I was recently invited to discuss aspects of my career and job within the university, at a local STEM event at St Joseph’s College in Dumfries. The event was organised by S4 pupils and was attended by a number of professionals working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Pupils at St Joseph’s College were involved in the unique science themed day entitled STEM Speed-Dating Careers Event. Organised jointly by the Science and Technology Faculty and also the Mathematics department, this event created an opportunity for fourth year students to meet, talk and engage with representatives from professions relating to STEM.
“Fourth year students are at a crucial point in their academic life as they are about to make extremely important decisions regarding their choice of subjects for Higher courses in fifth year.”
(Mrs MacGregor, Principal Teacher).
The aim of the afternoon was to enthuse pupils about STEM subjects and to open their minds to the vast array of career opportunities in this field. A total of twenty-nine professionals attended, from various careers including architecture, engineering, ICT, physiotherapy, medical physics and environmental health. The event ran in the style of “speed dating”. A group of five students had five minutes to question the guests regarding their careers. Before the event, fourth years studied the CVs of the visitors and prepared questions with the help of the sixth year prefects who also contributed to a great day.
“Fourth year will get to see a variety of jobs on offer in the area. They can gain an idea of what jobs they could do and see a pathway to that destination.”
(Suzanne Paterson, a Senior Support Officer for Dumfries and Galloway Council)
In addition, pupils were required to develop their social skills by interviewing the visitors. Work experience was also praised highly as something students should invest time in. It is my hope that more schools will seek to pursue such events and that STEM will be promoted throughout the country. In particular, I would like to see emphasis on Technology as more young people seek to make the transition from the senior phase curriculum into a positive and sustained destination.
Text adapted from http://www.stjosephscollege.co.uk
Photograph: Me discussing Teacher Education with a group of pupils.