Science Cafés are events which feature an engaging conversation with a STEAM professional about a particular topic. They exist all over the world and can vary from place to place.
Similar in format, the RAISE project team was meant to organize physical career cafes as a way to bring STEM professionals and students closer together. However, as a result of the pandemic, we had to postpone the career cafes, and go online.
Three Virtual Career Cafes were held with Year 6 female students from St. Joseph School Blata l-Bajda and Year 7 male students from St. Paul’s Missionary College. A range of speakers were available to speak with the students about what they do, the skills required for their jobs, what inspired them, and what challenges they face.
Students met with a Game Designer, Research Officers from the Valley management Unit, an Electrician & an Exhibition Maintenance Technician, A Climate Post-doctoral Researcher from OGS, Science Communicators from UoM & Esplora, a Diagnostic & Therapy Radiographer, a Biological Researcher/Project Manager and a pharmacist.
Students were provided with profiles of the speakers before we met with them online, and this gave them the chance to prepare questions. On the day of the virtual career cafe, after a brief introduction by all the speakers, the students themselves had the opportunity to interview the speakers and to ask their own questions.
The students were amazing, and we hope that, through the dedicated speakers, we managed to inspire a few students to continue on a STEM education and career path.
We look forward to organizing similar career cafes in the future, not just targeting students and educators, but also parents.