Did You Know…That Kids Dream Of Being A NASA Scientist More Than A Footballer Or Popstar?

IT may not be great news for our chances at future world cups, but the UK’s science community is rejoicing today as science roles are named as the most appealing careers to young people, according to a recent survey.

The survey, compiled by The Smallpeice Trust and OnePoll, quizzed 1,000 11-15 year olds on their dream jobs and found that many of them have their head in the stars, with NASA Scientist topping the poll.

Surprisingly, careers including Professional Footballer (3rd) and Pop Star (4th) were also beaten by Inventor in the popularity stakes – suggesting that teens are more preoccupied with polarity and Pythagoras’ theorem than penalties.

After taking in the results, Dr Kevin Stenson, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust, said: “At a time when the science, technology and engineering industries in the UK are crying out for fresh talent to fill skills gaps it’s so pleasing to see that the next generation of physicists, engineers and technicians are out there, ready to be inspired.

“We hope that these results give the scientific community the confidence to get out there and capture the imagination of young people, convincing them that they have the potential to do great things in a variety of exciting fields.”

Perhaps the appeal of science based careers is down to the delivery of science lessons in the classroom. More than half of the secondary school pupils asked (55%) said that their favourite type of lessons allowed them to explore new things by getting ‘hands on’. Guest lectures from industry experts and field trips were also more popular than teacher delivered lessons.

If the science and engineering communities want to ensure the best talent, however, they’d better dig deep, as almost two-thirds of money minded teens claimed high wages were their number one driver.

Dr Stenson added: “Growing our skills base takes time, and everyone with a vested interest in Britain being competitive in the science and engineering sectors needs to act now. We know that hands on, engaging lessons are the way to reach these young people, so let’s make sure we make the most of the opportunity.”

Young people looking to explore the possibilities that science, technology, engineering and maths offer can look to people like The Smallpeice Trust, an independent organisation that seeks to excite, inspire and educate young people about the amazing things made possible through engineering and science.

For nearly 50 years The Smallpeice Trust has given young people everything that they need to explore their passion for engineering, making big ideas a reality through its hands on engineering experience courses and STEM days that challenge young people to imagine the engineering feats of the future.

For more information on the Smallpeice Trust’s 2016 courses visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk.