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Beth Martin Nixon recalls how she spent one day during the Easter holidays researching her interests:

We first arrived in Sheffield at around 9am. We had two hours before the day started, so we walked down to Ponds Forge and went swimming. After that we walked up Sheffield Hallam’s Owen Building to meet Harriet, the lady who organised the day for us. There were students there from other schools and they were mainly studying Geography A level.

The first lecture of the day was about dealing with the disease Ebola and the different types of players in the world (Global, National and Local).I found this useful as it was similar to what we had learnt in History about the plague. Dr Gill Miller lead the lecture. She talked about issues within homes too and how women deserve recognition for all the work they do.

We then listened to four students from Sheffield University. They told us about the different types of Geography degrees that the university offered (BA and BSc). The four girls told us that they got to choose which subjects they wanted to study for their dissertations. One girl (Laura) told us that what she was most interested in was food, so she had done her project on food and communities. The girls also told us about the field trips they had been on. These included trips New Zealand, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Spain and Malaysia. The university also has a field study centre in Tanzania that you can go to, to carry out research.

At lunch, we went up to the Heartspace Cafe, in the university. We saw Miss Martin, who had done a placement with us in the Autumn term and was now working at a school in Burnage.

After lunch, we met everyone outside of the Owen Building. We set off on a walk around Sheffield, where we learnt about the urban development of the city. We met a girl from Bristol, called Isla, who we walked with. We visited the Peace Gardens, the site of castle market, Urban Splash and the River Don to see what work was being done to make the cit look more attractive. I found this useful, as I could make comparisons between Sheffield and Manchester, especially looking at the flats on Park Hill which have been regenerated by Urban Splash and attracted more people to live in the city centre. This is what we are currently studying at Geography GCSE.

The last session, was back in the classroom for a workshop about census. Staff from the Office for National Statistics talked to us about how they design the census and make it accessible for all. We learnt that it costs £480 million to collect the census. We discussed if there would be another census after 2021, as all the data can be found from apps that collect information from our phones.

We finished the day by visiting the exhibition stalls. We got to talk to lots of people, including the AQA board, the Swanage Field Trip Centre and Iceland trip organisers. It was interesting as I know that I’ll be going on these trips soon. I also got my picture taken with and elephant. We also got lots of free things, including revision guides, food, posters and stationary, but not as much as Mr Douglas! Overall, it was a fantastic day and I learnt so much. Thank you to Mr Douglas for recommending it! I’m looking forward to going to next year’s conference which is in Manchester.