Students Sample University Life

EDT (The Engineering Development Trust) delivers over 30,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experiences each year, for young people aged 11-21 across the UK.

EDT’s Headstart courses provide Lower Sixth students with the chance to sample higher education life – by both experiencing STEM courses at a university setting.

Eleanor Webber and Sarah Staker reflect on their recent Headstart adventures here.

Eleanor Webber

My course was on Marine Biology and Oceanography at the University of Southampton.

The course was run by a leading Oceanographer, Dr Simon Boxall, along with some current students undertaking BSc, MSc and PhD degrees.

We were lucky enough to spend two days on the University’s research boat, traveling up and down the Solent.

On the first day we explored the various techniques for collecting data, and on the second day, in groups, we collected and shared data to produce a complete set of data across six points through the Solent.

The rest of the week was spent in labs and ICT, analysing and presenting the data collected, ready to be shown to parents on the last day.

Over the week I learnt to identify many types of phytoplankton and zooplankton.

From doing the course I have discovered that pure Oceanography isn’t the best route for myself, but it has shown me other options which still allow me to cover very similar topics.

I enjoyed the course a lot and would highly recommend it.

Sarah Staker

Completing the Headstart course is not only a good way to find out what university degrees entail, but it also gives you good experience of university life because you stay in the accommodation.

Headstart courses are also a good deciding factor of which university to select because they go into more detail than a university website ever can.

Headstart also allows you to interact with new people and work together, which is a key skill in life, but you also gain some long lasting friends.

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