One of the project CAMART² aims is to break negative perception about STEM science, especially physics, as hard, boring and not perspective by showing that it is a worthwhile and exciting carrier path. Therefore, the Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia (ISSP UL) participated in the Job Shadow Day offering to follow the researchers’ daily routine for children from various Latvian schools. Throughout the day, 16 children between the ages of 12 and 19 followed the scientists in Laboratories of Spectroscopy, Materials for Energy Harvesting and Storage, Optical and Organic Materials as well as Materials Morphology and Structure Investigation.
These were students with an interest in physics and chemistry, who are not only good at these subjects at school, but also want to relate their future profession to these fields of science. Some lines form motivation letters:
‘..I would like to take this opportunity to learn more about what the researcher is doing on a day-to-day basis, to find out more about job responsibilities and the training required, as well as to acquire some practical skills. I am actively learning all the basic physics I need on a daily basis and believe that seeing professional physicists at work will help me develop new skills. This visit could help me to get in the right direction to become a physicist myself, as well as help me prepare for physics research at my school.’
‘.. The whole elementary school I was thinking about my future profession - what I could work on. In the grade 8, I decided that I could work as a physics teacher, but at the end of the grade 9, I decided it would be more useful to work as a scientist and as a teacher as well. Physicists have different disciplines to work in, so I want to know which discipline could be closer to my heart. The potential university where I would like to study is the University of Latvia, so I would like to get to know the ISSP UL as a branch of the University of Latvia.’
These are really inspiring motivations to become a scientist and let’s hope to meet them as students in university and as the ISSP UL next generation scientists!
The Job Shadow Day (enudiena.lv) is a world-renowned and recognized Junior Achievement career education program for school children of grades 1-12 during which they attend a workplace and watch the everyday work of a professional of their choice for 4-6 hours. This year the Job Shadow Day takes place on February 12.