The STEM Careers Challenge is for Scouts and Girlguides to learn about the range of jobs at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The activities help young people develop skills and knowledge, and see whether studying STEM subjects is for them. This challenge is an extension of the first pack published by STFC in 2020.*
If you require alternative accessible formats, please contact the Careers Challenge team.
What is the challenge?
The goal is to complete three activities – each one involves tasks and skills that are also used in a particular job role. The challenge pack includes resources, suggested materials and instructions for all the activities, which can be done at home with adult supervision or as part of regular unit meetings. The pack has background information about the careers and opportunities for young people. Everyone is encourage to read the case studies from people working at STFC to find out how and why people chose their jobs and what they do at work in a typical day. By taking part in this challenge, young people can start to develop some of the skills they would need for a future career in science or engineering, including creativity and using imagination, and learn that anyone can aspire to work in STEM.
Who is it for?
All age groups in Girlguiding and Scouts can complete the challenge. There is a table at the start of the challenge pack that lists which activities are suitable for each age group, and other related activity badges.
Only groups based in the UK can order the badges however groups from other countries can still take part and download the certificate of achievement.
What activities are included?
The challenge pack is split into three sections. To complete the challenge, we recommend that groups complete one activity from each section:
- Section 1: Fluid Engineer
- Section 2: Optical Engineer
- Section 3: Project Manager
The choice of activities ranges from games to crafts. Some examples include experimenting with Oobleck (slime), making a lava lamp, communicating in Morse Code, team communication games and jigsaw puzzles. The recommended age groups and adaptations are for guidance; leaders are encouraged to choose activities they think will best suit their groups.
How much does the badge cost?
The badges are free, provided that leaders give feedback to the STFC graduate team so that we can continue to improve the activities.
How do I order the badges?
We're interested in your feedback about the activities and find out young people's aspirations relating to STEM careers and whether taking part in this challenge influences them.
In order to complete the feedback form, leaders should ask their group two questions before and after doing the challenge: Do you like science? Would you consider being a scientist or an engineer when you grow up?
Once groups have finished the challenge, leaders can complete the badge order form which contains the feedback form and an option to upload photos with your consent.
Groups outside the UK cannot order badges but can choose to provide feedback or photos by email or on social media.
*The first "Science and Engineering Careers Challenge" pack is still available online, groups are welcome to do those activities or use them as inspiration and download the self-print certificate on completion.