Following an incredibly successful trial run last year, the College’s Farnborough Ideas Expo returned in January. Throughout the month, students were able to choose from a series of 20 masterclasses given by leading academics from a wide range of UK universities. The purpose of the event was to give second year students the opportunity to experience a university style lecture on a topic that they are interested in which is not necessarily linked to the work they are doing in lessons. The majority of the thought-provoking lectures were adapted from sessions aimed at second and third year undergraduate students.
Topics included, ‘Clinical Physiology and Toxicology - A focus on Nerve Agents’ with the University of Nottingham, ‘Child Migrants, borders and global governance’ from Royal Holloway and ‘Gaming in Contemporary Culture’ from the University for the Creative Arts. Other lectures covered, ‘The Origins of Us: Latest developments in human evolution’, ‘Why (Media) Ethics’, ‘The Mathematics of Matches’ and ‘Chasing the ghost particles’.
Feedback from students who attended the masterclasses was extremely positive. One student, who attended the ‘Why (Media) Ethics’ lecture, commented, “I thought the speaker was amazing! They were really engaging and the lecture was fascinating!”
Another student said, “’The ‘Human Evolution’ lecture was really interesting. That topic is not really discussed much at A level so it was great that we had the opportunity to hear more about it.”
Mark Rayner, Director of Progression commented, “This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to embrace the idea of lifelong learning: young people are so used to learning in preparation for exams or assessment, but this gave them a chance to learn for the simple enjoyment of discovering something new and being intellectually stimulated. I was delighted to see so many of our students approaching the lecturers at the end of their talks to engage in further questions and continue the debate.“
Thank you to all the academics who delivered lectures as part of the Farnborough Ideas Expo and to their respective universities for supporting this event - each talk encouraged our students to discover and extend their academic interests outside of their normal programme of study.
We look forward to the 2021 Farnborough Ideas Expo!