Turning Students’ Interests into Careers: Podcast

Have students who think they might be interested in STEM but have no idea what they’d like to do? Or maybe your student knows what STEM career they want to pursue but would love more information about it. Where can you send them to find out?

There is a lot of information about STEM careers online, but how easily accessible is it? And it is accurate. With the learning challenges of having students both at home and in-person, teacher’s time to search and find excellent resources is very limited. Consider thinking a little outside of the box for the answer.

Have you ever introduced your students to a podcast? It might seem a little strange in this extremely video-driven world, but podcasts are really taking off. What’s a podcast and how can it help?

Basically, podcasts are like a radio show. They can be interviews between hosts and guests, where you discover new things, learn about exciting STEM events that have occurred, or hear from experts about their careers.

After all, wouldn’t actual scientists and engineers be the BEST ones to give an insight into what they do? Yes!

A podcast that I recommend for just this purpose is the Solve It! For Kids podcast.

Ever wonder how to build teeth out of soap? Or how you would have a snowball fight on Mars? Perhaps it would be fun to know if Bigfoot exists? Or how a doctor diagnoses someone? And just what exactly what would a person have to do to map an underwater forest?

All of these sound like pretty cool jobs don’t they? What’s even better is that anyone could have a career that deals with any of these issues. These intriguing questions are all problems that real-life STEM and STEAM experts are solving right now in their day-to-day work. But what exactly would it take to follow their path?

Solve It! For Kids is a science podcast with hosts award-winning children’s author Jennifer Swanson and space enthusiast Jeff Gonyea that gives kids and families a peek into the life of real scientists, engineers, and experts and challenges listeners to use curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity to solve a problem related to each guest’s work.

Geared to children of ALL ages 10 and up, at home or in school, Solve It! For Kids taps into everyone’s natural curiosity about science, history, mysteries, and how to fix issues. Each episode concludes with our guest posing a challenge to listeners (see the collection at so kids and their families and students and their teachers can get creative!

Here’s a few recent challenges:

  • Go outside in your backyard or a park and count all of the different organisms you see. How many did you find?
  • Discover what happens when two objects collide
  • Make an “underwater forest” in your living room, then navigate it with a blindfold.

Don’t forget to check out the website! Each episode comes with its own page with more information AND a book list for further reading! There is even a book giveaway for each episode.

Guests include: aquanaut and ocean explorer Phillipe Cousteau, world-famous conductor and composer Eric Whitacre; Astronaut Cady Coleman; Dr. Chloe Malbrunot, particle physicist from the Antimatter Factory at CERN; Dr. Kelsey Leonard, water scientist and member of the Shinnecock Nation; Award-winning author/illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton; NASA Mars engineer Darlene Lim; and Dr. Rajani LaRocca; among others.

NEW! Lesson plans & exclusive podcast episodes for grades 4, 5, and 6 now available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Have your students learn from the experts!

Looking for distance learning ideas? Check out this InnovateCT Professional Development Podcast featuring Career In STEM Owner Ashley Pereira and Liz Radday of Skills21. Get the inside scoop on their innovative approaches to STEM career development for teens using online platforms: