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How can we best select and use STEM careers resources?

As we have seen, there is a plentiful supply of STEM information and teaching resources to use with learners, and messages to be delivered at all levels. Who will you target? What are your priorities?

activity As a starting point, you need an overview of current STEM activity in your school or college.

To help you do this, complete this STEM Assessment tool  (taken from STEM Choices), and use your conclusions to help you formulate a STEM Careers Organisation Action Plan to support your forward planning. The STEM Manager and STEM Planner tools, described below will also help you to do this.

The nature of online learning will probably mean that you initially work through this on your own, or with a colleague. You can use the assessment along with the STEM Manager and STEM Planner if you wish, as a basis for a more collaborative activity involving wider interested parties - your Careers Co-ordinator, Careers Advisor, STEM Co-ordinator and Heads of relevant departments.

STEM Manager picture

The online STEM Manager tool is an excellent vehicle to integrate STEM careers planning in a school or college with other STEM activities. The tool is presented in 6 themes, each with their own objectives and related examples of good practice. The Careers theme has 3 objectives:

  • Establish good STEM careers presence in school
  • Promote teaching and learning that embeds STEM careers within the curriculum
  • Establish links between careers, STEM and equality and diversity.

Its companion, the STEM Planner, is a visual electronic circular mapping tool to help your school audit STEM curriculum activities, including careers, by key stage, set out term by term in a school year. New activities can then be added to the Planner in the context of the 'bigger picture', enabling cross curricular work to be planned in a co-ordinated manner.

information The Centre for Science Education and Babcock report STEM Subject Choice and Careers Lessons Learned Part 1, contains case studies relating to the 8 criteria in the STEM Assesment tool, some of which will be familiar from other sections of STEM Careers. One of the key challenges in using STEM careers resources effectively is encouraging non-careers professionals to adopt them and embed in the curriculum. Read Case Study 1 which describes how subject tailored resources were prepared and subject teachers trialled them.

activityHow would you do this? Choose one of these STEM subject areas (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering or CDT) and compile a short 'Careers Tool Kit' to support STEM subject teachers. A tool kit proforma is supplied. Here is an example tool kit for maths.

informationThe STEM Choices pack appendices contains one page careers handouts for biology, chemistry, physics, design technology and maths (scroll down). The jobs in maths handout is in a word document here. It also contains profiles of UK STEM industries and a list of websites and more sources of information, all of which could inform your tool kit.

The maths game "What's My Line?" from the STEM Choices Pack starters and plenaries we looked at in STEM Getting Started could also be adapted for other subject areas.

An important source for supporting maths teachers to integrate career learning into maths lessons is the series of four different Maths starters produced by the Centre for Science Education. Browse through the starters. Could any of these ideas be adapted to be a companion to, or part of your subject tool kit? The Maths Careers website has many more ideas and resources.

chat.pngOnce complete, please share your Careers Tool Kit by either: emailing it to guidance dot research at warwick dot ac dot uk and we will load it on to this webpage or uploading it to the STEM Careers: helping students get the message online community forum.


Note down any outstanding action points or ideas in your STEM Careers Personal Action Plan. If you haven't already downloaded one you can do so here.

furtherinfoTaking it further...

  1. More ideas to inspire careers work and subject teachers can be found in The National STEM Centre's e-library. The materials support greater learners engagement by raising awareness of the applications of STEM in the workplace, and potential career pathways resulting from the study of STEM subjects. You need to register to download some materials, certianly videos. The library offers the opportunity to rate and comment on resources, which is a huge help to other users.
  2. If you wish to add to your tool kit you can find useful labour market information on the LMI Future Trends site. For example, here is a link to the Education and Training section of the Financial Services Sector, which gives entry requirements, career opportunities, future trends in education and training, and much more. The site has information on 25 sectors and for each you can also find out about general sector info, regional/national dimensions, occupations, equal opportunities and relevant links and sources.
  3. To help you relate STEM resources effectively to curriculum planning you can refer to the STEM and Economic Wellbeing pack. This provides planning tools and resources to integrate STEM into the personal development and science curriculum in Key Stage 3. Economic Wellbeing (EWB) covers the curriculum areas of careers education, work related learning, enterprise education and personal financial capability. The pack is aimed at curriculum leaders, teachers and support staff, but is also relevant to advisers and other organisations. It aims to inspire schools to develop coherent and integrated approaches to STEM and EWB teaching and learning, which promote the breadth and relevance of STEM skills, subject choice and careers.
  4. CSE and Babcock have produced a Careers IAG Mapping Resource, which evaluates resources against the National IAG Standards and gives guidelines for STEM organisations producing information.

chat_iconAdd any comments in the box below or on the STEM Careers Helping Students Get The Message online community group on the National STEM Centre website.

ForwardMove on to the next section: Addressing Equality and Diversity.