University of Leicester eBulletin

Opportunities for the Gifted and Talented at the University of Leicester

August 2002
No 166

Gifted and talented children from Leicester converged on the University of Leicester for a special Government-backed summer school that aimed to heighten their aspirations.

 

As part of a Department of Education and Skills funded project, the University of Leicester is working closely with Leicester City Council and a group of exceptional Year 6/9 students. The students visited the University of Leicester during the week August 4-9, 2002.

 

A total of 30 11-14 year-olds from schools across the city were targeted for the programme which involved them in building a PIG (Pipe Inspection Gadget) in the Department of Engineering. 

 

The youngsters were identified as being within the top 5% of the whole cohort year, with an ability to achieve and benefit from such an initiative. The schools involved fall within the widening participation remit - schools the University has worked with in order to increase progression rates into further and higher education.

 

The University's Widening Participation Project Leader, Herabans Kaur, said that the aim of the project was to raise aspirations and to empower young people to make informed decisions about their future.

 

Ms Kaur said: “At the University of Leicester we recognise the need for increased awareness of the benefits of education and are keen to continue working together in order to ensure raised awareness and raised aspirations within the widening participation target group.

 

“The gifted and talented students were involved in numerous activities during the two week period. The visit to the Department of Engineering proved to be very successful. It further consolidated the aim of the two week summer school - to raise awareness, engage interest and to break down barriers to education.”  

Professor Sarah Spurgeon, Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Science, said: “We were delighted to welcome students from six Leicester Primary Schools and three Leicester Secondary schools on Friday, August 9.

“Many of the students came from homes with no tradition of University attendance and one of the main objectives of this day was to raise awareness of the University of Leicester and show what it can offer to some of the City's most gifted young people. All of Leicester's major ethnic groups were represented.

“Those involved worked in teams to build a pipe inspection gadget (PIG), and each PIG then competed in a competition later in the day to determine the winning design.”

 For more information, contact Professor Sarah Spurgeon on 0116 252 2531.

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