How to Become a Space Ambassador

Find out how to get free training to become a Student Space Ambassador!


Student Space Ambassadors are volunteers from a wide range of space related jobs and disciplines who offer their time and enthusiasm to demonstrate the value, diversity, and fascinating nature of the space sector to students across the UK. They engage with students inside and outside of the classroom - giving talks, running workshops and activities, and providing guidance and advice; ultimately helping to bring STEM and other space related subjects to life.

From my experiences working with schools and student groups I know the impact that enthusiastic volunteers can have on pupils and their aspirations. I am so excited about the Space Ambassadors scheme, and would like to thank our partners in organising it, who, like UKSEDS, are dedicated to making space accessible to all.

-Aine O'Brien, UKSEDS Executive Committee

By becoming a Student Space Ambassador, it’s your chance to inspire the next generation. Engaging students in space from a young age increases their interest and achievement in related subjects, and increases the number taking these subjects post 16 and going into space related careers. Your enthusiasm for space is a priceless resource. By combining it with quality resources and training on how best to engage with and teach students, you can have a highly positive effect as a Student Space Ambassador.

Running workshops at schools or clubs is a great practical way of teaching no matter your area of interest, be it business, astronomy, engineering, or space law to name just a few. You could also visit careers fairs or give talks or Q&A sessions, guiding students towards possible routes into space careers and giving advice that perhaps you wish you had had at their age.

Volunteering as a Student Space Ambassador will greatly benefit you too. You can improve your confidence and presentation skills, organisation and professionalism, and your ability to explain things in a simple manner.

“You will improve with every activity that you do and learn more about the topics that you talk about. Kids can have an amazing imagination, so you can find yourself answering great questions about things that you had never even considered!”

-Jacob Smith, STEM Ambassador

So how does it work...?

Student Space Ambassadors will be provided with high-quality resources for space-related activities. These are all linked to the school-curriculum and will include: presentation slides, introductory videos, and workshop resources including student worksheets a guide to running the activity.

Student Space Ambassadors use the STEM Ambassadors website to browse through current opportunities advertised by teachers. They simply register their interest in an activity and the teacher will then get in touch to confirm and discuss the details. Student Space Ambassadors can also advertise their own activities which nearby teachers can view.

Gauging the impact that Student Space Ambassadors have is a vital part of the scheme. Evaluation forms will be offered to schools after all activities, not specifically to judge the individual Student Ambassador, but the impact an intervention to the students has had.

As recognition and thanks for volunteering their time, Student Space Ambassadors will receive a certificate from all parties involved in the scheme. There will be three tiers, based on the number of activities completed.

And what's included in the training?

The training day on 10th April will focus on outreach with Key Stages 2 and 3 (ages 7-14) and cover three main areas. A provisional program can be found here and location information can be found here.

Workshop 1: Space curriculum in schools and safeguarding

In this session you will learn what space related topics are covered in the Key Stage 2 and 3 curriculum. It's important to know what is already being taught in schools so that as an Student Ambassador you know what level of detail to pitch your presentation at. It also means you can ask students questions on topics they have already covered and reference them without needing to explain them.

Workshop 2: Practical demos for workshops

Practical workshops are a fantastic way of teaching and engaging students in a topic. Physically doing or making something is bound to be an exciting and memorable time for the students, be it a small class workshop, group competition, or an individual task making something that the students can take home. In this session you will be shown some of the many resources from RAS and ESERO-UK and learn how to run the practical activities.

Workshop 3: Confident communication skills

This session will help everyone, not matter how confident you are in your communication and presentation skills. It won’t immediately make you a professional communicator, but will give you the pointers and tips that can lead your way to becoming one. It will also differentiate between communication techniques and language best suited to different age groups, important for being an effective Student Ambassador. You will improve with every activity that you do, putting into practice the skills you learn in this session. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this!

Where and when is the first workshop? 

The Royal Astronomical Society will host the first training day at their headquarters at Burlington House, London. It will take place on Wednesday 10th April from 1pm - 5pm. Details of the programme for the day can be found here.

Sounds great! How do I sign up?

Visit this link to get your free ticket to the first Student Space Ambassador workshop!

 

See you there, future Student Space Ambassadors!

Author

Heidi Thiemann

Heidi is a PhD student studying variable stars using SuperWASP at the Open University.

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