Teens given practical view of university life
Teenagers in Surrey have been creating their own animated films and pieces of jewellery during special workshops at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), to find out what life might be like at university.
The groups from Skillway, a charity based in Godalming which aims to raise the self-esteem and motivation of teenagers, and STAR, a school inclusion scheme in Milford, were given access to UCA's cutting-edge facilities during one-day taster sessions in March.
Eight students from Skillway made stop-motion animations in the same studios as students that have gone on to win Oscars and BAFTA awards, while ten young people from STAR made rings from solid pieces of silver in UCA's silversmithing workshops.
Skillway student Keith Sparkes, who is 14 and from Guildford, said: "I thought university would be boring but it's not. I didn't know you could do something as fun as animation as a course - it's definitely something I'm interested in now."
Connor Mason, who is 14 and from Guildford, said: "After watching cartoons growing up, I never thought I'd get the chance to make my own animation. I think it's a good idea to give people an insight into how things are made."
Sophia Lewis, 14, from Guildford, said: "It's been fun to make the characters for the animation and do something creative. I want to be a film director and I'm definitely interested in going to UCA to study."
Jon Taylor, assistant workshop manager at Skillway, said: "This has been a great experience for our students because they've been given the opportunity to try something new, worked as a team and understood that that they only get out of this what they put into it."
The youngsters from STAR also enjoyed the experience of silversmithing where they each made a ring.
Georgia Durrant, 15, from Farncombe, said: "It's been a great experience because I've never made anything like this before. It makes me feel good knowing that I've made something which is worth more money after I've finished making it."
Luke Smith, 15, from Guildford, said: "I've always been interested in creative things but I didn't think about going to university and doing it there until today. I also liked how much fun and relaxed the environment is here so I'll definitely look into doing photography or media."
Oz Brown, a project worker at STAR, said: "We want our youngsters to experience things rather than just hearing about them - some people need to live, see and do something before they take it in.
"I'm not expecting them all to go on to become jewellers after this but I think the experience of being a student here for a day has been of real benefit so they can see what possibilities are out there."
Penny Laslett, UCA's Access & Outreach Coordinator, said: "These workshops are a fantastic introduction to university life for youngsters of all ages.
"The sessions are practical, fun and produce a fantastic outcome such as an animation, radio show or silver ring, so they boost self-esteem and raise the aspirations of those who attend."
The Widening Participation team at UCA actively wants to collaborate with local schools and projects with similar schemes. Contact email@example.com for more information.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939