Summer School Extravaganza!

The Darwin Summer School cohort - including Group Leaders, Ambassadors, workshop facilitators and Mascots!

On the week of the 19th July The Manchester Museum was taken over by 58 Gifted and Talented Key Stage 3 students from a variety of Manchester schools in order to take part in our Darwin Summer School. This consisted of five days of frenzied activity where participants were split into four groups entrusted with the task of creating a presentation to voice their ideas for our new Animal Life 1 Gallery due to be redeveloped in September to become Living Planet.

Each group had a theme, a team leader, two University student ambassadors and a team mascot to cheer them on. During the week the students got involved in a myriad of activity –discussions on their topics, science experiments, mural painting, making museum displays, creating campaign posters and being a Springbeak bird in our Clippy Island workshop. They also visited the University John Rylands Library to do research and got to discover how much choice there is if they do choose to attend University later in their life.

Image, Winners of our Darwin Summer School Mascots with our Director who presented the awards

The aim of the week was to allow students to explore their personal, learning and thinking skills and create opportunities for them to demonstrate cooperative working, communication and leadership abilities within each group. Prizes were awarded at the end of the week for each group’s “Best Team Player”, their “most improved member” and “the member most deserving of the group mascot”. I’ve never seen anyone so pleased to win a giant cuddly bear!

The skills and abilities developed and nurtured throughout the week were clearly highlighted in their final presentations, which were the best we have ever seen on a Summer School here at The Manchester Museum. From inspirational slogans or mottos and an improvised scene from Dr. Who to a 3D computerised gallery design and a very impactful videos – these students gave us a LOT to consider for the redevelopment.

One thought on “Summer School Extravaganza!

  1. I helped out on two of the days and was so impressed by how many fantastic ideas were flying around the museum. The students experienced such a breadth of activity over the week and you could feel the confidence and excitement building day by day. I was mainly at the Nature’s Palette session which looked into the science and cultural meanings behind what us humans know as colour. There were some brilliant questions like: Is black a colour? Why does a wasp have stripes? And can animals see the same colours as us? And, thanks to Alexa, we all know the answers!

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