During the first England lockdown in the Spring of 2020, Harper Adams partnered with Skillsupply to further the existing work of the Outreach team, helping children to access a route into higher education.
Together with Skillsupply, Widening Participation Officer Rachel Brookes helped to create a course for selected secondary schools and colleges that have an existing close working relationship with the university. Based around coding, the course was entirely online throughout the summer.
Talking about the course, Rachel said: “The course places were snapped up during lockdown by really eager students, which was so wonderful to see.”
To claim their place, schools interested in developing access to STEM subjects simply had to apply directly to Harper Adams. All 50 students that applied got a place on the course across ten schools in the West Midlands.
Accessing the online course, students were also sent a physical 'crumble' kit which included all the materials needed to create the projects and learn the theory.
The course was taught in five blocks and students were tasked with working towards making and submitting their own projects which can be seen in the video below. Once completed they receive a certificate for their work.
On the success of the course, Rachel commented: “The students have been working through the course during lockdown and some students have created remarkable projects based on their learning of 'crumble' programming via the online course.
“A few students have told us that they are using this experience within their UCAS personal statement for their application to study Engineering at University. This is exactly the outcome we wished for, that students have been inspired enough to use their learning and talent in a STEM based project to take it further in their education.
“We are now looking at ways to expand the project further, including in school sessions.”
For further information on the work of the Outreach team, click here.