A group of graduates have designed the “Science and Engineering Careers Challenge" for Scouts and Girl Guides, inspired by their own job roles at the Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) RAL Space facility in Oxfordshire. The challenge will help young people find out about the kinds of jobs you can do in science and engineering and get excited about where studying STEM subjects could lead them.
What is the challenge?
The challenge is to complete six activities – each one involves tasks and skills that are also used in a particular job role. The challenge pack includes resources, lists of any materials required and instructions for all the activities, which can be done at home with adult supervision or as part of regular unit meetings. There is specific guidance for leaders to run the activities online. The pack also has background information about the careers and opportunities for young people. 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 be a scientist or engineer.
Who is it for?
All age groups in Girlguiding and Scouts can complete the challenge. There is a handy 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 6 sections that correspond to different careers. To complete the challenge, we recommend that groups complete one activity from each section:
- Section 1: Electronic Engineer
- Section 2: Mechanical Engineer
- Section 3: Data Scientist
- Section 4: Software Engineer
- Section 5: Physicist
- Section 6: Science Communication
The choice of activities ranges from games to crafts. Some examples include experimenting with electronic playdough, making an edible rover, building a rain gauge, coding obstacle courses, exploring beyond the solar system and lots more! The recommended age groups are for guidance and leaders are encouraged to choose activities they think their groups will be comfortable with.
View and download the Challenge Pack.
Read the virtual meeting guidance for leaders to run these activities online.
Challenge participants are encouraged to read the case studies from people working at STFC to find out how and why scientists and engineers chose to do these jobs, the top skills they use and what they do in a typical day.
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 to have 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.
Groups outside the UK cannot order badges but can choose to provide feedback by email.
If you have any questions please email the Careers Challenge team.