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Introducing risk assessment

Introduction to week 2 of Planning Activities for STEM Ambassadors and other volunteers
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Welcome to week 2 of ‘Planning activities’. Last week you discussed what would inspire young people in STEM and looked at a variety of practical activities. You explored the national curriculum and skills frameworks and how to use these to help shape your activities, relating back to your own work experiences. You also began to think about negotiating with educators and planning your activities. In Week 2 we’ll be taking a closer look at planning for your activity. With our guidance, you’ll be working through the process of creating, practising and reviewing your own activity plan. We’ll begin this week by talking about… [Party Popper] …risk assessments. Risk assessments have sometimes get a bit of a bad reputation.
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People worry about how much time and effort is required to fill them in, or they’re seen as a box-ticking exercise. Writing a risk assessment is actually a very useful process because it forces you to think through your activity in fine detail and reflect on the ‘what ifs’. This encourages better activity management and delivery, by making sure you have all the bits of kit you need to undertake your activity including things that are easily overlooked. For example, mop up materials, bin bags or first aid kits. For the first activity this week we’ll use a party popper to look at how risks are identified and mitigated.

Last week you discussed what inspiring content looks like and a variety of practical activities. You looked at the national curriculum and skills frameworks and how to use these to help shape your activities, relating back to your own work experiences. You also began to think about negotiating with educators and planning your activities.

In Week 2 we’ll be taking a closer look at planning for your activity. With our guidance, you’ll be working through the process of creating, practising and reviewing your own activity plan.

Identify

The section in the video on the party popper is a little bit tongue-in-cheek so get creative! Note down what you think might be potential hazards of firing a party popper.
Against each of these hazards, jot down some thoughts on what simple steps you might take to mitigate for these hazards. Keep a hold of these notes as you will use them later.

Health and safety reminder

We advise that you become part of a formal programme for volunteering. In the UK, this would be STEM Ambassadors. Formal programmes often have in place appropriate insurance for activities and may offer health and safety guidance.

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Volunteering in the Classroom: Planning and Organising Practical STEM Activities

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