06/02/2015 by sleach860
A cohort of Year 9 learners got to take part in a range of activities at Manchester University on Thursday. The Year 9 Build Your Future Day is part of the university’s Gateways widening participation programme.
After a welcome to the university, the MCMA students along with learners from Droylsden Academy, St. Peter’s and Swinton High Schools, were set a challenge by the Gateways Lead Officer Emma Britain: to think about where they will be in ten years’ time. Some interesting answers emerged from the discussion which then moved on the critical issue of why we need to work. Not surprisingly money was seen as a key driver, but other interesting points emerged from the debate.
The session then highlighted on the importance of “transferable” skills such as team work, communication and problem solving which are developed while at university and are highly regarded by employers. The point was made that people who gain a degree earn significantly more than non-graduates over their working life.
The students were then reassured that anyone with the ability can go to university and that the cost of tuition fees should not be seen as a barrier to going to university.
The Year 9s then got to sample three short activities which highlighted the diverse range of courses on offer at the university. A neuroscience workshop allowed the pupils to test their knowledge of the brain and find out how powerful it is. A language and culture workshop investigated how different cultures mark rites of passage including the Mexican Día de Muertos or day of the dead.
The third activity was a code braking class which looked at different types of encryption from the Caesar cipher to book codes. This activity certainly got the neurons firing.
As always with the Gateways visits the day ended with a question and answer session, with current undergraduates answering questions from the year 9s about university life and study.
The MCMA pupils really enjoyed the day as the comments below show:
“It was good, we learned quite a lot about university life and how it can change your life”
“It was interesting”
“It was fun”
“It was informative”
“It was enjoyable”