Science -- Your Future, Scotland's Future
SCI-FUN shows -- Hot Topics in Research
SCI-FUN shows -- The Senses
SCI-FUN shows -- Stem Cells
SCI-FUN shows -- Climate Change
SCI-FUN shows -- Survival: ancient senses in a modern world
SCI-FUN shows -- To be announced
SCI-FUN shows -- Subject Choice

Until this moment in their lives, most of the pupils in our target audience – the S1/S2 year group – have had all of their important decisions made for them, mostly by parents and teachers. Now, suddenly, they are given an opportunity to choose the path they will follow for their remaining years at school; or, perhaps more accurately, the opportunity to close off paths, which may in later years be difficult or impossible to re-open.

And yet, many pupils make their subject choice decisions for the most trivial of reasons. (One of the most common answers to "why are you taking X as a subject next year?" is "because my friends are".)

Our brief is, of course, to try to increase the number of Scottish pupils studying science subjects (and, hopefully, to continue on to University). Even if pupils don't carry on into higher education, however, an understanding of scientific methods is useful in a world in which informed decision-making is increasingly required by the voting public.

Our presentation uses a variety of slides to discuss this, and other topics:

  • The importance of science in everyday life (even for non-scientists, as described above).

  • A brief introduction to the science subjects studied at school (including mathematics), with special emphasis on studying more than one science subject, and showing the ways in which combinations of these subjects open many more career doors in the future.

  • The ways in which a career in science can take researchers all over the world, and to exotic locations: it's not necessarily about working in a laboratory.

  • How studying science can give pupils a range of valuable skills: self-management; being creative; decision making / problem solving; working with others; and managing information that will be beneficial in lots of different situations throughout their time in education, as well as in the future.

  • We live in a world that requires its (voting) adult population to make decisions about an increasing number of subjects: climate change, GM crops, and MMR vaccination are examples from the last few years. This needs a public that is at least familiar with the scientific methods involved in evaluating the pros and cons of these important (and complex) issues.

Subject choices -- before you choose
Subject choices -- if you take only one science subject
Subject choices -- critical thinking skills
Subject choices -- closing doors to future careers...
Subject choices -- making sense of modern issues
Useful Subject Choice Links
The following links are useful for you to find out more about why you should keep your options open (and take at least two science subjects...)
General purpose websites, looking at all of the sciences:
This site provides information on the skills you will gain when studying science, and on future career areas. It also gives you detailed job descriptions for some common science-based professions. Hobsons
This website provides information on career areas open to you if you study science, advice on how to apply for scientific jobs, and also viewpoints from successful young people pursuing a scientific career. Target Jobs
Helps you to discover the many different careers open to you if you study science. There are detailed descriptions of the different job types and information on the skills you will need to follow these career paths. University of Kent
Prospects provides lots of useful information on the type of career you can go into with specific subjects (including science) as well as detailed descriptions of what would be involved in each job, including the typical salary and type of employer. Prospects: careers

Prospects: types of jobs

Here you can find out about the many different careers open to you as a science student and what qualifications you will need to get into them.  There are also detailed descriptions of many different job types in all the sciences, including mathematics. Jobs4u
This website provides job profiles for many of the varying scientific careers available and lets you know what qualifications and skills you will need to get into them. DirectGov
Find out the benefits of studying science and maths, where will it take you? Split into different sections for different age groups with lots of information ranging from finding out where your current skills and interests could take you in the future to job profiles of real life people working in scientific roles. Also includes helpful information about scientific careers for parents, teachers and careers staff Future Morph
A website that emphasises the fact that there are many careers that have a scientific basis – including a section on those that you might not think need it. Also has a section with questions from young people concerning careers and the advice that they received. Planet Science
Follow your future career path to find out where your current interests could lead you and explore the range of possibilities available if you continue to study science. Read job profiles of real life people who all use science in their everyday lives. Info Scotland
Focus on studying at university, college or apprenticeships. Read career profiles of people working in scientific disciplines and find out where studying a scientific subject can take you. Get Smaart
From quantum chemist to ecologist, watch each video and learn more about what these young scientists and engineers get up to in their everyday lives. The Vega Science Trust
Do you want to gain a formal qualification and be earning money at the same time? A modern apprenticeship could be for you. This website answers all your questions about modern apprenticeships (including what they are and how you could benefit) and provides links to further information. MappIT – Modern Apprenticeships
This booklet, created by a group representing twenty leading UK Universities, gives you advice on how to make your subject choices. It focuses mainly on choices after S4, but will give you an idea of how subject choices before this time could affect your opportunities in the future. It gives details of the subjects you'll need for future careers, as well as entry requirements for further study, including specific subjects that are compulsory for particular degrees. There are also links to other useful websites towards the end of the document. Informed Choices booklet
Websites with information aimed at specific science subjects:
This site concentrates on careers and opportunities for further study in Biology. Society of Biology
This website provides information on the various career paths open to chemistry students and you can even complete a questionnaire to see which job might suit you.  The Royal Society of Chemistry
The resources on the IoP site give you information on the career opportunities available to you if you study physics at school and beyond. Institute of Physics
Gives you information on how to get into a career in Information Technology, and also provides advice on the qualifications you will need and on how to get them. There are also opinions from some recent graduates who already work in IT. Inside Careers
Discover more about careers in IT and technology; read about real people and companies; take the quiz to find your perfect job; and find out about studying these subjects at university. Big Ambition
Find out where life sciences could take you, learn more about the sector and read about the wide range of career opportunities available in this area. TalentScotland
With a focus on engineering, the smallpeice trust run one day sessions and residential events giving the opportunity for young people to find out more about this field. Their website also has information on careers and case studies of people currently working in engineering related jobs. The Smallpeice Trust
Websites with information aimed at specific careers:
The National Health Service is a huge organisation with many varied careers. You can take a test on this website to see which of these might suit you, and you can also find out more about each of the roles described. NHS Careers
Websites for older pupils:
This article (aimed perhaps at students older than S2, but with some interesting information for the future) provides some tips on how to get into a scientific career.
New Scientist
This website will give you ideas about what you can do in the future if you were to study science; it also offers advice on job applications. Milkround
Websites for teachers:

Building links between schools and universities; taking new research into the classroom; letting pupils experience brand new ideas; and letting researchers get their ideas seen by a much wider audience.

Good information for teachers about how to get involved in the scheme and provide a new outlook on science as well as good positive role models for young people.

Researchers in Residence