Best Practice

STEM: Industry placements for teachers

A placement in industry has transformed how STEM co-ordinator Rose Russell talks to her students about career paths and opportunities involving these crucial subjects

If the truth be known I didn’t feel fully equipped, informed or educated enough to advise our pupils on career paths – engineering, in particular. I had no training in that area and besides we had Connexions, the careers advisors, who dealt with careers and work experience in schools.

Very often I was asked by students, what is an engineer? What’s the difference between civil, structural, and mechanical? And at times I really felt like I was bluffing it – if the truth be known. I didn’t feel able to answer questions on engineering with any conviction.

So, I wanted to increase my links with industry, and broaden my network of contacts. That was key. And knowing how incredibly important a part inspirational role models can play in helping young people to see what opportunities are possible, I wanted to increase our invitations to professional engineers to speak to our students in order to increase their knowledge about potential career pathways.

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