Careers in Building and Design

Let's Talk Science

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students explore careers that involve designing and building structures and devices.


  • Students will learn about careers, and associated post-secondary pathways, that involve designing and building by exploring career profiles
  • Students will make connections between topics being studied in the science classroom and workplace applications
  • Students will recognize that skills developed through studying science are applicable and valued in the workplace

Setting the Stage

When students engage in activities in which they design, build and test structures and devices, they gain valuable employability skills; skills that will help them when they enter the world of work. Often students do not make connections between these activities and potential careers. Many students may have narrow views of potential careers informed by what they see on TV, movies, or their experiences with working adults.

Students may not realize that design and build activities involve processes and skills that are used in such career areas as engineering, graphic design, project management, and construction. While the best way for students to gain awareness about the variety of occupations available in the world of work is by direct interaction with individuals who work in different occupations or careers, such contact is often unavailable due to geography, time, or availability. Reading personal online profiles allows students to learn more about these careers and the people that pursue them. 

In this lesson, students share their own experiences with group projects. Next, students choose several career profiles to explore. Students compare the skills, responsibilities, and post-secondary pathways associated with each of these jobs. Finally, students reflect on which of these potential careers they might be interested in pursuing. 

Materials & Preparation

  • Computers or other devices with internet access (1 per student or small group)
  • Assignment Description Reproducible (1 per student or small group) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as paper or e-copy
  • Recording Sheet Reproducible (1 per student or small group) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Careers in Building & Design Exit Slip (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy

What To Do

  • Teachers could begin this lesson by leading a class discussion about students’ experiences working on group projects. If students have completed an activity involving designing and building, teachers could relate work in the real world to what students have experienced working on school projects/assignments. Teachers could use the following guiding questions. 
    • What projects have you worked on as a team?
    • What challenges have you experienced when you worked on a project as part of a team?
    • When you worked as a team, what stages did you experience? Did your project have a beginning, middle and end?
    • When you worked on a team project, did people take on different roles? What were these roles?
    • What skills do you think are necessary when working on a team project?
  • Teachers could show a diagram of the Design and Build process to help students identify the key parts of a project. Regardless of the size of a project, the first step is to develop a design or plan to solve the problem that was raised (Design stage). The next step is to build and test the solution (Construction). If the solution does not work, you return to the Design stage. 
  • Teachers could link this process to the world of work where structures or devices are developed and built. In the world of work projects are worked on by teams of people who each bring specialized skills. Some work on the early design stages and others work to carry out the plans. For example, to ensure a town or city has clean drinking water, plans are made before pipes are put in the ground. In the world of work, there are managers or supervisors who make sure that the team has the resources they need and are working productively. In school, the teacher often takes on this role by setting deadlines and requirements.
  • Teachers should inform students that they are going to learn about people who work in these three general parts of a project (Design, Construction, Management) by reading profiles of people who work in these roles.
  • Teachers could provide students with a copy of the Assignment Description reproducible. Teachers could review the expectations with students. Groups could be formed based on the careers that students find most interesting. 
    • With Internet Access: Students could access the career profiles by clicking the links on the Assignment Description reproducible. 
    • Without Internet Access: Teachers could print copies of some of the suggested career profiles and give them to students. 
  • Students could choose one profile from each group (Design, Construct, and Manage). As students read the profiles, they could answer the questions on the Recording Sheet reproducible.
  • When students have completed the assignment, teachers could lead a class discussion to provide students with an opportunity to share their responses and thinking regarding the profiles they have read.
  • To conclude the lesson and to help students consolidate their knowledge, teachers could have students make a journal entry or complete the Careers in Building & Design Exit Slip reproducible. 



  • Teachers could observe and make anecdotal notes while students are engaged in discussions.
  • Teachers could assess student responses on the Recording Sheet and provide individual feedback.


  • Teachers could observe and make anecdotal notes while students are engaged in discussions.
  • Teachers could assess student responses on the Recording Sheet and provide individual feedback.