Cardiff Metropolitan University opened its doors to more than 50 students from nearby Fitzalan High School last week for a unique two day Science programme. Pupils conducted a number of experiments in the university's laboratories and gained an insight into university life; with a tour of the Llandaff campus and advice from a range of academic staff on career pathways available to Science graduates.
The two day outreach programme was designed by Cardiff Met's School of Health Sciences to support the school science curriculum and provide young people with an opportunity to experience first-hand, studying and socialising in a university environment.
The School of Health Sciences offers a wide range of programmes in the Health Sciences and Social Care areas. Of specific interest to those pupils attending this two day programme are courses such as the BSc (Hons) Health, Exercise and Nutrition programme, the IBMS accredited BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science programme and the Foundation leading to BSc Health Sciences programme.
Cardiff School of Health Sciences also offers a Welsh Government funded BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science programme which is unique in Wales. It sees final year students automatically registered as Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) practitioners upon graduation.
Dr Cathryn Withycombe, Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff School of Health Sciences said: "We were delighted to welcome pupils from Fitzalan High School to Cardiff Met – it was great to see their enthusiasm working through the experiments and to hear the positive comments from them over the two days.
"We really want to highlight that there is a lot more to science than medicine. The areas of specialism and the career opportunities are very wide ranging and school pupils are not always aware of the options open to them.
"Many of our programmes are professionally accredited and provide excellent career opportunities. Our graduates go on to fulfil careers in a huge range of areas in medicine, research, food safety management, environmental health, medical sales, nutrition etc."
"We feel that students take a lot from the experience and benefit greatly from both the knowledge of our staff and students and the opportunity to work in a professionally run lab.
"The group had great fun on their first day testing swabs from their nose, their hands, and beansprouts, which they examined the following day to observe microbial growth".
"We have fantastic facilities here at Cardiff Met and we are a very research active school. The students have had an opportunity to hear from a number of academics across the various disciplines about current research projects and wider career prospects."
Sixteen year old Asrar Mohamed was one of the visiting students. She will be applying for a place at university next year. She said: "It has been great to
come to a university and get a taste of how independent you have to be. Next
week I am going for work experience in a hospital lab, and so with this and my
experience I am really seeing the skills I will need."
Hannah Bird, Head of Science at Fitzalan High School said: "We are very grateful to Cardiff Met for offering this opportunity to our students. Many of our pupils were completely unaware that such fantastic facilities existed on their doorstep.
"Our pupils were able to
experience lab work and higher education, and it is a good taster for them to find out how being an undergraduate will feel. Many of our
previous students are current students of Cardiff Met on the biomedical science
course, so it is great for the students to see what their peers are doing now.
"The timing is perfect because our students are just filling in their UCAS
applications and next week they go for work experience. This event will help them as they begin to plan their futures."