I gave a design course to 9 Year 12 STEM pupils. For both them and myself, it seemed like a challenge at the beginning as the two fields are very different. But I soon realised that it was a great facilitator to enhance the pupils’ strengths and develop their areas for improvement. For example, the pupils realised how rapidly they could get an idea of a brand new concept from reading and apply the knowledge in analysing a case. They also had to write essays in an academic style, which was not a familiar task for them. Finally all of them passed the course with high standard outputs, which made them feel much more confident to apply for university. In general, they enjoyed the experience of small group interaction, learning a new subject, trying to think and comprehend by themselves and by discussing with peers, and trying to look for additional knowledge to support their learning. They told me that they really enjoyed the course as they learnt new knowledge, saw their own capability more clearly, became more confident, and felt freer to think independently.

For myself, I really believe that education is crucial and should be fair in a society. So the core value of the Brilliant Club itself is motivating enough for me to take part. I didn’t have any teaching experience before, so it was actually an opportunity to see if I can and if I like to do it. The answer I think are yes and yes ? It was very inspiring to learn principles of how to teach properly, too. The experiences of in-class discussions with pupils was sparkling, which I did not have much during my earlier student life.

Also, it was such a pleasure to read their essays along the course as I could clearly see them trying their best to adopt my advice and make great progress. It was also a pleasure to work with the Brilliant Club. I have been impressed with their positive attitude and true motivation for what they are doing. I also have the feeling that my efforts were recognised and I could get support if I needed. Practically, the training weekend and other support they gave were very helpful for both designing the course and interacting with pupils. They also organised university visits and a mock graduation ceremony, which are also great ideas, because they can give the pupils a taste of a true university experience.

The whole exprience of participating in the scholar’s programme was fulfilling and inspiring. I feel that I did something useful for a good purpose and also had the chance to assess and improve myself.

Yi Wu is a third year PhD student examining Ideas Generation in Design. Her Brilliant Club course was called ‘How to generate good ideas? Be a design researcher’.

The PGR Studio have been working closely with The Brilliant Club to recruit and train BCU PhD students and postdoctoral researchers as Brilliant Club tutors. We currently run two recruitment events a year. More information on The Brilliant Club can be found here.

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