Tool WF-1: Science teachers and careers advice

For this tool you will need the following resources:

  • WF-1 PowerPoint
  • Handout 1: Science teachers and careers advice
  • Handout 2: Science in the workplace – an introduction

This tool aims to raise teachers’ awareness of the important role they have in influencing their students’ download_powerpointcareer choices and to provide them with some ideas about how they could do this well.

class Begin with a whole group discussion, focused on what teachers and schools do to provide their students with careers advice.


teamwork download_handout Now give the teachers Handout 1: Science teachers and careers advice and ask them to work in pairs to answer the questions:

  • How do you see your role as a source of careers information for your pupils?
  • How do you embed careers information in your science lessons?
  • What could you do to further embed careers information in your science lessons?

class Bring the group together again and discuss their responses, particularly to the last question.

Show them the Nuffield Foundation website, which has extensive materials to support teachers in promoting science careers. It states that

“Careers work with young people can consist of many different parts. The traditional one-to-one interview for advice and guidance is only a very small part of how pupils will make choices about their future career path. Science teachers should take opportunities to relate their subject to potential future learning pathways and show pupils where the subject sits in the world of work.”

See here for more.

The resource provided by Nuffield suggests the following approaches:

  • Involve role models or case studies in lessons, using resources such as a film clip of someone working in research/industry;
  • Use role play as part of practical activity: set a task with the pupils in a specific role (brief them beforehand) and ask them to present their findings, or allocate different roles to groups so they can debate opposing views of the implications of their findings, or invite real people to see their presentations;
  • Build in career skills development and reflection into practical task so that pupils can review and reflect on their own skills base or interests / values and relate it to careers in science;
  • Identify a local company/organisation with expertise in a related STEM area: Involve them and illustrate what they do – arrange a visit or work shadow – develop a new teaching resource on the basis of this;
  • Include individual career research activities for students as part of the task either within class or as homework: set tasks for information searches on a range of jobs or routes to jobs – or key aspects of careers like salary, qualifications, key roles;
  • Involve your own pupils and do some research with them about their own awareness and interest in science careers. Follow this up by working with colleagues and the school careers lead to develop a joint activity (which could be based on the suggestions above). Let the results feed in to open evenings and option choices events with parents.

To finish off, ask the teachers to experiment with one or more of these approaches and to be ready to report back to the group at the next meeting.

Other resources they might like to explore include: