Volunteer online to share STEM insights with school students
Having volunteered for an online mentoring scheme for secondary school students and found it a really positive experience, geospatial scientist Jane Mauz would like to encourage others to get involved.
Last Autumn I volunteered for the STEM Learning national online mentoring scheme for the first time. It was such a positive experience and I saw first-hand how the knowledge STEM Ambassadors have gained in the workplace is so useful for the students. As a mentor it was a chance to improve my active listening skills and it was really rewarding to work with such an enthusiastic mentee.
The scheme works by matching mentees to mentors based on user profiles of experience and interests. The mentee is offered a handful of potential matches from which they choose their mentor and the mentoring itself is carried out with Brightside using an online safeguarded platform. I joined the scheme to mentor students in years 10 and 11 (S3 and S4) with a theme of ‘career insights’ and as well as describing the different careers within our own organisation I explored a number of other roles with my mentee. There is training and support from both STEM Learning and Brightside, including a week by week guide full of resources to help keep the conversation flowing.
If you are UK-based I would encourage you to consider becoming a STEM Ambassador and joining the mentoring scheme. The online platform gives flexibility to plan volunteering time around other commitments and you can choose to offer to mentor up to three mentees. Increasing the number and diversity of mentors available will enable the scheme to reach more students and help them to connect the subjects they are studying today with career options for the future.
To learn more about becoming a STEM Ambassador, go to https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors/become-a-stem-ambassador