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Prospective science students test University life – University of Reading

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Prospective science students test University life

Release Date 15 July 2009

This July, students from schools right across the country spent an entertaining week at the University of Reading, experimenting with the idea of studying science in higher education.

Organised by the University's Widening Participation Office (WPO) and funded by the University of Reading and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, 23 year 12 pupils visited the Whiteknights Campus to take part in the Regional Residential Higher Education Summer School.

The students, all considering further study in a science-based subject, enjoyed the chance to experience many aspects of university life as well as having tasters of different science-related subjects, enabling them to find out more about the courses they might wish to study after school or college.

The science programme included guest lectures, lab work and team activities that covered subjects such as cybernetics, biological sciences, biomimetics, maths puzzles animal sciences and psychology. There was also the opportunity to see some of the University's fantastic state-of-the-art facilities including highly powerful microscopes and virtual reality environments.

Current students at the university studying science-related courses acted as mentors for the participants, guiding them through the week and answering their questions about higher education. However, it wasn't all work and no play, as the participants did have time to socialise and relax with a film evening, a bowling night and a visit to Beale Park.

Guests from local science and engineering companies viewed poster presentations of the week's activities, and all participants were presented with certificates to acknowledge their efforts.

Dr Rachel South, Widening Participation Co-ordinator for Science at the University of Reading said: "The enthusiasm and effort the students showed was fantastic which resulted in a successful, informative and fun-packed week. They learnt a great deal and I hope the experience inspires some of them to consider science in higher education as an option in the near future."

For more information about the University of Reading's Widening Participation Office, please email.

Ends:

For all University of Reading media enquiries please contact James Barr, Press Officer tel 0118 378 7115 or email

Notes for Editors:

The University of Reading's WPO works throughout the year to increase participation in higher education by under-represented groups. From September through to July the University provides outreach and promote higher education both locally and nationally in a variety of ways, including conferences, practical activities, taster days and in-school support.

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