build in an element of competition or challenge
  • Recognise achievement


By now, you will have thought about what is going to happen in your volunteering activity and when. However, what if something in your activity doesn’t go to plan, how could you recover from this?
Identify one or two points in your activity that might be more likely to have something ‘go wrong’. Using the advice from the video and the top tips above, what will you do to reduce this risk and what might your contingency plan be?
We encourage you to read comments from other learners below and offer them advice about how they could prevent it from happening or recover from it.
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Volunteering in the Classroom: Communication Skills for STEM Volunteers

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