University of Exeter supports Year 11 with GCSE masterclasses 30th March 2017

Students in Year 11 were invited to a series of masterclass sessions focussed on GCSE Science and Maths, hosted by academic staff from The University of Exeter. These sessions gave them the chance to sharpen their skills and ask questions ahead of the upcoming summer exams.

In the first session, they took a look at Maths (and Physics) in the Arts with Dr Mitch Berger of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences . From Star Wars, to Interstellar, students took on challenging mathematical problems to explore the reality behind well known film phenomena, including time-travel. They also took a closer look at classic & modern art to demonstrate symmetry and tried out some mathematical transformations.

” I learnt and reinforced things that we need to know for Biology GCSE.”


In the second session, students put their ‘essence in a bottle’, extracting their own DNA in an exciting practical led by Dr Andrew Griffiths of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Along the way they were tested on their knowledge of cell biology and the structure and function of human genes. Dr Griffiths introduced the group to his fascinating research in Molecular Biology, from DNA testing common fish products, to looking at genetic relationships between organisms.

“It broadened my knowledge on the subjects we study. I feel the knowledge I have now will help me in understanding my A level subjects” .

Lastly, students learned how researchers study the function of the brain and got an insight into medicine, in a session led by Crawford Winlove, a lecturer in Neuroscience at the Exeter Medical School. They even tried out actual tests used to assess brain function in patients with dementia for themselves, working out how to ensure the validity of their results. Generating Genius Founder & CEO, Dr Tony Sewell, CBE also joined in the fun.

Tony and Salimah doing dementia tests

Through actual medical case studies, students discussed the effects of lifestyle choices on the human brain and how neuroscience research is helping to develop better treatments for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Caroline and lecturer

“”A very good workshop. Interesting, fun & challenging. Loved it!”

We thank all of the staff from the University of Exeter who made these sessions possible and look forward to continuing the partnership . Our Future Talent students look forward to visiting the Streatham campus open day later this summer.