Bringing STEM Career Awareness to Elementary Students

Career Class

Young learners can benefit from hearing and seeing what STEM professionals actually do in the real world.  Here’s one example of how an elementary school is bringing STEM career awareness to their students through a Career Awareness Celebration.

Medical Student

Students at Prescott South Elementary School in Cookeville, TN are excited about October 31, 2017!  They have spent the past few weeks selecting and researching a future STEM career and are now designing their STEM costumes.  During this exploratory learning unit, students learn that a career involves not only education but also specific abilities and a drive to improve skills within an area of focus.  These K-4 students are discussing the education required to attain skills for their chosen careers and determining what college, technical studies, or other skills/training options are required to be successful in their chosen field.


What happens during this career celebration event?

PSES students, dressed to represent their chosen STEM career, rotate through interactive sessions with 20+ STEM professionals, learning about their work and the types of authentic tasks they would encounter in those positions.  PSES’s school counselor, Dale Bryant, arranges the speakers and provides them a Speaker’s Guide that encourages the volunteers to have hands-on, active stations for 5-7 minutes as well as how to hold the attention of the young audience

Inside an Ambulance

STEM Careers Represented:

Park Ranger


Fire Fighter

Trophy Maker


Surgical Technologist


Software Developer


Instrument Repair Technician

Registered Nurse

TDEC Environmental Scientist and more!

This event allows elementary students to have direct experiences with STEM professionals and practical applications of STEM content, including innovative design and art immersion.  Exposing elementary students to these types of work-based learning experiences connect student interests and abilities to fields requiring STEM skills.  This also benefits the school by establishing community and postsecondary STEM partnerships that provide connections between curriculum taught in the classroom and practical applications outside of school.  These partnerships help to create an environment in which students develop high-level STEM skills and knowledge and help those young learners develop long-term interest in STEM subjects.



STEM Career Partnership Letter

PSES Elementary STEM Resources


2 responses to “Bringing STEM Career Awareness to Elementary Students”

  1. I like that you talk about letting the elementary school students meet STEM professionals so they can learn about their work. This would be a great way to get them interested and help them get ideas about the different careers available. I’d imagine that it could also help to have STEM assemblies where professionals can give presentations on their work so that kids can see what they do and have the opportunity to ask questions in order for them to get more interested in these careers.

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