Educational Resources Lets Talk Science Challenge participants

A Virtual Career Fair

A Virtual Career Fair (kate_sept2004, iStockphoto)

A Virtual Career Fair

Let's Talk Science
Format
Text
Grades
7,  8,  9,  10,  11,  12
Jurisdiction
AB,  BC,  MB,  NB,  NL,  NS,  NT,  NU,  ON,  PE,  QC,  SK,  YT
Guidance & Careers
Career Development
Career Exploration
Career Options

Summary

Students will learn about various careers, and career pathways, through their review of various career profiles.
Students will continue to develop their understanding of the importance of STEM courses/programs for future career pathways.

Setting the Stage

One way for young people to become aware of the variety of occupations available in the world of work is by direct interaction with individuals who work in different occupations or careers. Teachers can ensure that students have such contact is by inviting people to visit the class to talk about their careers and their career preparation. Another method is to have students engage in job shadowing, work volunteering, or co-op placements. Or we can organize, and have students attend, a career fair where students can speak to people in careers that interest them and ask specific questions about those careers. 

Each of these options has their own pros and cons. One particular drawback associated with all three approaches involves having limited access to people in a variety of careers, particularly in rural and remote communities. Even where such a variety exists within the school community, there may still be difficulty in organizing or accessing these resources (e.g., unavailability of volunteers, limited funds or opportunities to attend career fairs).

The Virtual Career Fair activity allows teachers to organize career fairs without the limitations listed above. Written in a first person narrative, Let’s Talk Science profiles provide the same information one would gain if the meetings were in person, at a real career fair. Through their interactions with the available career profiles, students will be exposed to careers and career pathways, many of which they may not have realized existed. Students will also come to understand that an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) opens many doors to interesting careers. They will also learn that STEM courses provide skills and background that are valuable for careers not normally thought of as being STEM (e.g., journalist).

Material & Preparation

  • Arrange for computer and internet access for students working in pairs or groups.
  • Select career profiles to include in virtual career fair
  • Download the Virtual Career Fair Assignment Reproducible (1 per student) [Google Doc] [PDF]

What to Do

The first step in organizing a Virtual Career Fair is to decide which career profiles will be included. Career Profiles can be organized by career sector (e.g., health care, information technology, skilled trades), educational pathway (e.g., college, apprenticeship, university), by students school subject interest (e.g., language arts, biology, home economics), or it can be a mix of sectors/interests.  Some sample profile collections are provided below.

Teachers could also have students create their own virtual career fair using profiles from a sector/career path in which they have an interest. Student-developed virtual career fair selections could then be shared with other members of the class. 

Teachers could use the Virtual Career Fair Assignment (Reproducible available for download) to provide students with the opportunity to “meet” people in interesting STEM careers. Teachers can use the preselected career profile collections or create career profile collections of their own.  As noted above, these virtual career fairs can be organized to suit teacher goals and student interests. Teachers can also look at the sample student response given in the section below.

Variations:

  • Teachers can assign specific profiles to individual students or groups. When students access the profiles, it is analogous to visiting a booth at a career fair. The Virtual Career Fair Assignment BLM can be used to focus student research. 

  • Students can “visit” volunteers based on their interests (e.g., individuals who work in labs; those that work with young people; those that work outside; those that require college diploma; those that require university degree; etc.) or as assigned by the teacher. 
  • Teachers can tailor the content by creating lists for each group of students in their class. For example, ESL students or students with difficulty reading could be provided with a collection of video profiles only or they could work through the assignment with a partner. 
  • Teachers could provide students with greater flexibility to determine the profiles they are interested in reviewing for this assignment. For example, students could select at least five profiles that are of interest to them. Students could work individually or with a partner. If they are working with a partner or a group, all group members must agree with the profiles selected. Students would record the URLs for the profiles they have used to complete the assigned questions/activities. 

The ready-to-use Virtual Career Fair Assignment can be used in a variety of scenarios and will give students opportunity to explore a variety of career pathways. Teachers could extend this activity by adding the following activities: 

  • Using the career selected in question 1, students could conduct further research to determine the following:
    • The education/training required 
    • Institutions that provide the education/training required for entry into this career
    • The projected employment opportunities provincially, nationally, and internationally
    • The salary range for entry level and senior level employees
  • Using the information they have collected, students could create a short presentation (e.g., audio, video, written, etc.) that will inform others about this career.

Details

Sample Student Response

Sample profile collections for creating a virtual career fair for specific clusters/areas

Compilation Category Name and Link
Arts, Audio/Video Technology

Adam Walsh - CBC Journalist 
Jon Woodward – Reporter at CTV News
Marcia Mordfield – Cataloging Technician
Lorraine Gouin – Social Media Officer
Maxyme (Max) Paiement - Team Leader for Graphics, Multimedia and Virtual Sets
Maya Bankovic – Cinematographer

Information Technology Anais Kassardjian – Freelance Webmaster
Anissa Agahchen – Co-founder and CEO, Verably.com
Shelley Sandiford – Founder, Siconic Science Media
Kelly Shkuratoff - Senior Manager, Salesforce
Leigha Mitchell - Software Engineer at Hubba
Michael Hopkins - Computer Support Specialist
Marketing, Sales and Service

Shane Monaghan - Product Line Manager
Tammy Barrett - Manager - Research and Development
Scot Ryan – Financial Advisor 

Natural Resources Timea Filer – Urban Forestry Field Technologist
Lacey Rose - County Forester, County of Renfrew
College/Technical School Michael Greene - Area Manager, Canadian Coast Guard
Becki Peckham - Graphic Designer and Photographer, Bold Creative
Shane Chambers – Pilot and Instructor
Patrick Leclair – Bridge CADD Technician
Christina Passfield – Elevator and Amusement Device Inspector
High School Subject – Environment

Katharine Scotton - Environmental Consultant, PGL Environmental Consultants
Ryan Snoddon - Meteorologist and Host (CBC-NL)

Skilled Trades

Kaylyn Roloson – Metal Fabricator
Mandy Rennehan – Blue-Collar CEO
Schuyler Kahgee – Industrial Millwright Apprentice
Timothy Wilkinson - Plumber/Welder
Timea Filer – Urban Forestry Field Technologist

Sample Student Response

Sample profile collections for creating a virtual career fair for specific clusters/areas

Compilation Category Name and Link
Arts, Audio/Video Technology

Adam Walsh - CBC Journalist 
Jon Woodward – Reporter at CTV News
Marcia Mordfield – Cataloging Technician
Lorraine Gouin – Social Media Officer
Maxyme (Max) Paiement - Team Leader for Graphics, Multimedia and Virtual Sets
Maya Bankovic – Cinematographer

Information Technology Anais Kassardjian – Freelance Webmaster
Anissa Agahchen – Co-founder and CEO, Verably.com
Shelley Sandiford – Founder, Siconic Science Media
Kelly Shkuratoff - Senior Manager, Salesforce
Leigha Mitchell - Software Engineer at Hubba
Michael Hopkins - Computer Support Specialist
Marketing, Sales and Service

Shane Monaghan - Product Line Manager
Tammy Barrett - Manager - Research and Development
Scot Ryan – Financial Advisor 

Natural Resources Timea Filer – Urban Forestry Field Technologist
Lacey Rose - County Forester, County of Renfrew
College/Technical School Michael Greene - Area Manager, Canadian Coast Guard
Becki Peckham - Graphic Designer and Photographer, Bold Creative
Shane Chambers – Pilot and Instructor
Patrick Leclair – Bridge CADD Technician
Christina Passfield – Elevator and Amusement Device Inspector
High School Subject – Environment

Katharine Scotton - Environmental Consultant, PGL Environmental Consultants
Ryan Snoddon - Meteorologist and Host (CBC-NL)

Skilled Trades

Kaylyn Roloson – Metal Fabricator
Mandy Rennehan – Blue-Collar CEO
Schuyler Kahgee – Industrial Millwright Apprentice
Timothy Wilkinson - Plumber/Welder
Timea Filer – Urban Forestry Field Technologist

Assessment
  • Teachers could collect and review student responses to the “career fair” questions.
Assessment
  • Teachers could collect and review student responses to the “career fair” questions.
Downloads

Virtual Career Fair Assignment Reproducible [Google Doc] [PDF]

Downloads

Virtual Career Fair Assignment Reproducible [Google Doc] [PDF]