After a successful summer with a flurry of exceptional exam results, packed enrolments, planning and preparation we kicked off our fourth academic year at Liverpool Life Sciences UTC last week. We welcomed our new cohort of Year 10 and Year 12 students, not the only ones feeling a bit nervous and a bit new, but all very excited for the year ahead.
Year 10 kicked off the week in the cinema in true UTC style where they were treated to a sustainable living masterclass from Director of Farm Urban, Dr Paul Myers. Paul gave students the chance to see his amazing TED talk live to introduce the context of our project for the week – sustainable farming. What followed was an immersive introduction to the Floating Garden challenge, a project which challenged students to design and build their own floating farms, similar to those used in the wetlands of Bangladesh to reduce famine and malnutrition during monsoon season. Students then had the chance to get hands on for the remainder of the week spending time in the innovation labs where they explored the science behind floating farms and began to test their ideas in a variety of conditions.
Day two proved to be even more exciting for our new Year 10 cohort as they were invited over to the Liverpool Guild of Students. The Liverpool University Green Guild team took students to visit the rooftop hydro garden, rooftop bee hives and the Guild’s state-of-the-art recycling facilities. The Green Guild team were also on-hand to offer students advice on their floating garden challenge. In the afternoon we returned to the UTC where students set about building their floating gardens.
Students spent their final induction day getting into the swing of life at the UTC, getting their timetables and planners, but also showcasing and testing their models. Staff and students judged each system on its functionality and design. The winning project was showcased in the assembly, with the winner receiving a prize!
Year 12 began their first week with a chance to embrace the specialisms of the UTC through projects around the theme of feeding a growing world. Students looked at the effects of malnutrition, sustainable food production and modification of crops.
Wellbeing was the focus of day two for Year 12 students. Students were treated to a host of workshops and activities, beginning the morning with growth mindset, mindfulness and meditation sessions and explored the science behind wellbeing.
Friday proved to be a busy day for Year 12. In the morning they spent time with the careers team to discuss their plans for the future. In the afternoon students attended the UTC Enrichment Fair where they explored a range of enrichment activities available to them. Following on from the fair students headed over to Constellations for the Year 12 Student Social. Students had an amazing time making new friends. We were also treated to an amazing solo performance from one of our students, as she sang to the whole year!
Principal, Mr Parry reflected on the first week:
“What a beginning. At the end of the first couple of weeks I’ve been blown away by our new students. Talent, enthusiasm, spark. So much more.
But this is just the beginning, the best really is yet to come as they say. Working together, sharing success, sharing failures – learning, making difficult decisions, making progress, reaching and achieving our destinations, it is all ahead of us.
I have loved watching you settle, test us out, find out how and where you fit at the UTC. I’ve loved watching you tackle problems and take to the stage and shine. (Daria, what a voice!). Perhaps most of all, I’ve loved helping you to think about your future and see how your decision to join us here will get you there. And now I can’t wait to help you achieve it.”