Science careers

There was an interesting article recently in eSchool News. Survey: Educators aren’t discussing STEM careers with students reports on a survey of students who basically said that their teachers make the content interesting, but they don’t always make the connection to science and engineering as careers.

To access the entire article, you need to subscribe to eSchool News, (it’s free). This is a useful publication for teachers and administrators, and there are articles related to general education topics, as well as STEM ones, notices about grants, free webinars, news articles, and other announcements of interest. It’s worth skimming or getting the email alerts.

Rather than devote an entire unit to “science careers,” there are ways to incorporate ideas into regular units of instruction. Some textbooks have career/interview with a scientist at the end of the chapters. When you use SciLinks, search on the keyword “careers” for information related to biology, earth science, physics, chemistry, public health for your grade level. Or filter a list on any topic by checking the “career” box.

Some of the sites describe the requirements for a career (e.g., education), salaries, employers, etc. (See Careers in Chemistry as an example.  Others describe real-life research projects and include interviews, journals, and photographs of real scientists and engineers at work. For example, the 5-8 topic Oceanography has the site Dive and Discover, which shadows the research of oceanographers.

With SciLinks you can also make a list of “favorites” for students to explore as a learning station or on their own. Another NSTA product to consider is the book  All in a Day’s Work: Careers Using Science. According to the author, this book “will help you give students an exciting look at the vast array of jobs built on a foundation of science.”

Parents have a role to play, too, in encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM, according to another study presented at an AAAS meeting.

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