Sometimes a topic such as science careers can be a bit dry. And, often times you aren’t exactly sure how to “spruce it up” so students are engaged. Today, I have 20 science career project and activity ideas that I think would help you when it comes to planning! Choosing one (or more) of these ideas will definitely help make things easier when it comes to this topic!
Science Career Activity Ideas
I’m going to first start with the quick and simple activities. Sometimes we just don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to a big project. If you’re one of those teachers, then this is the section for you!
(This post assumes that you have taught students about science careers in some form, either through researching them or through the use of text. If you don’t have access to information on science careers, you can purchase my reading pieces on TpT here or my personal store here.)
1.) Have students discuss or debate on which career is the best. Make sure they justify why. It’s super important that their reasoning is more than just “I like it more.” This helps them practice using evidence to support their answer, a common core requirement.
2.) Create a comparison chart on butcher paper – either one for each group or as a whole class and discuss the various characteristics of each career. You could compare the education they need, the pay they earn on average, the tools they typically use, and their job description for instance.
3.) Have students participate in a snowball fight. On a piece of paper have students write down either the career description or the career name. Then they crumble up the paper into a snowball and toss it. Each student picks up a snowball near them and reads what is written inside. Then going around the room, have students read what they have and determine which career it is or describe the career.
4.) Have students create a resume for the career. They may have to make a few things up or be a bit creative, but as long as it aligns with the science career itself, it’s okay. This also provides them with the practice of seeing a resume and using one. You may need to model it first or show an example.
5.) Play games related to careers. Create questions that you can place around the room related to each science career you’re studying. Then students move around and answer them. You can use a gallery format or a scoot version. If preferred, you could put the names of careers on the walls and have students move to the name of the career when you name off a characteristic. (Similar to 4 corners).
Science Career Project Ideas
These project ideas do not have to be over the top. Instead, they could just simply require students to research one particular career and then present it in a unique way.
6.) Create a poster. Alright, so maybe creating a poster isn’t the most unique way, but if it’s a movie poster it is. Have students image that they are going to create a new movie centered around the life of this science career! Now they need to create a movie poster that is going to really excite people to come to see it! That puts a whole different spin on it. (Of course remind them there are still things they need to include, such as the characteristics of this science career.)
7.) Have students create a picture book that explains the career to little children. Sometimes when you have to teach others of a smaller age/group, it really helps you understand.
8.) Have a career day. Have your students dress up as their science career. Then have them either come to class as that scientist explaining their career on career day.
9.) Have your budding scientists create a song about his or her career. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. They just need to include the important characteristics. They can do it to the tune of “jingle bells” or something. Even a rap is fine.
10.) “Creating a difference in the world” Nobel Peace Prize. Have students create a fake award or trophy for their scientist for creating a difference in the world. Have them decide how they earned it (based on what they do in their career). If desired, have them include the acceptance speech of the scientist that includes the characteristics of the science career.
11.) Bring a little math into the equation! Have students take a survey and then graph the results. As long as it’s related to the career somehow, it’s all golden. It can be the number of people in each career in the U.S., the pay for each career, men vs women for a career, surveying the class of their favorite careers, etc.
12.) Have students create a flipbook with all the important characteristics. Quick and easy!
13.) Have students create a game around the exciting life of their science career. Make it even more engaging and have them create an imaginary video game!
14.) Have students create a magazine cover, a fakebook, or instasnaps, such as those found in my Exit Tickets full pages. They have to get creative and imagine the role of the scientist. You can go really big and have your students create a FULL magazine with articles and everything.
15.) Have students create a science career interview. Students imagine that they are sitting right next to a scientist in that career and interview them. Pair students up and have them actually “perform” this in front of the class.
16.) Create trading cards. Have students draw the scientist on the front and on the back describe the characteristics of the career. Then you can use these for sorts, playing games, or just studying tools. These trading cards are part of my science careers resource that you can find on TpT or in my personal store.
17.) Pretend there is a shortage on their scientist. Have students create an advertisement to persuade people to enter that career path. (Or create a “draft” for people to join, like in the Army.)
18.) Provide a fashion show. Have students walk on the runway showing off their tools. Remind the students they have to find a way to incorporate all the characteristics in their walk. This may mean they somehow hand out “fake” dollars to the audience with the amount they make on it, have an announce describe what they do as they walk and carry their tools, etc.
19.) Create a stand-up timeline. Have students create a new “page” for each characteristic. Make sure it’s colorful.
20.) Have students create a mobile and use symbols to represent parts of the career. Then on those symbols include the important characteristics and information.
Whew! That was a long list!
Hopefully, there is something here that you can find useful the next time you are teaching about science careers in your classroom. If you don’t teach about science careers, I strongly encourage you to, as it really helps students relate to the real-world application piece and it also encourages students to take a career in science.