How to become a STEM Ambassador
STEM Ambassadors are volunteers that can be from the industry, they could work or study in the field and they are passionate about passing on their passion to the next generation of STEM professionals. Their main goal is to inspire and help young people to get involved in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. Essentially, showing them that a career in STEM isn’t always exactly what it says on the cover.
As engineers, we know that there is so much more to engineering and STEM careers, than initially thought. Young people aren’t as likely to understand all of the different routes they can take in a STEM career and what they are capable of achieving.
They aren’t taught about what they could be and what they could achieve. Most people think that studying maths leads you to become a mathematician or biology means you’ll be a biologist. But as STEM ambassadors, we know that there is so much more to talk and excite young minds about. It is our job to teach and show them the endless possibilities.
What would you be doing?
If this is something you would be interested in pursuing, STEM ambassadors take pride in motivating young people about their field of work. It’s likely that you would be working with people between the ages of 4-21.
There are so many different things you could be teaching and talking about but ultimately, you will be showing them how to get more involved in these subjects and giving them the opportunity to explore, learn and flourish in STEM. The goal of an ambassador will be to help them understand if they want to pursue these subjects as a career and how to do so. Showing them the things, they don’t get to see in school is an exciting way to catch their attention.
You may find that some younger people may not be interested in the typical STEM subjects to begin with because they are deemed to be the ‘boring’ and potentially ‘uncreative’ subjects. As an ambassador, you will challenge that perspective, showing them that these subjects can be fun and creative. By allowing children at a young age to be exposed to the fun behind STEM, they are more likely to develop and find enjoyment in these subjects, hopefully leading them to happy careers in the future. And careers that they may have potentially not found out about otherwise.
Why should you become a STEM Ambassador?
Whether you work in a STEM based job role or simply have a passion for any of the subjects, it’s important that we continue to inspire the next generation of engineers. As an ambassador, it would be your role to help children understand the importance behind these subjects and show them how STEM can make a difference in the world. Sometimes, getting younger people interested in any of these subjects can be a difficult task and some may have an instant love for them.
Whichever the situation, if you are willing to teach and learn from the children, then you should think about becoming an ambassador. You will be able to share your skills, knowledge and passion with younger people and help create the next generation of people working in STEM. As a STEM professional, you probably already understand the importance of developing new ideas within science and technology. When younger people have something to be passionate about, it gives them motivation and drive, all children deserve something to strive for and you can help them do that with your own passion. It can be a very rewarding role to pursue.
How can it help your career?
Most people probably aren’t thinking, what’s in it for me? But it’s important to know that you would be helping yourself and your career, as well as the younger generation.
It can open you up to a whole range of different events and networking possibilities. Being a STEM ambassador is more than just sitting in a classroom or teaching children. It’s about hosting and attending a wide range of events and coming up with creative ideas of your own. You may find that you will actually learn something from the children, being around creative individuals can allow creative thinking to flow. It can help you develop communication and teaching skills. Talking to younger people can sometimes be hard, getting them engaged and having the patience to help them is a highly desired skill, being a STEM ambassador can help you improve these skills. It helps you feed your passion, some professionals can become wrapped up in work-life and begin to see their passion fade. It can be easy to forget about WHY you chose a STEM career and being involved in activities like this and being creative whilst helping others can help you remember why you chose our career. Seeing young people learn and flourish within STEM can bring back that enthusiasm. Being a STEM ambassador isn’t just about helping the younger generation, although they are the centre of the programme, it’s about helping you as well.
What could you be doing as a STEM Ambassador?
There is a whole variety of different activities you can begin to take part in, but here are just a few:
- Support lessons in schools
- Present careers talks or help at careers fairs
- Provide support at university events
- Help schools make links with industry professionals
How do you become a STEM ambassador?
- Register as a STEM Ambassador here
- Connect to your local STEM Ambassador Hub
- Complete your free of charge Enhanced Disclosure Check
- Complete an induction
- Receive your ID card and become an approved STEM Ambassador
- Start volunteering when it suits you!
No experience or qualifications are needed, just the passion for your work and young people is enough. The amount of time you give to help is up to you, could be just one activity a year, could be more! The idea is to fit this around your own schedule, so there’s no need to worry.
You could begin volunteering in a huge range of different activities and places. You can become an ambassador for a local STEM club or community group and even get involved with different employers. The goal of an ambassador is to keep young people engaged, so you will have to keep things fun and exciting. Introducing them to a world of STEM is nothing less than exciting, it’s keeping them engaged that’s the fun but challenging part.
As a STEM ambassador you will be introducing young people to the importance of STEM led subjects. Some younger children may not be aware of the importance of STEM on our society and getting them learning and inspired is the only way forward. You will be helping the next generation of engineers and technicians, what else is there to persuade you? You can show young people the reason you were passionate about STEM and show them how they could have the same love for it as you.
Over 2,500 IET members act as STEM Ambassadors. Why not join them?