Help Wanted: STEM Career

Format
Linda Funk

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students will produce a Help Wanted Ad that lists the skills, personality attributes and job conditions for a specific career/job title. 

Summary 

  • Students will discover the skills, personality attributes that suit different STEM Careers
  • Students will develop digital and visual literacy skills through the creation of a career advertisement

Setting the Stage

One of the ways that an employer can solicit new employees is through the use of a ‘Help Wanted’ advertisement. This type of advertising was traditionally posted in the classified section of newspaper or on windows, but today will more likely be found on an internet job site. Because help wanted ads are often surrounded by other competing ads, it is important to create ads that will attract the attention of the reader/viewer. They also should provide key information about the position being offered and information about how to inquire about the position being advertised.

In this lesson, which could be a formative or summative assessment task, students will explore how certain personality attributes and skills are assets for certain jobs. They will use this knowledge to produce a graphically-designed Help Wanted Ad poster that lists the skills, personality attributes and job conditions for a specific career/job. 

Materials & Preparation

  • Whiteboard or online tool such as PadletGoogle Docs, or Miro
  • STEM Career Research Form Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • STEM Career Help Wanted Ad Assignment Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • STEM Career Help Wanted Ad Rubric Reproducible (1 per student) [Google doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy

What To Do

Part 1: Activating Prior Knowledge

  • To introduce this lesson, teachers could organize students into pairs or small groups to discuss the following questions:
    • What words would you use to describe a scientist? A technologist? An engineer?
    • What skills and personality traits come to mind when you think of those career areas? 
    • What skills and personality traits would be beneficial for a person in each of those career areas?
  • After students have discussed these questions, teachers could lead a whole class discussion by having members of the groups contribute their thoughts. Teachers could record the main words or phrases used on a whiteboard or using an online tool such as PadletGoogle Docs, or Miro.  During this process, teachers could ask students to clarify their thinking, or to explain why they felt a particular word or phrase was useful. 

Part 2: Exploring Careers

  • Next, teachers could direct students to the Let’s Talk Science Career resource site where they will each choose one science, engineering or technology career of interest.  
  • Using the information provided on the Career Profile or career video, students will research the following basic information about that career (these categories can be found on the STEM Career Research Form Reproducible):
    • Education requirements of that career (Is an advanced degree required? What certification is needed? What training?)
    • Special skills, assets, personality traits that are either required or make someone well suited for the job (Are there any fitness requirements? Are public speaking skills required? Teamwork skills? Leadership?)
    • The nature of the job (What will they be studying or doing?)
    • Job conditions (Are there any special environments or conditions that they shouldn’t mind working in?  Where is the job located? Is the job seasonal?  Where is the work site? Will they be working inside or outside? With a group of people or primarily alone?)
    • Employer (Who is the employer?  What type of employers would employ this position? What kind of business, government agency are they?)
    • Salary range for this position (Students could use the trend analysis of careers from the Canadian Job Bank to find average salaries in their region.)

Part 3: Creating a Help Wanted Ad

  • To introduce this part of the lesson, teachers could show students an example of a help wanted poster such as the one at right. Teachers could also search websites like Pinterest for other examples.
Sample job ad
Sample job ad poster (©2020 Let’s Talk Science)
  • Students will then create their own poster (digital or paper) that advertises the position they have chosen, using the criteria identified in Part 2. Specific criteria and guidelines are provided in the STEM Career Help Wanted Ad Assignment Reproducible and the STEM Career Help Wanted Ad Rubric Reproducible.
  • Variations
    • Instead of choosing to do a job ad for a real job, students could be allowed to invent a fictional or future STEM job and predict what skills and personality traits would be required, e.g., Dinosaur Wrangler, Mars Station Greenhouse Manager, etc.
    • Have students share their work with their peers for feedback or display posters in the classroom. 

Let’s Talk Science appreciates the work and contributions of Linda Funk, Royal Bay Secondary School, in the development of this lesson.

Details

Assessment

  • A rubric has been provided, but teachers could instead provide their own rubric for the posters. 
  • Students can self-assess their posters using the following I can… statements. 
    • I can give examples of careers in the science and technology fields
    • I can show connections between personality and careers
    • I can give examples of special skills that may be required for different jobs
    • I can create an effective communication tool with a specific purpose

Assessment

  • A rubric has been provided, but teachers could instead provide their own rubric for the posters. 
  • Students can self-assess their posters using the following I can… statements. 
    • I can give examples of careers in the science and technology fields
    • I can show connections between personality and careers
    • I can give examples of special skills that may be required for different jobs
    • I can create an effective communication tool with a specific purpose

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