Half of Children Find Science And Maths Too Difficult or Too Boring

The top 10 dream jobs for children aged six to 16 included astronaut, vet and pilot, according to a survey of 1,000 pupils by the Royal Institution's L'Oreal Young Scientist Centre. But experts said the Government's cuts to careers advice meant young people were not aware of the study route they needed for their ideal job. The research, which coincided with the Big Bang Science and Education Fair in Birmingham, found 49.4 per cent of children thought STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) were too difficult or boring while 15 per cent thought they were only relevant to jobs in medicine.

Sarah Finnegan-Dehn, president of the Institute of Career Guidance, said: "There has been a lot of changes to the way careers support is provided to young people since the election. "Careers education is no longer statutory which is a big disappointment and young people who have been making subject choices may not have had access to impartial careers guidance from a qualified careers adviser. "It is important that young people of all abilities have access to impartial careers guidance to help them broaden their horizons and understand the huge range of fascinating career opportunities open to them, including those within the STEM industry.

"Some people believe that face to face careers guidance is only needed for those at risk of becoming 'NEET' (not in education, employment or training). However, the need for careers guidance is not related to academic ability and should be available to support and challenge all young people that need it in their decision making process." The participants in the survey were asked which words they most associated with science, and gave traditional responses including "experiments", "lab coats" and "the periodic table" rather than ideas such as "space", "the internet" and "sports performance".

"It’s incredibly encouraging that so many STEM careers are appealing to students, but the disconnect between studying the subjects required and aspiring to a career in STEM is huge," David Porter, manager of the Royal Institution’s L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre, said. "Science as a subject is expanding, and we need to communicate the exciting possibilities studying it can open up. Unfortunately, teachers don’t have the time or confidence that careers experts do to communicate this, which is why events like the Big Bang Fair and centres like the L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre are so important in helping to bridge the gap.”

The top ten dream careers for children:

1. Professional Athlete
2. Performer
3. Secret Agent
4. Firefighter
5. Astronaut
6. Veterinarian
7. Doctor
8. Teacher
9. Pilot
10. Zoo Keeper

Original source here.


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