For Undergraduate students
We are keen to give our undergraduate students the opportunity to both observe the School's staff and postgraduate students and to participate in schools and public engagement activities.
Why do it?
Learning acquired via extracurricular activities can increase your future employability (ie better equip you for employment). Skills such as communication, self-management, teamworking and/or business/customer awareness can be enhanced by taking part in science engagement activities.
"Just have a go - the possibilities are endless! Public engagement is fun, looks great on your CV, will boost your grant applications and may provide hidden opportunities (e.g. increasing your communication skills, could provide job opportunities, allows you to network with other researchers etc.) Sorry, that was more than one!"
Dr Sheila Dargan, Professional Tutor for Physiology, School of Biosciences
Students are also invaluable as role models to inspire school pupils to consider studying bioscience further.
Work experience outside of the University
We have teamed up with a variety of science engagement businesses to offer you Public engagement First steps work tasters, which are short and flexible unpaid opportunities to gain experience of working in science engagement and/or in schools. These work tasters could help you get a head start in today's competitive job market.
Work tasters could potentially be arranged with;
- Techniquest Science Centre
- Monmouth Science Initiative - this is organised and run by school teachers
- Eco-explore - a local company that provides wildlife and nature tours and event for the public in South Wales
- The National Museum Cardiff
Eco-explore also run Professional Training Year (PTY) placements for students in the School of Biosciences.
Please contact Fiona Wyllie if you are interested in pursuing one of these work tasters
What engagement opportunities exist within the University?
- Annual "Learn About Life" event for Primary schools
This event is run in the Biomedical Building during National Science and Engineering Week (19th and 20th March 2014) for around 240 visiting 10/11 year old pupils. There are opportunities to help to run a workshop or act as a guide (see Case Studies for more details)
- Brain Awareness Week (mid-March annually)
- Activities in Techniquest Science Centre
Cardiff University links up with Techniquest Science Centre (in Cardiff Bay) on two occasions during the year;
- "Science of Me" - 12th and 13th October 2013
- "After hours" events
See the "Science of Me" link for more details and images from the event.
Workshops for visiting schools
Students are welcome to act as demonstrators at workshops that Techniquest run for visiting schools. The biology workshops that they run are - Bodies & Bones (for KS2) October ; Hands-On DNA (A level)December ; DNA Photocopying/Hands-On DNA (A level) March ; Animal Magic (KS2) May. Contact Fiona Wyllie for more details
- Schools workshops
We run a series of one day events for visiting secondary school pupils throughout the academic year. Students can act as demonstrators and/or chat to the visiting pupils about University life and our courses. See for upcoming events or contact Fiona Wyllie for more details.
- "Biology in Society" module optional coursework (FY students)
This coursework will provide training to run an ethical session on stem cell research with school pupils. Participants will attend a training session and can then opt to go, as part of a small team, to a secondary school or sixth form college. Find further details and specific time in the Autumn term on Blackboard (podcast)
- Science Engagement - Final Year projects
Students can opt to do a science engagement project in their final year and this has become an increasingly popular option in the last few years. These projects are supported by Dr Fiona Wyllie , who can give advice, ideas, public contacts and public engagement experience.
The SVC is a charity run by the students at Cardiff University. They volunteer in and around Cardiff working with the elderly, young, disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community on a wide variety of different projects. Some of these projects have a bioscience connection eg Techniquest Primary School project, environmental and mental health projects.
Cardiff University delivers the largest mentoring project of its kind in the UK. The project is carried out in collaboration with all universities in SE Wales and is part of the Reaching Wider First Campus Initiative. Currently 72 students are providing mentoring to 360 Year 10 pupils in 8 Cardiff Schools. Students work on a one-to-one basis with five pupils each week throughout the school year from September through to April. The aim of the project is to improve GCSE grades and to increase awareness of Higher Education. The National Mentoring Project is a Reaching Higher Reaching Wider initiative of which Cardiff University is an active partner in SE Wales. The project encourages universities to work collaboratively to increase awareness of Higher Education amongst school pupils aged 11 — 15 years and to maximise opportunities for progression to university.
- Become a STEM Ambassador
Stating that you engaged with the public as a "STEM Ambassador" will sound better in your CVs etc than merely stating that you have done "some public engagement". See Training Opportunities for more details.