Strode News

01/05/12 - Somerset Students Imagine an Exciting Future
Strode News

Have you ever wanted to fly a rocket to the moon, attend a champagne reception in a luxury hotel or hang out with film stars and musicians? Young people from across the area were given an insight into how they could turn these dreams into reality in their working lives at three events held recently at Strode College.

Organised by the East Somerset Partnership and involving students from Ansford Academy (Castle Cary), Crispin School (Street), St Dunstan's School (Glastonbury), Sexey's School (Bruton) and Whitstone School (Shepton Mallet), as well as from Strode College, the three days focussed on possible careers in engineering, writing for film and television and event management.

The events were supported by local universities and major businesses as participants learnt about study and job opportunities in each profession.

'Engineering in the 21st Century' featured projects to stop flooding in Venice and Virgin Galactic's plans for tourist spaceflight, as well as a presentation by staff from AgustaWestland and some of the company's apprentices.  Students and academics from the University of Bath then spoke about the engineering degree courses available before leading a team exercise in bridge building.

There was a similarly diverse line-up for 'Event Management: Making It Happen' with inputs from a senior manager from the Royal Bath & West Show and a young entrepreneur who has established his own successful music festival, as well as an event planning activity introduced by staff and students from Bournemouth University.

The trio of days also included 'The Future of Words' in which an experienced writer guided students through a series of activities that considered language in blogs and on Twitter and led to them creating their own short script for TV or radio with the support of Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) for inspiration.

In each case around thirty students took part and their positive response shows how much they enjoyed the chance to work with such a wide range of experts.  There will a further opportunity for local students to benefit from such a day when a group travels to the University of Southampton to look at 'Languages in International Business' in June.

After the events several schools said how much their students had benefitted from the opportunity, stating that they had been 'buzzing' on their return to class. The feedback from the students themselves was also universally positive with the majority indicating that they felt that the quality of the activities and presentations had been excellent.

Adrian Ash, Director, East Somerset Partnership said: "The contributions from companies, universities and individuals on all three days were immensely appreciated. The students got a true insight into some exciting careers from industry professionals and had fun at the same time. The effort that they put into the different activities showed just how much they enjoyed each of the events and truly impressed those that had come to speak with them."

Lauren Curtis, Education Liaison and Outreach, The University of Bath said: "This was a great opportunity for a Lecturer and Engineering students from the University of Bath to go out into the local community and run a fun bridge building workshop with school students who are interested in Engineering.  The young people got to ask questions about the courses we run at the University of Bath and also about University life in general."

Alan Lyons, Show Manager, The Royal Bath & West Show said: "I feel that it is important to work with schools and colleges in the region where events like the Royal Bath & West Show and the Glastonbury Festival have such an enormous impact financially on the local economy.  I was very impressed with the thought provoking questions the students asked and hope that through such interactive days they will get a taste for event management as a career."

Alex Dixon, Director, 'Y Not' Festival said: "I was delighted to have been able to attend, as it's always good to pass knowledge and experience on to the next generation of budding event organisers. The students were interested and really threw themselves into the group task coming up with some excellent ideas for an event. It's also important to give students information on different career options in advance of them having to make decisions about university. The day was an excellent success! "

Carmen Walton, Freelance Scriptwriter said: "It pleased me to see that the love of stories still remains, both in terms of enjoying and creating them.  The students understood that at the heart of all good scripts is the plight of an individual or of a group of people and overall the day made me feel that the future integrity of television and entertainment output was in good hands."

Photo: Representatives from the University of Bath explain the role of 3D printing in modern-day engineering.