Ryan Cornwell, a Biomedical Science undergraduate from University of the West of England, joined us for a summer internship. We asked Ryan what he had found most interesting during his time with us, and if there were any other insights he’d be taking back to his studies.
My path to university didn’t follow the ‘standard’ route which most students take. I have a different way of learning which initially gave me real challenges in my education.
Initially I tried A levels and failed. I then went on to excel at my BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science and found the confidence to apply for UWE where I started in 2018. Since then things have really started looking up and I am a lot happier in the way I learn.
I get a lot from my studies and feel I have a real passion for science. However, tutors can occasionally, through no fault of their own, assume that students knowing certain things is a given.
This means I benefit more than most from the Learning Science resources. They give me a way to bridge that gap in knowledge. Of course, my tutors will help when I ask, but it can be embarrassing to admit I sometimes don’t know things most students do.
During my time at Learning Science I’ve really enjoyed helping develop new resources for techniques I’m familiar with and have done in the lab. And, I’ve also had the chance to work on, test and read over techniques and practicals that I haven’t yet done.
This has made the whole experience feel like a fun way to revise. It’s also going to be perfect preparation for some of the practicals I’ll do in following years. I feel like this has given me a real head start, and I’m looking forward to the new academic year even more.
Whilst I’ve been here I’ve seen how Learning Science resources can help students at many levels. The way the simulations and smart worksheets are phrased is extremely clever. Each one is designed in a way that all students will understand. Yet they never feel condescending.
The resources make students really work and think to get to the right results. It’s clearly the best way to get to the learning outcomes students need when combined with lab work, and all the other support we get at university.
This has been one of my first proper experiences of the working world and has given me a good idea of what life might be like after I graduate. One thing that has impressed me at Learning Science is the flexibility people have in their jobs. I expected everyone to have fixed roles. But it isn’t just one person or team making the simulations, another doing all the testing, one doing all the coding, and so on.
Everyone shares the workload, meaning the skills in the office are shared too, and people learn from one another. That’s clearly an important way to keep the team excited about what they do, and in turn that means they continue to make all of these brilliant learning materials. Of course, with hindsight, I now see it’s obvious that a company which cares about helping students learn will also nurture its own people too.
Seeing the coding skills in the team has impressed me. Initially I was surprised that everyone here can code, to different levels, but they all have this skill. This has led me to become interested in coding. I am now looking to build my coding skills as I’ve enjoyed that part of the job so much.
It’s not just the way people work here and seeing new skills like coding that have opened my eyes a little about the world of work. Before I came here, in my head at least, I only really thought of science as having a handful of broad career paths. Research, teaching and professional practice in places like hospitals.
I’d never considered the publishing side, and people like Learning Science who are making tools to help people learn. That said, it’s also apparent that Learning Science aren’t just scientific publishers. The way they phrase the content they create, they openly think through how students learn, avoid oversimplification, and make sure students will ‘get’ the resources they make.
I’ve seen and learned a lot during my short time with Learning Science, and am grateful they have given me the chance to work with them. There is a real passion for science and helping people learn.
That enthusiasm is infectious and I’ll be taking lots of it away with me for my next year at uni.
Thanks for all your help Ryan, it’s been a pleasure to have you join us at Learning Science.
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