Before your school visit

Please read carefully these instructions for arranging your visit: 

1. Arrange Date/Time of visit:

Please call the teacher to set up a date and time for your visit (agree on arrival time, set-up time, and length of presentation).

2. Plan your visit:  

Take the time to ask the teacher important details, e.g. What class will you be visiting? How much time will you be able to spend with them? How many are in the group? What age are they? What is the class learning about at the moment that would relate to engineering? 
Check in advance to see what type of IT the teacher has in the classroom and if it’s it possible to dim the lights. If you are bringing your own laptop, or want to stream a video, let the teacher know ahead of time to arrange for the necessary equipment. Note that not all schools have internet access, and certain websites, such as YouTube, may be blocked in some schools.

3. Review training tips and resources:

Check out our training page for volunteers, where you'll find support videos and tips to help you communicate effectively with young people.

A note on resources:

There are many resources available including Interactive presentations which you can customise and use in the classroom. 
Reminder: You are free to edit these slides as you wish, insert your own information and focus on areas of relevance to you. You may like to add some real-life examples or stories to your presentation. Feel free to bring along any props you may find useful. Do you have photos or items from work that can illustrate your job?
The PowerPoint speaker notes in the notes pane below each slide are a suggested script for the slides.
Choose an activity one week before the visit, keeping in mind any requests from the teacher. Activities, videos and other tips you may find useful are available.
There are also a number of activities available on the Engineers Week website which you can do in the classroom with the students.
If you decide to lead a practical activity check with the school check that they can provide the materials for this and that enough adults will be on hand to help. Identify if there is any printing or prep work which the school can do in advance to aid you.

4. Child Protection & Garda Vetting:

Please review our Child Protection guidelines in advance of your school visit.
Note: Teachers are not allowed to leave volunteers alone in the classroom during a visit. The school has been advised that a teacher must remain in the classroom at all times. If you wish to organise a photo of your visit (e.g. for a company newsletter) then please advise STEPS, who will forward consent forms to you in advance of your visit.
Currently, volunteers are not legally required to have Garda clearance as a visit is considered a one-off event. However, if you are volunteering with the STEPS programme more than eight times per year, you will need to undergo vetting.

5. Complete the visit:

Wear casual clothes as the students may find it hard to relate to someone in business attire.  We recommend that you arrive early to ensure you have adequate time to set up.  To keep the class engaged don’t forget to ask them questions throughout the presentation. Either ask them to call out the answers or put their hands up. Be yourself and have fun.

6. Evaluate your experience:

After the visit, write down what worked and what didn’t, and why. The STEPS team will be in touch with both you and the teacher for feedback on your session.