After a busy first day, Day 2 of Session 1 of Immerse Education 2019 brought with it new opportunities for learning, a second day exploring Cambridge, and the chance to consolidate on participants’ blossoming friendships. Throughout the day it became clear that, while many participants were still adjusting to the new environment, all had settled into their surroundings and were actively embracing life at Immerse Education.
After another fantastic cooked breakfast in Sidney Sussex dining hall, participants headed to their morning academic sessions where they began to build on their introductory sessions. The Chemistry and Biology students, respectively, continued with their exploration of periodicity and cell biology, while the Medics investigated the structure and function of the heart in preparation for their upcoming dissection classes, and in English Literature the participants engaged with Alexander Pope and his essays on criticism.
Having seen Cambridge from the water of the River Cam the previous day during guided punting tours, a lunchtime guided tour of Cambridge offered participants the opportunity to see the city by foot. Professional tour guides picked out the key sites – the Corpus Clock, King’s College cathedral, the Cambridge market and the Mathematical Bridge – and created a colourful and detailed tapestry of Cambridge history through facts and stories about the University.
Following their afternoon academic sessions, participants were encouraged to try their hand at some British summertime sports. The main spectacle was an introduction to croquet, the quintessential Cambridge summertime pursuit. Participants were taught the rules before being given the opportunity to play for themselves. Also on offer were Ultimate Frisbee and a game of Rounders. Rounders in particular brought out the competitive side of participants, and although serious pitching talent was unearthed in the form of Immerse participant Argent, this was matched by the keen leadership and batting proficiency of Elsa on the opposing team.
After dinner, participants were treated to a lecture at the world-famous Cambridge Union by guest speaker Dr James Borrell, a conservation scientist and science communicator with a passion for adventurous expeditions and conservation fieldwork. After a talk in which James discussed his work on reforestation projects in Madagascar, the trends in species extinction and the problem of biodiversity loss, participants were given the opportunity to debate the pros and cons of trophy hunting, both as an ethical dilemma and as a possible solution in the conservation arsenal.
Another fantastic day at Immerse Education!