The University of Cambridge held a summer school within the Department of Engineering. The summer school ran over four days (14-17 July) for 48 A-level students, giving opportunities to experience university life and to encourage applications from groups under-represented in the university community.
The reason I was interested in the Cambridge summer school was that I wanted to feel what university life is like. I would definitely recommend the summer school as the Cambridge lab facilities were of a particularly good standard, as well as the food!Abdul, London Academy of Excellence
Year 10 student Annabelle Boutell spent a week on work experience with the Department and observed the summer school and its activities. Her report is as follows:
The Engineering Development Trust Homerton Headstart course students got an opportunity to attend lessons across the two and a half days, some of which were taught by Professor Allan McRobie and Professor Tim Wilkinson. They also experienced different lab sessions each day and these included practical work such as carpentry and electric circuit activities.
During these activities, the teachers ensured there was a mixture of individual and group work. This helped the students to motivate each other and maximised their experience to the full.
The Department's Outreach Officer, Maria Kettle, taught a carpentry activity in the Dyson Centre for Engineering Design – a space primarily for undergraduates to learn, create and innovate. The hands-on experience led to the students making and creating their own recorders. This involved a lot of trial and error and allowed the students to build on their skills.
Another lab session involved water in large tanks that allowed the students to learn about various topics, such as measuring flow and energy rates of water and experimenting with turbulence and flow. The students enjoyed playing around with water flumes. They engaged with the practical side of the work by trialling an experiment which included changing the rates, turbulence and flow of the water to create different volumes.
The students enjoyed the free time which was given and the lunches provided. They used this time to discuss the activities they had completed and the ones to come and how much they had loved it so far.
One of the students said: “It’s good talking to people with the same interests and intentions as you.”
Another said: “It opens so many doors! But I’m not sure which route to take.”
Abdul, a student at London Academy of Excellence, said: “The reason I was interested in the Cambridge summer school was that I wanted to feel what university life is like. I would definitely recommend the summer school as the Cambridge lab facilities were of a particularly good standard, as well as the food!”
The 2019 summer school hosted by Department Of Engineering was enjoyed by students and was very successful. It encouraged them to engage in new experiences and this opened up their career options.