Volunteer as a mentor
How can I get involved?
Mentors of STEM projects – like those undertaken through CREST – play a vital role in developing tomorrow’s talent by offering their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to help inspire students.
Mentors can decide the level of their involvement – it does not have to be long-term or onerous. It can be as simple as dropping into a school/college to kick start and inspire students at the start of a project related to their career, all the way up to taking on a work experience student – the choice is yours!
As a mentor you may help introduce young people to an area of STEM they might not normally have access to, help them understand good project processes, and open a window into what working in STEM can be like.
No two projects are ever the same, and so the mentor role within each project may also be different. You could:
- Inspire the students with a talk or help set a challenge at the start
- Provide expert information or be a point of access for specialist knowledge or techniques
- Help students develop their ideas or guide them as they examine their results
- Provide or help arrange relevant work experience or an industrial visit to your place of work.
How do I start?
The best way is to volunteer through the STEM Ambassador programme. As a STEM Ambassador, you will receive a free Enhanced DBS Check as well as support and guidance on working with schools.
To find opportunities for mentoring CREST projects in your area, contact your CREST local coordinator.
Benefits of volunteering
The opportunity to share your expertise and enthusiasm with young people can be very rewarding, and you may even see your own work in a new light.
- Get hands-on project and people management experience
- Train and encourage the next generation of scientists and engineers and develop links with local schools
- Develop your own communication skills through a structured scheme
The CREST framework can also add extra value to your outreach work, helping you make sure you are passing on techniques and best practice and allowing students to gain a national award at the same time.
My Stem Club were assessed for their Bronze Award and had so much pride when they got it! The assessor was impressed at the skills they had learned in communication and facing challenges. The whole experience is so valuable!
It’s helped the self-esteem for some low achievers for whom it is their major achievement in school.