Cambridge University is, of course, renowned across the world. Fewer people, however, are acquainted with the second university in Cambridge: Anglia Ruskin, itself a notable institution in its own right, ranked in the world’s top 350 universities. It was to the Cambridge campus of Anglia Ruskin that the ORA students in Clare College travelled on Thursday. The morning was spent in lessons in Anglia Ruskin’s rooms, furthering their deepening understanding of their subjects.
In the afternoon, this understanding was applied to the ‘real world’ by experts, professionals who have spent their careers in areas not normally taught in schools. By far the most popular Insight Masterclass was the forensic science workshop, to which students were greeted by the sight of a constructed crime scene, watched over by bodysuit-clad investigators. During the workshop, the instructors taught about the process by which a crime scene would be broken down and a perpetrator identified: of especial interest to many was the difference between fingerprints, that staple of detective TV shows, and fingermarks, as they are referred to by forensic investigators. Fingerprints are taken by the police, while marks are found left on shards of glass or bullet casings at the scene.
The other workshop involved the fundamentals of motion and aerodynamics. Students were introduced to the concept of a fan-driven car and given the chance to try building their own, which was a fascinating and tricky task.
In the evening, students were confused to be told that the film night, one of the activity options, was in fact compulsory. All became clear, however, when a cake and candles were brought in, and the ‘compulsory activity’ turned out in fact to be a 16th birthday party.
The evening celebrations rounded off a lovely day, and students were so eager to repeat it the next day that they asked for an early bedtime, in order to be prepared for the academic trips tomorrow.