Thursday was not a day for the faint of heart. In their Insight Masterclasses this afternoon, the part of the week in which external experts come to give the students a taste of a particular field, students got to grips with the stockbroking profession (a famously cut-throat industry); forensic investigation (in which many cut-throats feature); zoology (admittedly without cut-throats, but with tarantulas so large that some students had to leave the room); and coding (which after the other activities, looks extremely civilised).
Despite the relative heat, with temperatures rising to nearly thirty degrees Celsius under a balmy sun, lessons continued apace in the morning before the afternoon’s hands-on workshops. The workshops, long looked forward to, were action-packed when they arrived. In the stockbroking challenge, students were called upon to respond quickly to shifting market events in real time, representing different businesses and industries on a virtual broking floor. It was a tremendously exciting event: heads were in hands at more than one moment, wild gesticulations flew, and heated discussion could be heard in every corner of the room even above the pulsing music, which gave the event a hint of The Wolf of Wall Street. Team 7 (Francisca, Tim, Mahe, Nicola, and Jalal) emerged from the room victorious.
In a nearby lecture theatre, a CSI workshop led students on a breakdown of several crime scenes. In addition to reconstructing imagined scenes, which students would then decipher to follow due practice and establish the known evidence, there were also walkthroughs of famous recent investigations, most notably those of the Oscar Pistorius case and the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in France.
Elsewhere, students got hands-on with insects and animals in the zoolab, prompting heart-in-mouth moments for students uncertain around spiders; and in another classroom, students took on chaos coding, learning the fundamentals of basic computer language.
In the evening, there was the chance to play rounders in University Parks, or to watch Kingsman: The Secret Service (a film in which more than a few British landmarks were now recognisable!). There was also an African drumming workshop, greatly enjoyed― a game in which the students beat the drums, maracas, and tambourines to guide another to a hidden object was especially fun.