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Master Class for Students Offers Insight into University Life

Two students gained an insight into studying science at degree level after joining a master class at the University of Cambridge.

Mason Hoath and Joanna Steczynska, who are in Year 11, attended the three-day course at Pembroke College with other students from across the region.

They took part in a physics workshop themed around telescopes and the universe, before listening to a debate about physicist and astronomer Galileo. Students learned about the challenges and animosity he faced when he tried to advocate heliocentrism - the notion that planets and Earth revolve around the sun, as opposed to Earth being at the centre.

Students also enjoyed a formal dinner at the college campus and attended a chemistry lesson on spectroscopy (the study of the interaction between matter and radiated energy). They visited the botanic gardens in Cambridge as well as three museums, including the University Museum of Zoology.

Mason, who is taking physics and chemistry A Levels, said the whole trip provided a real insight into university life and how science is taught at this level.

He said: "To actually see it first-hand and be treated like a student by partaking in some of the things they do really gives you a better look at how things work at university.

"It was also interesting to go to the Museum of Zoology because the skeletons on display show you how much creatures have evolved over time.

"During the workshops, we used the knowledge we'd learnt at school and put it into practice in a different way. We did some brain teasers which helped to develop my problem-solving and team work skills."