Skip to main content
Engineering Residential 2023

Summer Outreach Residentials

Magdalene College proudly hosted two outreach residentials in August 2023, designed to provide prospective applicants from Widening Participation backgrounds with an insight into university life.

On 14 August, 17 aspiring engineers arrived at Magdalene for our Under-Represented Ethnic Groups in Engineering Residential, in partnership with the Department of Engineering.

Activities at the Department of Engineering included lectures on electrical and structural engineering; an independent programming project; a mock group supervision; and an admissions session with Fellow and Director of Studies in Engineering, Dr Richard Roebuck (1994). The participants also took part in a Magdalene College tradition: a challenge to construct and test steam-powered vegetable boats, led by Dr Zach Bond (2012).

Engineering Residential 2023 - steam-powered vegetable boats

Under-Represented Ethnic Groups in Engineering Residential: making steam-powered vegetables with Dr Zach Bond.

Outside of their academic sessions, the attendees received tours of other Cambridge Colleges; experienced a chauffeured punt tour along the College Backs; and enjoyed a formal dinner at Magdalene.

The participants were accompanied by 6 Student Helpers who are current undergraduates in the Department of Engineering – one of whom attended Magdalene’s BME Engineering Residential in 2019.

By the end of the residential, 88% of attendees stated that they were confident that they wished to apply for Engineering at university, and 82% ‘definitely’ felt well-informed about studying at university.

‘I want to say a big thank you to all the staff and student helpers, because they were honestly so kind and approachable, and were always willing to answer questions. They made me feel very welcome and I appreciate it very much.’

– attendee, Under-Represented Ethnic Groups in Engineering Residential, August 2023

‘It was a great, action-packed, and very unforgettable experience for the attendees. I am really glad that I was a part of it!’

– Student Helper, Under-Represented Ethnic Groups in Engineering Residential, August 2023

The following week, Magdalene hosted a further 21 students for the second iteration of the STEM SMART programme, in conjunction with Isaac Physics. The STEM SMART initiative provides subject-specific support for talented state school students through online learning, weekly tutorials, and a 4-day residential at a participating Cambridge College. In 2022, 49% of STEM SMART residential attendees applied to Cambridge for undergraduate study.

21 students from the second STEM SMART cohort stayed at Magdalene College for four nights. The students attended academic sessions at the Cavendish Laboratory, during which they engaged with problem-solving activities relating to Maths, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering.

Outside of their academic sessions, the group were able to experience life in a Cambridge College. Attendees received a tour of the College site, stayed in student accommodation in Cripps Court, and ate meals in Ramsay Hall. The students also enjoyed a chauffeured punt tour along the College Backs and a Formal Hall in Magdalene’s dining hall. Throughout the visit, the students were able to talk to and ask questions of Magdalene Student Ambassadors, who shared their insights about living and studying at Magdalene.

‘The best residential event I have ever experienced! This week has solidified my determination to apply to Cambridge and be more active in STEM SMART supervisions.’

– attendee, STEM SMART Residential at Magdalene College, August 2023