Careers

This is a list of careers related resources specifically selected to support the Polar Explorer Programme.

Links and Resources

Engineering Careers: Cammel Laird

A collection of 5 videos of people who work at Cammell Laird, the shipyard responsible for the building of the RRS Sir David Attenborough.  They range from early career apprentices to those who have worked their way up the ladder to be Principal Engineer.  You can hear about their inspirations, what skills they use in their job and how they can transfer this into their home life.  You can also show your pupils the type of work they get up to on a daily basis and what they get out of their roles.

publication year
2010 to date

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Climate Scientist

This is a good video to highlight the difference between weather and climate, as well as showing an exciting career with the Met Office. The clip illustrates how skills in science, mathematics and computer programming are applied, and would leave students thinking about careers in science at the end of a lesson on climate change.

Elizabeth Kendon is a climate scientist at the Met Office, studying extreme weather patterns and the impact they have on Earth. This clip introduces her work and how she uses mathematical modelling to study climate change. She illustrates how skills in science, mathematics and computer programming can be applied.

Elizabeth says, "When a flood or other extreme weather occurs, I work out what damage it might have done, and try to figure out the likelihood of it happening again. Climate change is a really important issue right now, so it feels great knowing that my science and maths background is helping me provide a potential solution. If you are concerned about the environment I can't think of a better job."

publication year
2010 to date

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Danger: Rogue Waves

This Mathematics Matters case study looks at how mathematical models try to understand the causes of rogue waves. The resource can be used to raise students' awareness of careers using mathematics.

These huge waves appear without warning, towering high over ships and oil rigs. Traditional mathematical models could not predict the occurrence of these dangerous waves, but the latest techniques let oceanographers make accurate forecasts. The research helps to protect our trade, energy and food supply routes.

publication year
2010 to date

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Marine Biologist

"Studying science and maths has allowed me to get involved in some exciting projects and not everyone gets to say they work with penguins for a living."

Tom Harts is a marine biologist at the Zoological Society of London. This clip illustrates the importance of mathematics in biology and provides an insight into a zoological career.

Tom describes how he collects data during field trips in Antarctica which he then analyses back in London. He says, "It's very important to know general biology before you can study animals. It's a really nice example of how statistics can be used to work out the biology of an animal. I use maths and statistics all the time."

publication year
2010 to date

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This Icy World

Cambridge University glaciologist Professor Julian Dowdeswell has spent three years of his life in the Polar Regions.

As Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, this film follows him to Greenland and the Antarctic as his research reveals the challenges we all face from climate change.

He uses a radar system developed by Cambridge University to measure changes in the thickness and volume of glaciers and explains how an increase in sea levels as a result of melting ice will have serious implications for us all.

publication year
2010 to date

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Micro-organisms Under the Sea

This video looks at a mission of discovery aboard a vessel which is scooping up samples of micro-organisms from the ocean floor.

The expedition is part of the Census of Marine Life which is the most ambitious initiative in the history of Marine science. It is a 10 year mission intended to produce a comprehensive study of the diversity of marine life.

Samples from the ocean floor are scrutinised by an international team of specialists who are based at the Seckenberg Institute in Germany. The team members explain the process of identification, classification and documentation of new species, hundreds of which are being discovered by the census.

The video helps to illustrate careers in science and aspects of how science works.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Mercedes Maroto-Valer

By pioneering innovative technology, Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer is helping the world tackle climate change.

Supported by EPSRC, she leads the Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Nottingham. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology traps CO2 at the source of emission and prevents it entering the atmosphere.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Zooplankton

Dr Laura Hobbs is a research scientist at the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish Association for Marine Science. She uses data from instruments, called echosounders, that use sound waves to monitor the depth and abundance of zooplankton in the Arctic Ocean. Studying copepods, her research has shown that during the polar winter these small organisms undertake massive vertical migrations down and up in the water column that show daily and monthly regularity.

These movements occur in seas and oceans throughout the world. They help the zooplankton to avoid predators and are known to be in response to daily changes in sunlight. In the polar winter the sun never rises above the horizon and Dr Hobbs’ research has shown that the zooplankton movements are in response to cyclical changes in moonlight.

Dr Hobbs’ work can be used as a context to look at the curriculum in 14-16 science and post-16 biology in the areas of:

  • feeding relationships
  • organisms and their environment
  • acoustics, sound and waves
  • data presentation and interpretation
  • working as a scientist
publication year
2010 to date

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Meet the EO Detectives

Earth Observation (EO) scientists collect information about the Earth – the land, the sea and the atmosphere – using sensors carried on satellites, aircraft, ships, buoys floating on the ocean and thousands of weather stations around the world.  This resource features people involved in gathering, processing, understanding and sharing this data.

There is now a great deal of data available and scientists are finding more and more ways to use it to study our planet and make predictions about its future.

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STEM careers toolkit: secondary STEM careers toolkit

This  STEM Careers Toolkit for secondary teachers has been designed, with teachers at every step of the way, to provide:

  • an accessible guide to government policy on careers education and information, advice and guidance for young people across the four countries of the UK
  • evidence about the influential and key roles that teachers can have on their students’ career choices across all phases of education
  • good practice tips and examples of how to successfully relate subject knowledge and the curriculum to careers choice and the labour market, directly linked to the National STEM Learning Centre’s resource collection, a bank of over 10,000 resources 
  • links to the key in-depth sources of information, from the UK’s four inspectorates’ guidance for schools to the most robust sources of labour market and careers information
publication year
2010 to date

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Communications for safety

TMD is a company that manufactures components for radar systems to support air traffic safety. Engineers in the company explain their entry routes into their careers, how mathematics and science are essential to their work and why they enjoy engineering so much.

Curriculum links include:

Waves and communication
Radar
Wave properties
Receivers
Transmitters
Signals
Communications technology

publication year
2010 to date

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Communication and interpersonal skills

These  STEM Learning  guides outline the top 10 skills to enhance employability and how to present these skills to potential employers.

Employability Skills are often based on knowledge, technical skills and attitude. These skills are what employers believe will equip the employee to carry out their role to the best of their ability.

The guides,  compiled by STEM Learning,  list the Top 10 Employability Skills which are looked for in potential employees and how to show evidence of these skills in an interview or application for a job.

These two resources focus on communication and interpersonal skills.

publication year
2010 to date

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Polar Explorer Careers Booklet

This resource provides an opportunity for pupils 7-11 to find out about some of the STEM careers linked to RRS Sir David Attenborough, a new ship which will be one of the most advanced polar research ships in the world. It contains six classroom activities that link to curriculum topics including:  forces, electricity, thermal insulation, animals, habitats and aspects of literacy, geography, art and D&T. All activities are based upon the new vessel, the work of the research scientists  and the many dedicated staff who support them.  It is hoped that the children, having learned about the satisfaction and excitement such work can bring, will be inspired to consider a future in a STEM-related career.

publication year
2010 to date

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