The Discovery Project runs for young people with ASD, between the ages of 14 and 19, who have the potential to go to university. Through a residential summer school, at the end of the academic year, they have the opportunity to experience student life in a safe and supported environment. This year the Discovery Summer School ran from the 13th to 14th of July and saw 32 young people experience being a student in a University environment.
Based at Cardiff University’s University Halls of Residence, pupils were placed in flats together along with Student Ambassadors who are current university undergraduates. This gives pupils a chance to ask our undergraduates about their studies and their life as a student. After getting to know their flatmates, pupils spent the afternoon on campus in an inspirational Business workshop delivered by Big Ideas Wales about how to start a business. Then, true to university life, pupils were given money to budget for a food shop to cook an evening meal and to make breakfast the next day. Once they had cooked, everyone could relax playing sports, computer games or board games in the social space.
The following day they visited Cardiff University’s Queen’s Buildings to take part in some science and engineering sessions. The interactive engineering workshops allowed pupils to get to grips with some of the equipment used in hydraulics and mechanics. After a quick lunch in Cardiff city centre, an Astrophysics session revealed all, well quite a lot about the stars and their properties. The summer school ended with a mini-graduation to celebrate their success where pupils were presented with certificates of attendance in front of family and friends.