Careers charity Future First has launched a virtual pack designed to give young people aged 13-16 insight into the world of physics and show them the careers and pathways studying physics can open up for them.
Developed in partnership with the Institute of Physics and Planet Possibility, the virtual pack consists of hands-on tasks set by volunteers working in physics-related careers. These include PhD students, Clinical Scientists, Software Developers, and more.
The free course is fully online, and takes between 3-4 hours to complete. Tasks can be completed in bitesize sections at learners’ own pace, with progress automatically saved. The course does not need to be completed all in one go.
The course also works well as lesson content: showing real-life application of physics. Guidance on completing the pack for teachers and educators is also available.
Students who complete the course will receive a certificate, which can be showcased on job, college and university applications, as well as their CV.
Recent research from Teach First revealed that more than half of parents from low socioeconomic backgrounds believed their children were unlikely to go on to have a career in STEM. 41% of 11-16 year olds from a similar background agreed.
Parents believe their children face barriers such as:
- Few role models in the STEM field
- A lack of confidence
- A general feeling that their children “don’t see it as a subject for somebody like them”
The collective aim of the Planet Possibility consortium is to improve the diversity of people doing physics in education, research and industry.
Completing this virtual pack will help young people from all walks of life discover where studying physics can take them, show them role models within the industry, and inspire them to pursue a career in STEM.