The students, who have been completing the Access to Higher Education: Science and Access to Higher Education: Medical Careers courses at Truro College, have been working on their independent practical project all year, so the presentations are a result of many hours hard work.
The topic of each project was up to each student, resulting in very passionate presentations on subjects the students cared deeply about. Each presentation was only 10 minutes long so time was tight to get their findings across, giving the judges a clear look at the students' understanding of their topic, presentation skills and ability to be concise and clear.
Joining the panel this year were Dr Crawford Winlove from Exeter Medical School and Piran Clark from the Royal Cornwall Hospital. The panel spoke very highly of all those that took part and were extremely impressed by the high standard of presentations and the enthusiasm shown throughout the day.
Each year, the panel awards a gold, silver and bronze certificate to the three students who perform particularly well in all areas. The standard was extremely high and the judges found it difficult to narrow it down. However, after much deliberation, Rhys Sycamore was awarded the gold certificate and a £20 Amazon voucher, with Cameron Barber receiving silver and Emily Bland the bronze.
Gold winner Rhys found the day to be a blend of fun and nerves, saying: "I really enjoyed it although I absolutely dreaded the presentation."
Leading up to and on the day of the presentation, I was so nervous about the thought of presenting my project. On reflection, there was nothing to fear.
"I strongly believe it was such a good tool for advancing and preparing myself for the possibility of presentations at university."
Jolene Hogan, the Access to HE coordinator and Science and Medical Careers courses leader at the College, said of the presentations: "Learners collect evidence from a wide range of sources on their chosen topic and formulate a research question and hypothesis. After collecting and analysing the data, and taking into account the body of scientific literature they have amassed, they must formulate a verdict as to what extent they are able to answer the research question and explain the results. They reflect on the methodology and consider the reliability and validity of the project."
All of this improves the learners' confidence, resilience and time management skills, and leaves Access student extremely well-prepared for studying a science related degree in a higher education setting.