Activity: Choosing a Career in Science

Summary: Students review a selection of career profiles and play a classroom game to find out more about aquatic science professionals.

You Need:

  • 50-60 minutes
  • Approximately 15-20 career profiles (more depending on how many students you have). They are available online, see
    • Select a wide range of careers and a diversity of men and women.
    • Copies of all of the profiles for each student, stapled.
    • Create stickers or labels with the name of one of the people profiled.


Begin by introducing the topic of marine and aquatic science careers. Ask students if they know of family members or friends who make a living by studying or educating others about the oceans and Great Lakes.

  • Distribute the packet of career profiles to each student. Explain that each of the profiles describes a real person whose career involves the oceans or Great Lakes.
  • Explain that they’ll be playing a game using these profiles.
  • Next, place a sticker on the back of each student, identifying a person in one of the profiles. Students are not allowed to see their own stickers. The goal of the game is for each student to figure out whose name is on their backs, by asking other students questions.
  • Start the game. Allow the students to mingle, while carrying the profiles. When two students meet, they should first look at the name on the other person’s back and consult the appropriate profile for information.
  • They then ask each other a yes-no question about their own identity. (For example: Am I a fisheries biologist? Am I female?)
  • They are only allowed to ask one question per pairing and then must move on to mingle with others.
  • Once they have gathered enough answers to guess their own identify (the name on their back), they can remove the sticker, sit down, and read about that professional.
  • They then become the “expert” on this person. After everyone is sitting and has had a chance to read about their person, ask each student to “introduce” the person to the class. They can talk about what the profiled professional does in relation to the oceans or Great Lakes, what he or she enjoys most, and what skills or education are needed to do this kind of job, etc.

Activity Extension

If students have Internet access, have them spend 15 minutes reviewing a variety of the profiles online.

  • Ask students if they had to choose a career involving the oceans or Great Lakes, which one most interests them?
  • Students can write a short essay explaining why they like this career, why they would be good at it, what kind of education they would need, and where — if they could choose anywhere in the world — they would like to work.