Lesson ideas for ‘Big Picture: Careers From Biology’

Ideas for further activities you could do with your students or that you might wish to share with PSHEE teachers

This issue of ‘Big Picture’ highlights a diverse range of science-related jobs, talks to the people doing them, and gives advice about where studying biology can lead and how to get there. If you do any of these activities, we’d love to hear from you! Please send any materials or comments to bigpicture@wellcome.ac.uk.

Let students meet real scientists

There’s nothing quite like meeting and talking to a real scientist. There are several schemes that can help you arrange this for your school. STEMNET have a network of STEM Ambassadors who volunteer as inspiring role models for young people. I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! is a free project that allows students to chat to scientists online and ask them questions.

Science Live is a searchable directory of presenters and scientists who deliver inspiring lessons and workshops in schools, and Biology4All also has a list. You might also know former pupils of your school who could come back and talk to pupils about their experiences.

Watch clips of different careers

Clips about careers in science can be a great way to start a lesson or topic and can also be used to highlight jobs that students might not be aware of.

Students interested in medicine might also be interested in other medical jobs highlighted by the Classroom Medics videos.

Experience university

Some universities run summer schools for students taking A levels to get a taste of university life. Students can find out more, including a list of programmes available, via the UCAS website.

Work experience

Work experience can give students a taste of working in a particular area. The Society of Biology has advice on finding biology-related work experience.

Do a quiz about possible careers

Students can explore the My Future Finder section of Future Morph to find out more about different careers.

Also on Future Morph, the Health section and the Beyond Medicine section might be of particular interest to young people interested in biology.

Have a career of the month or term

This would introduce students to a variety of careers. The job title could be given and students would be tasked with finding out about what the job involves or thinking of questions they would ask a person who does the job. Students could collect news items relating to the career and display them.

CV writing

Students can see tips and templates to help them create their own CV. They should have a particular job in mind when creating their CV and adapt it accordingly. There is also help available for CV writing and interviews from the National Careers Service.

Practice interviews

Whether applying for a job or a university place, students will all benefit from interviews. They may like to work through virtual interviews on the BBC.

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Careers From Biology’ in June 2012 and reviewed and updated in November 2017.

Careers From Biology
Education levels:
16–19, Undergraduate, Continuing professional development