What makes a good activity?
- Don’t bore them with any detail. Keep it light!
- If giving a talk, try to keep it broad.
- Try and keep it as engaging as possible, the less you talk the better. Show don’t tell.
- Keep it simple and show enthusiasm for the “real-life” aspects of STEM careers.
- Practical tasks work well, for example, working models are brilliant in helping students really understand how a machine works.
- Be dynamic, make it interactive if possible, remember who you are talking to / working with and try to think what they would like.
- Make it fun!
How should I prepare?
- Planning is key. Ensure that the activity fits with the current stage of the curriculum, which sounds obvious but can be overlooked. Make sure that the first activity with the students gives them a chance to be active, this helps to be a form of ice breaker to get the students to relax.
- Beware of using terms clear to you but confusing to children.
- Practise your activity so that the timing is correct. Try not to read from a script when delivering a presentation.
- Talk to the teacher in advance, both to help your own organisation, but also so they know what you can offer and can plan accordingly.
- Find out as much as you can about schools wants/needs, your student audience, including number that will be present, size of space, facilities i.e. projector/interactive whiteboard, in science lab etc. and design your activity/talk to suit. Be as interactive as possible, to get students thinking, involved and so they will remember. Deliver to their needs and will be a success.
I’m worried/concerned about how it will go….
- Relax and enjoy the experience.
- Do not worry about how it will go, because when you get with the children they are enthusiastic.
- I was very nervous prior to the event (as I have almost never given presentations let alone to teenagers), and I really enjoyed every moment once I got going.
- Ignore all pre conceptions and just go with an open mind.
- Children have such great interest in everything you apply to any STEM event, don’t be afraid of not getting the interest as that will not happen.
- Be positive, be confident and show enthusiasm.