After its initial launch in May 2022, the VN Futures School Ambassadors Scheme now has over 250 registrants. This important milestone clearly demonstrates the commitment that current VNs have for raising awareness of veterinary nursing and helping secure a bright future for the profession.
As part of the scheme, we ask all ambassadors to sign up to STEM – the UK’s largest provider of education and careers support in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Working with STEM has many advantages, both in terms of the scheme itself, and for the ambassadors. By signing up to the VN Futures Schools Ambassadors Scheme, and by extension becoming a STEM Ambassador, you will be joining a supportive and knowledgeable network that will help you to get the very best out of your role.
Key advantages include the below:
Expertise and support
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Learning is an initiative to drive recruitment into these sectors. STEM has formed a UK-wide network of ambassadors, teachers, educators and careers advisers who are looking for information on STEM careers. STEM provides opportunity through their membership by bringing these groups together, sharing expertise and providing support.
As part of an ambassador’s initial registration with STEM, a short online induction programme is provided. They also provide a fully funded DBS enhanced disclosure check which is required by all those who work with children.
The STEM platform provides many resources to assist ambassadors, including important topics such as ways to present information to differing age-groups and how to increase confidence in STEM topics that some school children may feel is beyond their reach.
Regional hubs also provide regular webinars and sessions, such as ‘‘This is Me’ – how to explain your role and inspire young children in 5 minutes!’
The STEM Ambassador programme also has a range of online training courses to help you to make your activities more engaging. Each online course takes around 1-1.5 hours and can be completed online, in your own time.
Four of the courses are designed specifically to support you in running activities and are ideal for new ambassadors. The courses take you through the whole activity running process, from planning and delivering a session, to evaluating how it went. These courses are:
- Planning an activity
- Delivering an activity
- Finding activity resources
- Improving through feedback and reflection
A range of other courses will help you develop your skills and better engage with students. These courses cover:
- Communication skills
- Promoting diversity
- Developing meaningful relationships
- Understanding the national curriculum
- Career inspiration
Once you are registered as a STEM ambassador and have joined the STEM community, ambassador training and additional courses can be accessed on STEM.
A recognised role
Through becoming a STEM ambassador, you are part of a respected network and are recognised as having been through a process to achieve your ambassador status. It also looks good on CVs, and many people will proudly use ‘STEM Ambassador’ as part of their signature when signing off emails.
If you are not already a VN Ambassador but would like to join the movement, and also be a part of STEM, then visit the VN School Ambassadors information page and follow the link to register. If you have any further questions, please contact VN Futures Initiative Lead, Jill Macdonald, on email@example.com