A is for Astronaut

Project outline:  Potential career options for children at different ages.


There was a comment in a speech (at SIGBI conference in Malta 2016) by Dr Helen Sharman OBE โ€“ Britainโ€™s First Astronaut, that we need to promote science more, as early as in primary schools, particularly to girls.  Based on this we started to think about a project to explore career options at an early age, tied to the skills required and what doing the job might entail.  See the advert on YouTube from Inspiringthefuture.org called โ€œRedraw the balanceโ€: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv8VZVP5csA.

Update in mid 2018

We are now running a Facebook campaign to engage people with defining potential careers, using a daily different cartoon for each letter of the alphabet.  Many thanks to all that are playing!  So far we have accumulated:

A: Actor, Accountant, Artist, Art Historian, Acupuncturist, Analyst, Astrologer, Acrobat, Actuary, Auditor, Astrophysicist, Astronomer, Architect, Archivist

B: Builder, Boxer, Baker, Brewer, Barber, Bubble Physicist (https://www.facebook.com/techinsider/videos/930427110488979/), Butcher, Bricklayer, Bookkeeper, Boiler maker, Beekeeper, Butler, Banker, Barista

C: Cook/Chef, Cordwainer, Chiropractor, chiropodist, Captain (of ship or aeroplane), Computer Programmer, Cryptographer, Contortionist, Confectioner, Cafe owner, Carer, Carpet fitter, Caterer, Cartoonist, Colourist, Carpenter, Computer games designer

D: Doctor, Driver, Dentist, Digital marketing specialist (something kids will understand) Dragon Slayer (very specialist niche), Database administrator, Data Analyst, Designer, Diamond merchant, diamond cutter, Dancer, Dental nurse/hygienist, Dressmaker, Desktop publisher, Data modeller, Dietitian, Dairy Farmer, Diver

E: Electrician, Estate agent, Entertainer, Editor of online news, Electronic Engineer, Elementary teacher, Environmentalist, Ecologist, Electroplater, Engraver, Economist, Ergonomist, Equine dentist, Earth Scientist, Enameller, Engineer

F: Fishmonger, Fire-fighter, Financier, Florist, Fabric designer, Fruit farmer, Front of house manager, Financial adviser, Furniture restorer, Farrier, Futurologist (they do exist), Forensic scientist, Flautist, Financier, Funeral director, Flight attendant, Fisherman, Forester, Farmer, Fish farmer, Fletcher

G: Grocer, Golfer, Gymnast, Grave digger....!, Garden designer, Geologist, Gemmologist, Gynaecologist, Gerontologist, Glass blower, Glass worker, Gondolier, GP, Glazier, Gas Engineer, Glass artist, Gunsmith, Goldsmith, Geographer, Geophysicist, Groom

H: Hacker, Hotelier, Hatter, Hotel manager, Hypnotherapist, Housekeeper, Hostess, Herbalist, Hair dresser, Horticulturist

I: Illustrator, Investigator, Infantryman, Intelligence analyst, IT support, Insurance underwriter, Interior designer, Ice cream maker, Image consultant, Interpreter

J: Juggler, Jockey, Judge, Joiner (as in cabinetmaker), Journalist, Java programmer, Journeyman (an accomplished tradesman), Jewellers

K: Kitchen designer, Kick-boxer, King, Kennel owner, Knitter, Knowledge agent, Kohlrabi farmer ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŒพ, Knee surgeon ๐Ÿ˜ท

L: Lawyer, Landscaper, Librarian, Lecturer, Lab technician, Lighting technician, Livestock farmer, Lifeguard, Land surveyor

M: Merchant, Mechanic, Magician, Mechanical Engineer, Migration Engineer, Mother!!, Mortgage adviser, Marketing manager, Milliner, Metallurgist, Machinist, Midwife, Mathematician, Microbiologist, Miller, Musician, Mortuary technician

N: Nurse, Newscaster, Neurosurgeon, Neonatologist, Nanny, Nun ๐Ÿ˜‚, Neurologist, Naturalist, Neurophysiologist, Network analyst, Network engineer, Nursery nurse, Nutritionalist

O: Opera singer, Oceanographer, Optician, Ophthalmologist, Orthopaedist, Organ grinder, Orthodontist, Origami artist /instructor, Oboe player, Occupational therapist, Organizer, Operational analyst/researcher, Operations mechanic, Orthotic technician, Organic farmer, Obstetrician

P: Publisher, Pirate, Princess or Prince ๐Ÿ‘‘, Project manager, Physio therapist, Physicist, Pharmacist, Paediatrician, Pipe fitter, Politician, Plumber, Publican, Photographer, Palaeontologist, PE Teacher (and of course Pineapple โ€“ stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside!)

Q: Queen, Quiz master, Quality controller, Quartermaster, Quarry worker, Quality assurance, Quantity Surveyor

R: Ring-Master, Registrar, Reporter, Rigger, Radiologist, Radio presenter, Receptionist, Roofer, Road menders, Registrar, Reverend, Risk Assessor , Rail worker, Rental agent, Rodeo rider, Rocket scientist, Rock star, Racing driver ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ

S: Soldier, Sailor, Spy, Solicitor, Sub mariner, Statistician, Salespeople, Sports commentator, Stripper (paint/wallpaper!), Sous chef, Singer, Sign painter, Semaphore operator, Stand-up comedienne, Sculptor, Scientist, Show jumper, Sergeant, Sommelier, Scuba diver, Saddle fitter, Social worker, Software engineer

T: Tinker, Tailor, Tattoo artist, Travel agent (Olein Webster had been waiting for this letter to come up!), Translator (for the linguists amongst you), Taxi driver, Train driver, Teacher, Truck driver, Trichologist, Tax collector, Teller (bank), Temp, Tympanist, Theatre nurse, Tea taster, Tiler, Tyre fitter, Tree surgeon, Tester, Taxidermist

U: (P2N Director Liz McConnell wrote: Hurrah we've reached my end of the alphabet!  This is definitely one of those projects which will benefit from the creative thinking power of many brains working together.  Can't wait to see what comes up for U V W X Y and Z.  I'm relying on you!!!) Umpire, Upholsterer, Undertaker, Ukulele player, Umbrella maker, Usher, Upcycler, University lecturer, Urologist, Unicyclist, Underground (Tube) driver

V: Vet, Van driver, Varnisher, Ventriloquist, Violin maker, Virologist

W: Waiters, Warehouse-keepers, Weavers, Welders, Wig maker, Washer upper, Watch maker, Weather forecaster, Window cleaner

X: x-ray technician, XML developer, X-ray baggage scanner operator

Y: Youth worker, Yarn merchant, Yoga teacher, Yard manager (at a stables), Yodeller, Yield engineer

Z: Zoo keeper, Zoologist, Zip wire instructor, Zumba teacher

Now we've finished the Facebook fun of suggesting jobs for each letter of the alphabet, we need to down-select to a few for each and make sure we have the right balance - so that science, artistic, outdoor practical, social, and office-based options are included. We will then construct a storybook format for younger children, aiming at Key Stage 1 for 5-7 year olds.  If you would like to help us with this, then please get in touch.

Our outline idea is that each career will have a factsheet, with what an astronaut does, some examples of famous ones (ideally one of each, male and female) and more background facts about the role.  Given a range, across the alphabet, of career options each child can then complete a worksheet considering:

  1. What skills do I think an astronaut needs?
  2. What education?
  3. What personality?
  4. Could I be an Astronaut? List reasons Why and Why not?
  5. Would I like to be an Astronaut? If Yes, what do I need to do to be one?