After a morning of lessons, students had to sharpen up their minds yesterday afternoon to take on some unusual challenges and ideas in the Insight Masterclasses. Much-anticipated, the Masterclasses saw external professionals come to Clare College to lead workshops in subjects that are generally not looked at in schools, or which put into practice aspects of thought that are useful in multiple areas.
In a journalism Masterclass, held in the Library Common Room, students were put through their writing paces, learning about the synthesis of multiple pieces of information, and how that information is collated from different sources. Journalism is vital in a democracy -it is through journalism that power is held to account- and the insight into how it is conducted was fascinating.
In a forensic investigation class, taking place in the Bennett Room, similar skills were employed to piece together lots of small details in the reconstruction of a crime scene. Students were encouraged to consider different aspects, motivations and apparently insignificant facts in deciphering what really happened. Some thought they had the murderer pinned down and ready to be hauled into court, while others more circumspectly suggested that more evidence was required.
In the marquee, meanwhile, students brought their knowledge of physics and forces to bear, creating fan-powered cars that could move as quickly and as far as possible. Aerodynamic flows, momentum and weight distribution were all considered: and, though it is fair to say that none of the fan-powered cars will be taking on a Mercedes or even, perhaps, a mobility scooter anytime soon, it was a very interesting workshop.
After dinner, students had the chance to watch Hamlet in the beautiful outdoor setting of the St John’s College Fellows’ Gardens; back in Clare College, some students prepared for tonight’s party by making masks for the Carnival-themed extravaganza. We can’t wait!