Lancaster University

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Getting a Headstart in Lancaster

07/07/2005 16:17:04

Students interested in pursuing a career in Computer Science got a taste of student life this week at Lancaster University’s Intel sponsored Headstart course.

Fourteen students attended a series of lectures and workshops at Lancaster University’s Computing Department to give them a taste of a Computer Science university degree. The theme of Ubiquitous Computing was used to demonstrate the creative and multi-faceted world of ICT (Information and Communication Technology). The Departments of Engineering, Communication Systems and Management Science also contributed with lectures and workshops demonstrating how the disciplines are related. The sessions explored key technologies such as the engineering of embedded sensors, wireless communication and associated programming challenges, aspects of human interaction and also a session on innovation and E-Business.

Throughout the course the students worked in teams to design a Ubiquitous Computer System in one of four environments: the school classroom, the home, the underpass bus stop, the mobile phone. James Scott from Intel together with Gordon Blair, Head of Computing Department judged the teams and awarded the winning team of four an Ipod Shuffle each. “I was very impressed by the exceptional standard of all the teams’ work,” said James Scott, Intel. “It has been a pleasure to sponsor a scheme which encourages such enthusiastic and talented students.”

The Lancaster University course (4th to 7th July) was overseen by Headstart, a national organisation which provides summer schools at university for hundreds of Year 12/Lower Sixth Form students throughout the UK each year. The courses give students hands on experience of life as a student before making their UCAS choices. It also gives them a rare opportunity to meet recent graduates in a relaxed environment. They also learn about studying for a degree and routes to employment.

The students met other students with similar interests, staff and graduates of the University. They also learned about careers in computer science, how to apply for courses and which universities to approach for their degree course. They also joined in social activities and visited the local area.

Headstart is part of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s BEST programme and offers 30 courses at universities across Britain.

More details can be obtained from the Headstart office by emailing and students can register on line at