From NASA astronauts to ‘A Night in the Museum’, a series of summer school projects at the University of St Andrews have seen pupils and teachers taking part in a diverse range of events and activities designed to encourage local young people to raise and achieve their aspirations.
The popular ‘Space School’ initiative gave 100 P6 pupils from across Fife the opportunity to learn about the science of the stars from astronauts and NASA engineers. The week long programme included workshops on how to build robots and rockets, and was the culmination of a five month scheme of activities that saw youngsters exploring the solar system and space travel. Teachers got to join in with some of the fun with an in-service day, involving team challenges based on the some of the Space School activities.
Now in its third year, the ‘First Chances’ programme was a great success and 36 S4 pupils from four Fife secondary schools ‘graduated’ this summer. The pupils completed a year long project in which each was mentored by a University student. The success of the programme has meant that nearly double the number of pupils and two more Fife secondary schools will take part next year.
Having completed their Higher exams, 85 pupils from all over Scotland were given a taste of life at Scotland’s first University through the Sutton Trust Summer School. Spending a week living in University accommodation and attending lectures and workshops in various academic departments, the pupils were given advice on applying to competitive universities. Nearly all went home with the intention of applying to study at St Andrews next year.
The University has also run its very first residential Science Camp for primary school pupils. 46 youngsters stayed in John Burnet Hall and embarked on an exciting scientific journey of discovery including a torch lit ‘Night in the Museum’ at the University’s Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History and a field trip to the East Sands culminating in a visit to the Gatty Marine Institute.
Not to leave out the older generation, the University hosted ‘Teachers Together’ – an event attracting teachers from all over Scotland. A series of presentations and workshops focused on helping pupils navigate the transition from secondary education to university life.
Mike Johnson, the Senior School Liaison Officer at the University commented, “With these programmes and others, we not only help and inform our colleagues and pupils from all sectors of education but we also show the community, of which we are part, that we are an accessible and exciting place. 300 pupils and 100 teachers have had the opportunity to become part of one of Scotland’s top universities and learn first hand about the benefits of higher education.”
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Ref: summer projects 200709
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