Published On: 13th March, 2024

During National Careers Week, Dynamic Earth was delighted to bring together more than 20 partner organisations from across the STEM employment landscape of Scotland and the UK to engage with over 650 learners and teachers showcasing pathways into STEM Careers.

Learners from across nine different local authority areas benefited from free access to Dynamic Earth for a hands-on extravaganza of interactive activities, the opportunity to meet with more than 80 scientists and role models from across a diverse range of STEM careers and the opportunity to take part in a chat-show panel chaired by the centre’s Scientific Director, Dr Hermione Cockburn.

Dynamic Earth was proud to bring together a diverse cohort of organisations across Higher and Further Education, industry and support agencies to reveal a broad range of careers that contribute to a sustainable future. Learners had the opportunity to understand how innovations in robotics can revolutionise our future, how Scotland is helping lead the way in energy innovation and how developments in the UKs Earth Observation sector are helping solve global challenges.

Learners saw the world differently in VR, explored Scotland’s marine ecosystems with real sea creatures, awed at real robots in action and explored careers in health with ultrasound equipment, to name but a few of the interactive opportunities on offer.

As well as getting hands-on, learners had the chance to hear from and ask burning questions to three wonderful guest scientists about their careers in our science chat show. Learners met Technologist Claire Motion from Cirrus Logic, Marine Biologist Alycia Smith from Heriot-Watt University and Chief Sustainability Officer Mattie Yeta from CGI as part of a packed interactive discussion session. Our panel shared their stories about how they got into STEM and ignited inspiring questions from learners and teachers alike about career opportunities. We know opportunities such as this are a vital element of career education for learners, as one teacher commented:

“None of our learners had attended anything like this before…the whole event was engaging, informative and inspiring for pupils.”

Reflecting on the event – Dynamic Earth’s Head of Learning and Engagement, Conor Ellis, commented “Bringing together members of the scientific community to engage with audiences with high-quality and enriching science experiences is what Dynamic Earth is all about. We understand and believe in the power of positive role models and diverse representations of scientists and their impact on influencing STEM futures in the young people of Scotland. We are grateful to all of our event partners in joining us to inspire the next generation of problem solvers with understanding and empathy for the Earth and how they can pursue a career that will support a positive future for us and our planet.”

As well as providing high-quality opportunity for learners and teachers, Dynamic Earth’s public engagement opportunities provide scientists and organisations opportunities to evolve their public engagement experience, develop their communication skills and confidence in working with different audiences. As one exhibiter commented:

“This experience significantly bolstered my confidence in public communication and interpersonal skills. Notably, engaging with children aged 8-10 was particularly invigorating as their active participation, vibrant energy, and genuine curiosity inspired me to extend the scope of my discussions. Observing their responsive behaviour fostered a sense of trust in the content of my communication, thereby contributing to a notable boost in my overall confidence.”

Emma, Learning & Engagement Officer at Dynamic Earth, said: “It was a joy to see so many learners enthusiastically engaging in hands-on activities and interacting with scientists during our recent Careers Day. The interactive activities and relaxed panel discussions provided a space to discuss the realities of working in STEM careers and the diverse pathways into them. A massive thank you to everyone who attended, making our Careers Day an unforgettable day of discovery and inspiration!”

If you’re a teacher and want to be the first to know about opportunities like our school careers day, make sure you’re signed up to our monthly school eNewsletter. If you’re a scientist or research organisation, and would be interested in evolving your public engagement knowledge, confidence and skills through taking part in Meet the Scientist Opportunities or public engagement training, reach out to our Head of Learning and Engagement, Conor, here.

Thank you to all our contributors, including our sponsors at CGI, for their commitment to this years STEM Careers Showcase.