On Monday 20 January, Year 11 and Lower Sixth computer scientists visited the University of Southampton for a taster day. On arrival, we were met by a lecturer and fourth year MA Electronics student, who took us to a very large computer lab which was our base for the session. It was really interesting to see university students working on their projects and collaborating with each other around us as we received instructions for our task and set to work. We were given ‘breadboards’ and a number of electrical components including LEDs, resistors and microcontrollers. With some guidance, we all managed to construct a motion detector which we then proceeded to develop into a heartbeat sensor, similar to those found in smart watches.
It was difficult, but all our students were resilient and overcame the various obstacles to get the circuits working correctly. Afterwards we were given a tour of the university (including a quick stop for hot chocolate!) and saw the library, fantastic sports facilities and union. Our guides were very knowledgeable about the university and gave excellent advice on what to include on personal statements and pre-requisites for various courses. It was very useful and we all had a highly enjoyable day, which we hope to repeat in future years for other budding computer science graduates!
Mr Tom Rattle, Head of Computer Science