Y10 The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme
Monday 13th March
Y10 The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme
A group of Year 10 students were recently given the opportunity to take part in The Scholars Programme which is an academic programme run by The Brilliant Club.
The programme was structured around seven tutorials with a PhD tutor who shared their subject knowledge and passion for learning. Although university may not be for everyone, The Scholars Programme gave them an experience of university learning to help them make an informed decision.
As part of The Scholars Programme, they:
- Studied with a PhD tutor, in small groups, to experience university-style learning
- Researched a subject outside of the usual school curriculum, learning an exciting new topic whilst developing valuable academic skills such as essay writing and critical thinking
- Completed a challenging final assignment, which was marked using a university-style mark scheme
- Learned more about university life through university visits for the Launch and Graduation Event
During the Graduation Event, which took place at the University of Sheffield on the 21st February, two of our students Raya and Ronan, stood before their peers and spoke about their experience:
For The Scholars Programme, I had Harry as my tutor and the topic I researched was: Infectious Disease – How can we prevent future pandemics? I believe that the foremost factor about The Scholars Programme was that it uncovered to us, at the earliest opportunity, the experience of further and higher education, and what it would entail eg the need to drill down and find what other accomplished scholars had found in our own particular field of study.
It also offered a unique experience to what we are used to in school, especially in the need to become a more independent learner and researcher. The clear need for change in independence and resilience was challenging, however, it was useful as it certainly did lead to a development in my confidence. I became more resilient with my work, and this came from pushing myself to try and continue to accomplish the tasks set by my tutor. Initially this was difficult but was conquered by my constant perseverance and dedication to the task and I am proud to say…. I did it.
For my final assignment, I had to complete an essay alongside a series of problem set questions. Here is a section from my essay, which highlights what the topic was like.
‘A disease is an ailment that has the potential to make someone vulnerable to illness in the short, medium and long term. Infectious disease models are used to show how disease spreads within a fixed parameter with respect to time. With some certainty, infectious disease modelling has played a vital role in removing infectious diseases from society’
In my opinion, the best thing about The Scholars Programme was finally completing the final assignment and the pride you feel when you have probably finished the most significant piece of work you might have done.
One thing I found challenging was starting off with the first tutorial, but I overcame it by asking for support from my tutor and the people who did it with me. I appreciated how we all found it difficult at the start, but we were all in the same boat. We all supported each other when we could.
This is the conclusion of my essay into Infectious Disease – How can we prevent future pandemics?
‘In terms of Covid-19, I believe that infectious disease modelling has played a vital role throughout society for many years. Looking at the example of small pox, and rinderpest (cattle plague), I believe they would not have been eradicated without mathematical infectious disease modelling.
Future mathematical modelling will be essential to deepen our knowledge of infectious diseases and will help scientists to tackle pandemics in the future. It proved to have been crucial in our current pandemic to decide when to introduce lockdowns and lift them by, for example, make the R0 value less or equal to 1.
Vaccinations played a big role in supressing the Covid-19 global pandemic. The decision to produce vaccinations has been taken due to the mathematical modelling of infectious diseases. The efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccinations is shown by the Google News statistics showing how Covid-19 cases substantially decreased from the start of 2022, which is around the time that vaccination doses increased significantly.
This shows how infectious disease modelling has greatly impacted the behaviour of Covid-19, and explains the significant short time from the first confirmed case, to the time it took to immunise 50% of the global population (1 year) compare to Polio (80 years)’.