Inspiring youngsters to go for gold
More than 100 youngsters from across the county have been putting their sporting and study skills to the test in an action-packed Olympic themed Summer School at the University of Sheffield.
The Discover US Student Experience Summer School gave Year 10 pupils from Rotherham, Wakefield and Sheffield, the chance to go for gold in a host of enthralling events across a thrilling two-days of sport and innovative workshops.
The youngsters showcased their communication and creative skills in an engineering challenge to construct their own Olympic stadium from tubes of paper, before sampling the University’s sporting facilities in Olympic sports such as football, badminton, table tennis and basketball.
In the final competition of the day they hit the track, with the help of Access Sport Officer Kate Rickard, to compete against each other for bronze, silver and gold, in a gruelling sporting circuit.
Jack Price, a pupil from Clifton Community Arts School in Rotherham said: "This event was an excellent opportunity to learn what life is like on campus and the exciting goings-on there. It was a really enjoyable opportunity that I think everyone should experience."
The second day pupils were transported back to Ancient Greece to learn about the origins of the international sporting event. Dr Jane Rempel, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology, gave a fascinating insight into the Ancient Olympic Games which date back to eight century BC.
Budding medics then hit the Powerlab to learn about the physiology of the heart and discover what happens when things go wrong and how the heart reacts to exercise. The youngsters monitored their own hearts to examine the function of the cardiovascular system and the changes that will occur to Olympic athletes – such as world champion heptathlete and University of Sheffield graduate Jessica Ennis – when they race from the starting blocks.
Fellow Clifton Community Arts School pupil, Safiyha Rashid, said: "The summer school was a good experience and it taught me some good life lessons about university."
The next generation of journalists became news hounds for the day creating a five minute Olympic themed news bulletin with University of Sheffield lecturer and former ITV Calender News presenter, Katie Stewart, and a team of student ambassadors. The aspiring reporters and presenters conducted a variety of interviews and vox pops in the Students’ Union before editing and presenting their own bulletin in the University's Department of Journalism.
Event organiser and Outreach Activities Officer, Kate Smith, said: "Discover US is for pupils in Years 9-11 who have the potential to access higher education but do not necessarily have a family tradition of going to university.
"We aim to make every young person we work with believe that University is within their grasp and support them to make a considered and informed decision about their future."
She added: "Through focusing on the Olympics the event was topical and fun. The Year 10 students involved really gave it their all! All activities were hands on and gave the students a real insight of what it is like to study here at the University of Sheffield whilst helping to increase students' awareness of the importance of staying healthy and taking exercise."
A list of schools involved in the event is as follows:
Clifton Community Arts School
Firth Park Community Arts College
Fir Vale School
Hemsworth Arts and Community College
Chaucer Business and Enterprise College
Minsthorpe Community College
Stocksbridge High School
Discover US is an aspiration-raising programme for pupils in Years 9-11 who have the potential to access higher education but do not have a family tradition of going to university. The University of Sheffield aims to make every young person believe that University is within their grasp and support them to make a considered and informed decision about their future.
The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.
The University’s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations. The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.
For further information please contact:
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859