Johnson&Johnson: My STEM Volunteer Experience

Johnson&Johnson: My STEM Volunteer Experience

Friday, 24th of May

Nicola Hopkinson at Johnson&Johnson shares her experience of being a STEM volunteer in light of National Volunteering Week, and sheds some light on the impact, value and inspiration she brings to young people around what a career in STEM can offer. 

J&J's mission

Johnson&Johnson pride themselves on their commitment to CSR, and state in their Credo: “We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well.” They offer employees CSR days, empowering members of their team to make a positive difference through volunteering opportunities, inspiring future generations in health and science through their commitment to STEM subjects, with a particular focus on women.

Nicola's volunteering work represents this objective. 

What volunteering work has she been involved in?

Nicola's daughter's primary school asked their parent network if anyone in a Science-based role would be available to deliver some sessions on the impact of Science in their industry, alongside some Science lessons during the week. Nicola took this opportunity to deliver two Career & Science lessons to two sets of Year 5 classes, of 30 pupils in each, earlier this year.

As part of the lesson plans, Nicola used content from STEM websites and resources, as well as her own knowledge and experiences. She delved into what life was like working in the pharmaceutical industry, engaged students in activities such as developing their own new medicines, and key stories of fighting disease and infection over the years.

Her sessions generated highly-engaged questions from the students, including the below:

What did the students think?

‘Your fascinating facts inspired many of us inquisitive students – and have allowed us to take the time to think about a job in a pharmaceutical company’

‘You expressed the fun in science and that there is a wide variety of advanced, scientific careers to choose from’

How can you become a STEM volunteer?

  1. Register your interest here.
  2. Connect with your local STEM Ambassador hub, who will have your details passed onto them and offer support to ambassadors in your local area, and will get in touch.
  3. Apply for DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check for free, and your local hub will support you through completing this process. 
  4. Take part in an induction either in person or online, which will talk you through what to expect in your ambassador role, offers you the opportunity to ask questions, and find out when upcoming volunteering opportunities are in your area. 
  5. Become an approved STEM ambassador, and be provided with an ID card.
  6. Begin volunteering! Login and start looking for volunteering opportunities. 

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