Natural Sciences

 

There are a large number of opportunities to use your knowledge and skills from your Natural Sciences degree to have a positive impact on the local community. Getting involved in some outreach volunteering during your degree can be a great way to build communication skills by communicating ideas to a variety of audiences.

You could use your knowledge to engage the public in your subject by volunteering at Manchester Museum or the Science and Industry Museum. You could run sessions in a local school, help deliver schools workshops on campus or volunteer at one of the University’s outreach and engagement events such as ScienceX or the Community Festival. 

Your degree may be related to the environment and you may be keen to volunteer with one of the many environmental organisations in Manchester to put your subject knowledge and skills into action. Organisations like Emerge, Envirolution and The Kindling Trust have a range of volunteering opportunities focused on sustainability and conservation.

You may also want to think about specific skills you want to develop as you may be able to do this through volunteering opportunities that are not necessarily related to your degree.

Armourers Ambassadors

The Armourers Ambassadors are a group of undergraduate students from the Department of Materials that regularly takes outreach activities into primary and secondary schools. They also develop new activities and props, such as the chocolate impact tester (a crowd favourite!), which is now being used by universities and schools across the UK.

The Armourers Ambassadors are sponsored by the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company. If you’re interested in joining the Armourers Ambassadors group, please email materials.outreach@manchester.ac.uk

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Manchester Museum

Volunteers contribute to the Museum in many different ways. The roles available vary from visitor-facing roles on the galleries to providing essential support to staff from the Museum’s curatorial, learning and engagement departments.

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Environmental and conservation volunteering

The University’s Volunteer Hub advertises a wide range of volunteering opportunities with organisations in Manchester and further afield. Use the search filters to browse opportunities in environment, conservation and energy, or search for something completely different to your degree.

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STEMSoc

STEMSoc is a student outreach society aiming to engage the public with science, encourage children to pursue a career in STEM and help fix the gender gap in these fields. Help young pupils learn how to code or take the lab on the road and run educational sessions in local libraries.

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University of Manchester Physics Outreach (UMPO)

UMPO is a student-led public engagement body which aims to break down barriers between communities in Manchester and promote studying physics as an option for young people from all backgrounds. UMPO regularly sends students out either ‘science busking’ around Manchester or into schools to deliver specialist workshops, as well as to festivals and other events further afield.

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Contact us

If you’re not sure about what volunteering you would like to do or you would like to chat through some of these opportunities, the Volunteering Team is here to help!

Drop in to the Atrium (1st floor University Place) Mondays 12-1pm or Wednesdays 1-2pm. If you can’t make a drop-in, you can call or email us to arrange a meeting.

Alex studies Physics and Astronomy. He volunteers with physics outreach group UMPO running workshops in schools and busking sessions at the Trafford Centre and Bluedot Festival.

Yu, an international Mathematics student is involved in a variety of volunteering; from a fundraiser cycling challenge to helping organise inter-generational Christmas parties for elderly people.

"I wanted to do something meaningful with my time. Also, when I came to study here I wanted to find a job but I found this challenging because I don’t speak fluent English. I talked to the Careers Service and they suggested volunteering. So I did just that. My communication skills have definitely improved a lot. I can understand others and express my ideas better. I know that this will help me find a job in the future."

Yu

Third year Chemistry student George volunteers with homeless charity Barnabus. He found this from attending the Volunteering Fair. He's been volunteering there for over two years, getting involved in a variety of different roles. 

"It's mostly an escape, to get out of the lab and to do something different. You learn plenty of useful skills doing chemistry, but it is mostly analytical and problem-solving, whereas the sort of things you learn through volunteering are more real-world and interpersonal. The conversations I can have are quite far removed from just chit chat with your mates. I think that is really something."

George