In January, a work experience student, Elliott, from Sir Robert Pattinson Academy joined us for a week of work experience. Elliott experienced what it would be like to be a student studying Physics by attending some lectures, and helped our technician prepare the laboratory for the undergraduate lab sessions. Elliott also helped us to test some of our new first year experiment scripts and gave some very useful feedback!
Here’s what he had to say about his week:
As a Y12 Sixth Form student wanting to eventually go to university, I decided some form of work experience at a university would be best for me; it would allow me to experience university life, traversing the campus and visit the certain labs that I would see taking some form of Physics.
This turned out to be a fantastic decision. Although the campus scope and the level of independence the university atmosphere emitted was immensely daunting, my supervisor helped me traverse parts of the campus I didn’t know and I soon became accustomed to travelling around the Isaac Newton Building – which I spent most of work experience at.
Since I chose to work in the physics department, I was able to see and use some of the incredible equipment and apparatus that you wouldn’t see at A-level, or GSCE studies- my position as a technician let me operate a lot of this equipment- an electron microscope being a highlight. I spent my time with this equipment practising 1st year practical experiments and giving feedback to my supervisor on the clarity of the scripts in order to help these students. Some of the experiments I tested, I got to see applied by the students when I assisted in setting up multiple apparatus in the physics labs: one example being an experiment involving a variable ‘g’ pendulum which would show gravity’s effects on the pendulum at different angles between the Y and X axis and another being the refraction of a laser through different material densities, like air, or acrylic. Between practical work, I also got to experience some of my supervisor’s lectures on physics, which (despite not having all the knowledge to follow along without fear of shattering my skull) felt much more like an A-level classroom environment and was a pleasant time overall.
The working environment was incredibly relaxed with my lunch hour being able to be taken at any point in the day (with many cafes across the campus, by the way) along with my supervisor’s fantastic support provided there was little worry each day and the only worry came from remembering where the toilets and exits were.
To those considering going to university and/or looking for a casual and insightful work experience, I would heavily recommend contacting the head of one of these fantastic departments at Lincoln Uni for whatever subject you may be interested in- I was very tempted to help in the LPAD (Lincoln Performing Arts Department)- and see how you can spend your time to help them and experience the University environment.