extremely impressive bridges out of paper and glue, all of which succeeded in bearing the minimum weight set by the teacher. At one particularly perilous point, four students gathered around to hold the bridge carefully while the glue was setting: it was wonderful to see everyone getting on so well and working together so seamlessly. The enthusiasm that the students already show is great to see, and many lecturers have noticed how they always seem to bring up things that they have learned independently!
Luckily, the typically temperamental weather was kind to us and our students were able to go to the beautiful paddock at Downing College for the long-anticipated volleyball tournament! This has been a highly requested activity and fostered fun competition and fantastic teamwork between different groups. For some, this was the first time they had played volleyball, so that was lovely to see. Definite improvements were made and everyone enjoyed.
Some students decided to join our tour of bookshops in Cambridge. This was a firm favourite of many of the students (and some of our supervisors – who had never fully explored all the wonderful, tucked away shops that Cambridge has to offer). Obviously well-known for its literary and intellectual might, Cambridge is fantastic for quirky, independent, antique and second-hand bookshops as well as the most up-to-date academic material. As well as serious, studious places, everyone was excited to head over to the eerie Haunted Bookshop with lots of wonderful illustrations – sadly, however, the bookkeeper told us we had just missed the ghost… typical! That always happens!
Some students also tried out the varied taster courses on offer: including Creative Writing, Cybersecurity and AI, Philosophy and Ethics, Community Outreach, and Architecture. Everyone I spoke to said how interesting they had found these courses and how glad they were to participate in the entirely new opportunities on offer!
In the evening, there was a truly inspirational talk about leadership, overcoming challenges and working together by the adventurer Dr. Ed Coats. Incredibly well-qualified, Ed is a titan of mental and physical endurance and hardship, representing Great Britain as an athlete as well as racing 500 miles in -50 degrees to Antarctica! As well as expeditions for charity, Ed also promotes new ways to teach and engage with children. Later on, to wind down from a full, bustling day, there was a relaxed and informative Q+A about university life and what our students could expect. From current Cambridge students to lecturers, everyone left feeling eager and excited.
If you want to see some pictures/videos of all the activities and lessons everyone is getting up to, please head over to our Instagram and tiktok: @reachcambridge