02 July 2012
Year 12 science students recently participated in a Cambridge Pre-U Bridging the Gap seminar designed to give them insight into studying science at university (pictured).
Over 45 students and 15 teachers from 14 UK schools attended the event at the University of Cambridge Chemistry Department on Tuesday 26 June. Its main aim was to enhance understanding of the ways teachers and learners can smooth the transition from school to degree-level study.
The event began with a session led by Dr Siân Owen, Physics Access Officer at the University of Oxford, in which she talked about studying science at university and the admission process.
The students then worked in science labs under the supervision of university lecturers. They participated in the sort of practical investigations which are a critical aspect of university level science. Meanwhile their teachers focused on developing teaching strategies to prepare students for higher education and help 'bridge the gap' between post 16 and university education.
Dr Siân Owen said: 'The members of staff who run the chemistry and physics practicals at Oxford say that the biggest shock to students is the amount of practical work you will do at university.' She also asserted that independent thought and genuine interest were vital attributes for success at university.
Students said the Bridging the Gap event had introduced them to new areas of science and informed their decision to study science at university. One student from Winchester College commented: 'We’ve been doing radios today – finding radio signals – and I've found that really interesting as I’ve never really done anything with resonance before. I was thinking of studying physics at university and now I’ve realised what I need to be thinking about for my application.’
A student from Central Sussex College said: 'We’ve learnt new techniques which will be useful when we go to university. It’s nice to do some high-level biology - it is more challenging and more enjoyable.'
More Cambridge Pre-U Bridging the Gap events will be held later this year. Look out for details on our website.
Learn more about Cambridge Pre-U, a post-16 qualification designed for students who want to go to university.