11 Hands-On Career Exploration Activities for Middle and High School Students
Asking a student what they want to be when they grow up is a big question. When you’re young, it’s hard to know which careers match your skills and interests. Kids may not even know that some jobs exist. That’s why these free interactive career exploration activities from Realityworks, designed just for students in middle school and high school, are a perfect way to start exploring. From agriculture and human services to health science, trade skills, and more, students have the opportunity to “try on” unique careers that are in high demand.
1. Walk a mile in an athletic trainer’s shoes
Do you have students who are fitness junkies? Are they fascinated by the human body? Then perhaps a career in sports medicine is just the ticket for them. Try this small group activity, in which students will learn about the responsibilities of an athletic trainer and then use that information to perform a skit for their classmates.
2. Interview an entrepreneur
Think you have students who have what it takes to blaze their own trail in the business world? In this lesson, they’ll learn more about becoming an entrepreneur by doing research, completing a skills self-assessment, and interviewing someone who has had start-up success.
3. Live a day in the life of an EMT
Do your students thrive on adrenaline? Do they love the idea of helping people in need? For this activity, kids can follow along on a day in the life of an emergency technician, via YouTube videos. Learn about the skills and education required to become an EMT and the duties they are trained to perform.
4. Hold a baby brainstorming session
Does everything about babies give your student warm fuzzies? There are many occupations that involve working with infants in education/training and human services. With this activity, students work with a small group to brainstorm as many careers working with infants as they can in 5 minutes.
5. Go on a biotech scavenger hunt
Do your students love the challenge of diving into a good research project? Are they intrigued by STEM topics? Try this activity, which will lead students on a scavenger hunt of discovery about the career possibilities in the health field.
6. Create a colorful infographic about mental health
Are there students in your class who easily connect with and help others? The need for mental health services in the world is at an all-time high, and the opportunities for making a difference have never been more abundant. In this activity, students learn about the vast spectrum of possibilities and then create a colorful infographic to share with their classmates.
7. Create an agriculture career pathway
Do your students have a green thumb? Wondering if you could turn their love of growing things into a viable career? Perhaps they should plant their roots in a career in agriculture. With this activity, students will learn about six different career pathways and the types of jobs available in the field of plant systems.
8. Play hiring director for careers in carpentry
Do your students have a creative mind and love working with their hands? The job opportunities in the trade fields are skyrocketing. For this activity, they will take a closer look at several different careers in carpentry. Once their research is done, they will use what they’ve learned to play the part of a construction company director of human resources and create job postings.
9. Play a round of Vet Tech Would you Rather?
Can your students imagine no better work environment than one that includes critters of all shapes and sizes? Maybe a career as a veterinarian technician would be a good fit. For this activity, kids will explore two different vet tech career paths. After they conduct research to assess the subtle differences between the two, they will decide which one sounds like a better fit for them.
10. Experiment with a career as a food scientist
Do your students have a mind for science and also love everything food-related? They might have the perfect combination of skills for a career as a food scientist. With this activity, students will watch videos that will give them first-hand insight into the prospective careers available in the field.
11. Spend a day in the life of a welding engineer
Are your students interested in a career that gives them the chance to work with their hands, spend time outside, or travel? A career as a welding engineer fits the bill. Plus, it comes with great income potential to boot. Show students just how vast the possibilities are with this K-W-L activity.
Want more interactive career exploration activities?
The activities above are just a sample of the resources available from Realityworks. Just click the button below to access more free interactive career exploration activities and lessons for high-demand fields such as:
- Business and marketing
- Culinary arts and food science
- Therapeutic services
- Family and consumer sciences
- Health science
- Human services
- Sports medicine
- Trade skills
- Veterinary technicians