St Hugh's College, Oxford is running an essay competition in memory of author Mary Renault (best known for her novels set in ancient Greece) for sixth form students who are not studying Greek or Latin to A level or equivalent.
Essays can be from any subject area and should be on a topic relating to the reception of classical antiquity. This includes Greek and Roman literature, history, political thought, philosophy, and material remains in any period from the Middle Ages to the present.
“We are here to tell you about science and its endless connections to our lives. Each month we choose a single topic. And each Thursday we publish a new chapter on that topic online. Each issue combines the sciences, culture and philosophy into a single story told by the world’s leading thinkers and writers. We follow the story wherever it leads us. Read our essays, investigative reports, and blogs. Fiction, too. Take in our games, videos, and graphic stories. Stop in for a minute, or an hour. Nautilus lets science spill over its usual borders. We are science, connected.”
Here are just a few links to articles in different subjects:
In this series of illuminating podcasts, you can hear leading social scientists present their perspectives on how our social world is created, and how social science can help us understand people and how they behave. Each podcast includes a downloadable written transcript of the conversation.
The Science of Life is a competition inviting 16-19 year olds to design and complete their own physiology research project, with the help of an academic mentor, and present their findings to scientists at The Physiological Society. With the Olympics in 2016, they're particularly interested in projects on improving sports performance, although projects on any physiological topic are welcome.
• Gold prize will be a Train Like a Champion Day at an English Institute of Sport centre, during which the winners will find out what makes a champion athlete and meet the people who support athletes, including physiologists, doctors and psychologists.
• Silver and Bronze prizes include a free visit to the Royal Veterinary College and £200 Amazon gift vouchers for the students.
• The winning schools will also receive some great prizes.
Getting those first words on the page when you’ve got an essay to write can seem daunting. There are a few useful tools and guides online that can help you get started and even develop your essay writing skills.
Essay Map is a very straightforward tool for mapping out your key ideas before you begin writing and helps you to create a structured plan from introduction to conclusion.
And if you find graphic plans useful when it comes to mapping out essays, there are lots of different designs online that you can use to organise your ideas.
What has research in space done for life on Earth? Credit: Sweetie187
If you are interested in Biology and Medicine, take a moment to think about Space Biology. It may well be something that you've not thought about before, but do you think that Space can and should be studied from a biological persepctive? How and why? What sorts of things might you study if you were looking at Space in this way?
Big Picture is a free Wellcome Trust magazine for sixth form students interested in Biology and Medicine - do have a look at this issue on Space Biology:
Lucinda, an Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic student at Christ’s College, Cambridge, shares her thoughts on her undergraduate dissertation which asks: To what extent did the Anglo-Saxon Church condemn contemporary medical practices, and for what reasons?
She writes that “Although very niche, the Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic degree (or Tripos as it’s known in Cambridge) allows very flexible study in the range of papers it offers. Students can choose to focus on purely literature and language or on history, or as is most popular, they can mix the two together. Students have two opportunities to write a dissertation: it is optional in Second Year (Part I of the Tripos), and compulsory in Third (Part II). The beauty of the dissertation is that it allows you to either expand on an area you've already studied or to tackle something new which isn't covered in lectures or supervisions. For my Part II dissertation I chose the route of challenging myself with something I knew nothing about: Anglo-Saxon medicine.”
Even if you’re too far away to attend an event, or don’t have the free time to sign up for events going on nearby, there are some fantastic resources online to let you catch up with things you might have missed!
So if you didn't catch the “The Art of Science and Curation” series which took place at the Faculty of Classics in Cambridge last year, recordings of its seminars are still available online. You can listen to perspectives on objects in museums from Archaeologists, Historians, Curators, Art Historians – even Librarians.
In many of the courses taught at Cambridge, the Faculty lectures you attend are designed to open up and expand your critical perspective on the topics you are studying, as well as furthering your factual knowledge. You can then explore ideas and specific examples further in your reading and thinking, and through writing your weekly essays, then discussing them with your supervisors (see how you are taught).
As an example, three Cambridge lecturers in Music have written about one of the most famous twentieth-century chamber works from three very different angles.
If you are interested in studying Computer Science at university, it is good to build up a broad background understanding of issues in computer science. There's nothing specific that you have to read (a range of useful books are available so do browse your local library), but if you're looking for a suggestion, this is an excellent collection of accessible and relevant articles:
A Kee Dewdney, The (new) Turing Omnibus (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
You can have a quick look inside the book on the Amazon website if that helps, and some useful exercises are included at the end of chapters. Do try them!
As soon as you start reading about the Cambridge Computer Science course, you will notice that mathematics is a required subject to be studying at school (and Further Maths is recommended if you have the opportunity to take it). Fluency in maths is essential for computer scientists, not only for formal proofs, but also because maths is the language used to describe almost every aspect of the subject. A second good book is therefore: