During the summer holidays I went to the S4 Swansea university science summer school where I participated in university-level science workshops and experiments. Initially when informed about the opportunity I was quite reluctant to enroll because I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I am so glad I did. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life and has definitely motivated me to do well in my A levels so that I can go to university.
On my first full day at the summer school, I studied computing with a techno camp workshop. In teams of 4 we designed a robot from Lego NXT mind storm kits and programmed it on the computer. We competed amongst other teams to see who’s robot was superior. We had to guide our robot around mazes, park it in parking spaces etc. After that we played robot football where we had to design a robot to be a striker and defend the goals at the same time. This was turned into a competition to see who’s robot could score and defend the most amounts of goals.
After the workshop everyone was given free time and so with the friends I had made so far we explored the gigantic university campus and later walked to Swansea town centre to explore to shops. Later in the evening there was a pub quiz held by the summer school where we grouped together with teachers and answered science questions.
On the second day I studied biology where I learnt about the topic of marine biology and I had to dissect a mackerel. While dissecting this mackerel I learnt about its internal structures and their functions, I enjoyed this so much because you got to see what you were learning from a physical prospective. After that we got a tour around Swansea universities science facilities and learnt about the importance of algae, why it is grown from business and its important medical uses. We also got to see muscle filtration and hold real life marine animals such as blue lobsters.
After the workshop, the summer school then took us to the cinema that they have on campus. It was absolutely packed with people of a variety of ages. We watched an Asian cartoon film, which was similar to anime.
On the third day I studied physics and mathematics. I learnt about finding exoplanets. I found this really interesting as we got to learn about space and I actually understood it really well considering mathematics and physics are not my strong point. We had to conduct an experiment using a light sensor to detect the shadow created as our exoplanet circled our star. We did this using software on the computer, it was so interesting.
After the workshop, my friends and I went to the beach, which is directly opposite the university campus. During the week we had also met other students from Germany that were staying in the same halls of residence and so we invited them to the beach with us. We all went in the sea, played volleyball, built a campfire and sat around it until late.
On the fourth day of Swansea summer school I participated in a geography workshop where we learnt about climate change. We conducted an experiment with collecting carbon dioxide in different heats which was meant to represent the different distances away from the sun, it was really fun. Later on in the day we explored the university campus to look at the wild life, we then participated in a dendrochronological experiment where we drilled holes into trees and removed sections of the tree to analysis the patterns of tree rings to see how old the tree was, to see if it was a victim of disease or a natural disaster.
After the work shop we all headed to Mumbles beach area where we explored the natural wild life before heading to the beach to explore general marine life. As a group we then explored the beach, went in the sea and generally enjoyed ourselves.
On the last day we had a talk about UCAS applications from S4 ambassadors who are current students at Swansea Univeristy, Swansea university lectures, professors and Swansea university admissions tutors. They showed us previous examples of personal statements, what they like to see and what they expect from us. They also showed us what they don’t like to see and how to avoid it. There was then a award ceremony and students that had excelled in the individual workshops were rewarded with vouchers, certificates and clothes. There was also an award from the best tweet.
If I choose to go to Swansea University I will receive a £500 bursary just for completing the weeklong Swansea university summer school. The experience was definitely worthwhile as I got to immerse myself in the student lifestyle as well as expand my education. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is interested.