One hundred and thirty 16 and 17 year olds from across the UK and beyond took part in summer schools at the department of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton.
Beginning on Monday 27 July, ECS offered eighty A Level students a taste of university life through lectures, lab work and group challenges at its annual ECS Summer School. The week-long residential course welcomed students from Dublin, Romania and Greece as well as the local area.
The Summer School included lectures by leading Southampton academics covering varied aspects of ECS, from electronic and electrical engineering to computer science and software engineering. Participants had the opportunity to tour the University of Southampton’s specialist facilities, such as the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory and the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre. Throughout the week students worked together on a team challenge, before giving presentations to parents at a prize-giving ceremony on the final day.
Sponsored by JP Morgan and Imagination Technologies, the Summer School’s strong links with industry helped participants to better understand career options. The course included a day trip to sponsors so students can see how specialised electronics and computer science skills are applied and valued in business and industry.
Dr Geoff Merrett, Senior Admissions Tutor for ECS, says: “We hope that by offering this Summer School we were able to engage the students in the subjects, inspire them to apply for a university place and open their eyes to the exciting breadth of careers a degree from ECS can lead to.”
One participant, Johanna from Dorset thanked the Summer School team, saying: “I think I can echo what everyone else is saying. Thank you so much to everyone that helped organise this and gave me the most amazing University experience; I am definitely doing a Bachelors in Computer Science!”
During the week the University of Southampton also welcomed a Computing and Microelectronics course from the Smallpeice Trust, sponsored by ARM. The course was open to 50 students from across the UK who had recently completed GCSEs or their first year of A-Levels.
ECS hosted the course and led the course content alongside Student Robotics, an independent organisation which runs robotics competitions for students. As part of the course, participants built and programmed (using Python) autonomous robots for an end-of-course competition. Students also attended lectures and toured the ECS facilities.
Attending the Computing and Microelectronics course was Professor William Webb who interacted with the students and delivered a speech at the last-night formal dinner. An alumnus of the university and Visiting Professor at ECS, William Webb is the President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Next year’s ECS residential course will run from 25 to 29 July 2016. To find out more, or for any enquiries, visit www.summerschool.ecs.soton.ac.uk.