What do you want to be?

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 25 Nov 2014 | 10:03

When you were young, what did you want to be when you got older? It can be easy to become blasé about repetitive answers that children can come up with, but how much of that is our fault as adults? Do we provide enough information about the range of possible careers and jobs available?

Prestonfield Primary in Edinburgh has no intention of this by the looks of things, having organised a careers fair for their P1-P6 classes.

Eilidh Troup and I went to Prestonfield on Friday 21st November for a few hours to take part in the careers fair. We took along a few exhibits to give us something to show the pupils and to let them explore a little. The day had a range of different careers and companies represented - from mental health to creative arts and us representing EPCC and the work we do.​

One of the things we took along was a Dell desktop computer. While not bang-up-to-date, it let the pupils look inside a computer and see what parts are present. A desktop system is far easier to do this with than a laptop - it's less cramped and easier to take apart and put back together. For the majority of the pupils this will have been the first time that they have been able to look inside a computer and get parts explained and pointed out to them.

We talked to a good number of pupils as they moved around the hall and some groups asked more questions than others, while some groups wanted to listen to the explanations about technology. One pupil asked me to explain how wind turbines and electricity generation work. This required a hasty bit of diagram drawing but showed an interest in how things are used and operate - a good thing for the future.

Often, a question would make us think, and we would need a couple of moments' thought just to come up with the right way to answer it. I think it is good for the pupils to see us have to think about things - it shows that we aren't just giving practiced answers and that we don't know everything straightaway, especially in a technology subject where the popular image in TV and movies is of nerdy know-alls who can do and answer anything about the subject (this rarely if ever happens).

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that not only was the event well organised with a wide range of information available, but the pupils of Prestonfield Primary were a credit to their school in their interest and behaviour. 

Author

Alistair Grant, EPCC