What is STEM? 

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines:  

  • Science
  • Technology 
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics 

STEM education in the UK has grown in recent years as a curriculum that aims to skill students by presenting a cohesive learning platform that based on real-world applications. It underpins the foundational stage of many sectors, including healthcare, and is often integral to an organisation and thus is becoming an ever-more important field for students. 

What is a STEM Ambassador? 

  • Aged 17+ and at various stages of their career 
  • People who want to make a difference 
  • From a vast range of STEM related disciplines and careers 
  • May or may not have been to university to study a STEM subject 
  • 45% female 
  • Visits primary or secondary schools and colleges 
  • Delivers a range of activities such as careers talks and practical workshops 
  • Collectively deliver over 640,000 hours volunteering each year 

Why become a STEM Ambassador? 

STEM Ambassadors make an impact by:  

  • Supporting learning – help young people to understand the real world applications of their learning. 
  • Illuminating careers – showcase different careers, providing information on roles and pathways into industry while raising awareness of the skills that are important in the workplace. 
  • Raising aspirations – give young people the opportunity to meet a wide range of inspiring role models, encouraging them as they think about their future. 

On a personal level, STEM Ambassadors increase their:  

  • Sense of achievement and reward 
  • Presentation skills 
  • Confidence 
  • Sense of personal and career satisfaction 

Becoming a member will allow you to: 

  • Access thousands of resources 
  • Book onto CPD activities 
  • Sign up to eNewsletters 
  • Contribute to online groups 

Registering is free, quick and easy! 

How much time do I need to commit? 

It is up to you to choose/offer the activities you have the time and feel comfortable getting involved with. The only commitment is that you undertake at least one activity per year.  

The STEM Ambassador programme is flexible, allowing you to volunteer in a way that suits you; it could be online or in person, in schools or in community groups, by supporting lessons or extra-curricular activities and working with young people or their educators. 

Once you are approved as a STEM Ambassador, opportunities are presented to you by STEM via your personal Dashboard. You can also use your own materials, such as the STEM Careers in Eyecare lesson plan as provided by ABDO. 

How to apply 

  1. Create an account
  2. Complete your induction 
  3. Complete a free enhanced DBS check (PVG in Scotland). This will be initiated by your local STEM Hub. 

Registration is completely free. 

Handy hint! 

Once you have passed your DBS check, sign up with the DBS Update service. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Update Service allows: 

  • applicants to keep their DBS certificates up to date 
  • employers to check a DBS certificate 

There is no charge if you are a volunteer. 

Support 

STEM Learning (stem.org.uk) provide you with everything that you need. 

Local STEM Ambassador Hubs 

A network of 19 STEM Ambassador Hubs coordinate the volunteering opportunities of over 30,000 STEM Ambassador volunteers across the UK. STEM Ambassador Hubs offer a range of support, opportunities and local expertise. They develop links between groups and individuals working to enhance young people’s STEM education. 

Whether you are a teacher, group leader, STEM Ambassador or employer, your local STEM Ambassador Hub is available to support you with anything related to the STEM Ambassador programme. Find your local Hub’s details:  

Careers in Eyecare is an initiative from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians that is gaining more and more support and interest within the sector. W

To make your first session as easy and pain free as possible, we have worked with a group of academies to create a careers lesson plan for STEM Careers in Eyecare. It’s really simple and easy to implement as it utilises the information already on the webpages

The lesson plan can be found here

So what are you waiting for? 

2 Replies to “How to become a STEM ambassador”

  1. […] Would you like to talk to schoolchildren and students about careers in eyecare? Find out how to become a STEM ambassador here. […]

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