16 career challenges to tick off these holidays

These school holidays mix up the chill times with some fun, productive career wins. Image: Shutterstock

There are loads of quick, easy and fun things you can do for your career these school holidays. Yep, even from the couch

Chilling out for two weeks is awesome and all, but so is being semi-productive while you’re off school for two weeks. Here, we list 16 fun, simple and quick STEM-related activities that you can totally squeeze in between Netflix marathons and never-ending TikTok stalks. Your future self is already stoked.

1. Hang out with bugs

Citizen science apps like FrogID, Wild Pollinator Count and iNaturalist are awesome ways to participate in legit science research projects. Take pics, make detailed observations and submit info through an app – which helps real-life scientists collect quality data. Although not paid, they’re a great way to gain experience in the practical aspects of environmental science. Definitely something to pop on your resume – under hobbies/interests/extra-curricular stuff.

2. Sort out your CV

As if you want to be sorting out your CV mid-term with 2,563 assignments on your mind. The school holidays are a perfect time to make sure you have an up-to-date resume ready to go because you never know when a part-time gig or work experience role may come up. Take our quiz to see if yours is up to scratch!

3. Watch a webinar

Feeling like a chill day? After you’ve binged every episode of [insert that show you love] ever, whacking on a quick 30-minute careers webinar basically gives you permission to watch another season… or 10. Our On-Demand YouTube channel has loads of fun, FREE virtual info sessions where STEM professionals chat candidly about how they landed their awesome roles.

4. Follow STEM accounts on TikTok

You’re on TikTok anyway, right? So it can’t hurt to give a couple of STEM accounts a follow while you’re at it. Hit up anything tagged #tiktokscience and consider it homework. Don’t forget to follow us too!

5. Work out your STEM electives

With so many different STEM subjects on in the Australian curriculum picking just a few to take all the way to Year 12 can be tough. Hopefully our quiz will help narrow down which science elective is your thing.

Picking electives doesn’t have to feel like rocket science. Image: Shutterstock

6. Flick through one of our eMags

If you’ve got time to kill while you’re on your way to meet mates, our eMags are a fun way to fill up on career inspo without all the usual snoozy, same-same stuff. Meet diverse grads with seriously unexpected study pathways. Only have time to read just the one? This should help you pick.

7. Have a think about grad gigs

Post-uni days might feel like a lifetime away, but if you’re still in high school getting clued up on what’s available after you graduate could help you start planning. So many cool next-gen STEM opportunities in some really awesome companies.

8. Find your STEM + X

Know what your favourite STEM subject is, but can’t quite work out how to combine it with your passion? Take five minutes to figure it out.

9. Sign up for our eNewsletters

Click, and you’re done. It’ll take two seconds to subscribe to our eNewsletters but you’ll be the first to know about important Uni/VET info, virtual open days and important industry news as it comes up.

10. Download a STEM poster

By blu-tacking something educational to your wall, you’re essentially soaking up info subconsciously, right? We keep telling ourselves that as we glance around at our STEM posters. Download a bunch for free here.

Discover 118 STEM careers with this colourful STEM career poster! Perfect for the science classroom.

11. Watch a STEM-related movie

Yep, there are loads of films on Netflix that can teach you a thing or 10 about a career in STEM. Hidden Figures, The Martian or Interstellar anyone? The list is epic.

12. Stalk some careers

Keen to track down a bunch of young people that’ve studied the STEM courses you’re looking at? Apart from stalking them on socials, you could read up on their pathways here.

13. Look into tertiary study options!

It’s not just people’s careers you could stalk these holidays – snooping tertiary courses would be a seriously productive way to spend an afternoon. Don’t forget VET and non-uni pathways! There are loads of ways to land STEM qualifications.

14. Play Monopoly – and use maths to win

According to mathematician Lily Serna there are mathematically proven strategies you can adopt that’ve been shown to increase your chances of taking out a game of Monopoly. Read her tips and host an epic round with the fam.

15. Download a STEM-themed podcast

Treat your ears to a career-boosting poddy! STEM podcasts are a thing, and we’ve trialled a couple.

16. Reach out to a mentor

Bagging an inspiring mentor is such a great way to expose yourself to all the different aspects of a role in STEM! Hit up your careers advisor to chat about hunting one down or fill up your socials with the accounts of professionals owning their fields. Sifting through our followers list during the holidays is a good place to start!


Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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