During the week of the 14th-18th May, students from several colleges in and around Staffordshire came for work experience at Staffordshire University.
Focusing on creative arts, science and sport, the students experienced various aspects of the work involved within each field; they finished the week presenting a Vlog they had created about their experiences.
Applications were open to all schools and colleges and ten students were selected, overall, from the City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College, Stoke on Trent College, Blythe Bridge High School, The Cheadle Academy and St John Fisher Catholic College.
“I have had a really good past few days and enjoyed every single moment”.
Marley, Kate and Eliot presented their Vlog first. Their week involved looking into the working world of creative arts. They dabbled in photography, photo editing and TV production.
Whilst editing photos, they learnt how to “make your eyes and nose bigger/smaller”.
Towards the end of the week, they went behind the scenes at the TV studio and saw elements of what it was like behind the camera as opposed to in front of it – although they also got to enjoy seeing how to make a character from wearing a suite with sensors. They learnt how to connect video clips together, transitioning from one slide to another.
Eliot said that he had “had a really good past few days and enjoyed every single moment”.
The second group spent their week looking into science and psychology. Jacob, Emily, Chloe, Jade and Beth’s theme for the week was the stress hormone cortisol.
“I was amazed by all the equipment the Science Centre has to offer”.
They stepped into the virtual world, looking at how virtual technology can be used to assist people, in relation to cortisol levels and stress. Part of the experience involved observing various relaxation techniques and facing their fear of heights, using a VR headset.
Jade said that, this way, the “technology can help to overcome fears”. Beth concluded that, with “the help of technology[, there is] “much more we can do to help with the quality of life” for some people.
They then had a tour of the labs in the Science Centre; Chloe was “amazed by all the equipment the Science Centre has to offer”.
The third group received the same “scientific experimental experience” and were especially able to develop their “communication skills” through their Vlog preparation – implementing video transitioning and audio – and presenting on their final day.
Focusing on the cortisol theme as well, Chanelle and Moncy particularly enjoyed working in the labs. Chanelle said there were things they have learnt in their Biology lesson at school or college, but didn’t have the opportunity to use any equipment like they did at Staffordshire University.
“[It was] informative as I was planning on doing something biology related at uni[versity]”.
Our Technical Skills Specialist, Alison Davidson, gave a tour of the Analytical Laboratory and then Moncy and Chanelle carried out a few experiments, including looking at the difference in accuracy between an automatic and glass perpet. Moncy said that the experience was “informative as [she] was planning on doing something biology related at uni[versity]”.
The afternoon concluded with a general discussion and questions, during which the students provided feedback. One work experience student said she had now joined the university library, because she didn’t know the public could join. Another said that they are now considering going to university when they weren’t sure before.
“I would definitely come back again”.
Overall, it was an interesting week and a pleasure to have the work experience students at the university. The students learnt a lot and the general consensus was positive, saying they would definitely come back again.