Science Career Projects
Science and technology, and the various forms of art, all unite
humanity in a single and interconnected system.
--Zhores Aleksandrovich Medvedev
Project 1: Investigating Careers
Have students read through the career descriptions on the Careers
in Life Science page, and ask them to choose one field that interests
them. Then have students do further research on the field by looking in
job directories or by contacting the organization(s) listed in the For Additional
Information sections on the Careers in Life Science page. Ask students to
collect information concerning the skills needed for the position, the salary
range they could expect, the level of education needed, and the types of
positions available within the field. Have students present their findings
as a written or oral report.
Project 2: Investigating Jobs
To give students a feeling for the number of different types of careers
available in biology, have them search through the classified sections of
newspapers and science magazines. Ask students to list the different fields
and positions that require a background in the life sciences. Then have
students create their own classified section that contains all the different
types of ads they find.
Project 3: Identifying Opportunities
Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to research science
career opportunities in their community. Then have each group create a pamphlet
that would attract other people to a selected career.
Project 4: Choosing a Field
Have students read through the career descriptions in the Careers
in Life Science page. Then ask them to choose one field that interests
them. Have students develop a plan for a career in that field. The plan
should include the type of preparation required, the steps the student would
take to enter the field, and the advantages and disadvantages of such a
Project 5: Interviewing Scientists
Have teams of students interview a person who uses science in his or
her job. Before the interview, have students brainstorm potential interview
questions. Ask students to select the best questions and to decide on the
best ways to ask the questions. Then have each group write a summary report
about the occupation that includes information on the person's schooling,
job responsibilities, and experience.
Project 6: Understanding the Team
Explain to students that there are many different positions available
in scientific research. Divide the class into small groups, and have each
group research one of the following positions: lab assistant, lab technician,
research associate, postdoctoral research scientist, scientist, associate
scientific director, scientific director, and project manager. Ask each
group to write a description of the position and present it to the class.
Then have the class compare and contrast the different positions, including
the advantages and disadvantages of each, and discuss how individuals in
each position support individuals in the other positions.
Project 7: Working Outside the Lab
Have students investigate the types of jobs people interested in science
can pursue outside the laboratory. Suggest that they contact places such
as museums, libraries, newspapers, health facilities, farms, national parks,
and so forth, to find out what sorts of roles life scientists can have in
Life of a Scientist Projects
Thinking Like a Scientist Activities