Question ideas for student reflection & discussion

To help your students get the most out of the Explore STEM Careers videos, consider providing questions for individual reflection, small group conversation, or discussion with the whole class. Question ideas for you to choose from are provided below. Click here to access a sample plan for hosting a live, virtual meeting with a STEM professional for your students.


Interested in contributing a blog post about how you’ve used the Explore STEM Careers videos with your students? Share your ideas here.


Connecting to Standards

Minnesota’s science standards are designed to engage students in the same practices that are used by scientists and engineers, called Science & Engineering Practices (SEPs). The SEPs include:

  1. asking questions or defining problems
  2. developing & using models
  3. planning & carrying out investigations
  4. analyzing & interpreting data
  5. using mathematics & computational thinking
  6. constructing explanations or designing solutions
  7. and engaging in argument from evidence
  8. obtaining, evaluating & communicating information

While watching the videos on this website, have students take note of examples of STEM professionals using these practices in their work. Ask them to share specific examples.


Connecting to Science and Engineering Classes

What connections can you make between the scientific concepts one or more of these STEM professionals regularly uses in their work and those that you have learned about in school? What’s a scientific concept that you’ve learned in school that you think would be interesting to use in your future career?


Career Exploration Questions

  • For each video you watch, what is the pandemic-related problem or question that the STEM professional is working to solve or answer, respectively? Why is this problem or question important to address at this time?
  • How are scientists and engineers doing their work differently because of the pandemic? How have they had to adjust? Are there any changes that you think might persist after the pandemic is over? What and why?
  • What personal connections did you see between yourself and one or more of the STEM professionals? What interests, values, or experiences do you share?
  • Choose one of the videos that you found most inspiring or interesting. Explain why you found it so. 
  • Choose one of the STEM careers that interests you—for example, civil engineer or physiologist. Research that career to find out what education is required, what the job entails, and the typical starting salary, as well as other information. 
  • After watching a few of the videos, what is something that surprises you? Why did you find this surprising?
  • Consider your perceptions about STEM careers and STEM professionals before you watched the videos. How was your thinking reinforced or changed by watching them? Explain.
  • If you could choose one of these STEM professionals to interview, who would you choose and why? What questions would you ask them?
  • Compare and contrast two or more of the STEM professionals. In what ways are they and their jobs similar and different?