Over 80 Year 10 students from the Sheffield Outreach and Access to Medicine Scheme (SOAMS) visited the University on 22 October 2010, to take part in the Input Team Building Challenge Day, which aims to strengthen the pupils decision-making and team building skills.
Participants worked with a visiting team of experts from Input, as well as student ambassadors from the University who are currently studying for a degree in medicine.
Experts from Input introduced the pupils to the principles of the engineering behind the creation of various structures such as the Eden Project. Pupils then worked in teams of six with the student ambassadors to build their own shelters. They were provided with paper tubes (instead of steel) which enabled them to connect in almost the same way as real structures.
The finished structures were then judged on the day by University and Input staff and a prize was awarded to the team deemed to produce the most structurally robust shelter.
Sheffield´s Outreach and Access to Medicine Scheme (SOAMS), which is run by the University´s Outreach and Access Section, aims to make a career in medicine a real possibility for students from all backgrounds. The scheme offers support and guidance to local Year 9-13 students through an activity-packed programme over five years.
Sophie Kentzer, aged 14 from All Saints School in Sheffield, said: “It´s been great fun working in teams today and meeting new people. I really want to study medicine in the future and the activities we take part in on the SOAMS course have been a lot of fun and given me the skills I think I´ll need for this.”
Amy Horton, Outreach Officer at the University of Sheffield, said: “The SOAMS scheme aims to encourage students to raise their aspirations to study medicine. The activities on offer are designed to ensure that students are given the motivation and resources to fulfil their potential. The challenge day is just one of these activities. By working together as a team, the students learn valuable communication attributes, which we hope will equip them with the necessary skills to succeed in the medical profession.”
Notes for Editors: Input is a national organisation which seeks to support the development of the next generation of highly qualified science and technology personnel. It runs a programme of engineering problem solving activities targeted at students, teachers, schools and industry.
The University´s Outreach and Access section organises similar schemes and events throughout the region in order to develop pupils´ interests in going to university as part of its commitment to widen participation in higher education.
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