Summer Teams Enterprise Programme 2022

The Summer Teams Enterprise Programme 2022 is an opportunity to invest 8 weeks in participating in a remote skills development programme, where students work on a real-life project designed and supported by University staff, gain virtual team-work experience in a group of diverse students, contribute to the University’s learning and teaching through working on impactful outputs, and get this experience listed on their HEAR transcript.

How does it work?

1. Students will be placed in a project team of six-seven students, based on your time-zone and project preferences. Please note that the programme is remote and that you're not required to be in St Andrews.

2. Each team will be given a real-life project to work on, each sponsored by a staff member(s) at a University School/Department. The diverse range of projects on offer this year include: decolonising reading lists/school curricula, creating resources to help students transition back to in-person teaching, creating a Mathematical museum, learning scientific writing and communication through a Wikithon, analysing children's literature about Ukraine and lots more!

3. You will commit to viewing/attending a recording/workshop each week, themed around the University’s Graduate Attributes. You also commit to completing a reflective log on Moodle each week, reflecting on how your team project is helping you develop that week’s highlighted Graduate Attribute.

4. The programme comprises of 6 core weeks of project work and the weekly workshop (30 May to 8 July), followed by a further 2 weeks (11 July to 22 July) where your team will finish and submit the project output to your team’s sponsor. The output can take varied forms, such as a research report, video, creating an educational resource which will be used at the University, a piece of creative work or a website.

5. At the end of the programme, you will also complete a blog post where you will choose one Graduate Attribute to focus on and reflect on how STEP helped you develop this particular attribute.

5. If you complete all the skills workshops and reflective elements of the programme you will be issued with a certificate and electronic badge for your LinkedIn profile, along with guidance as to how you can articulate your experience in future job applications. If you complete the blog post, STEP will be listed on your HEAR transcript. There are also individual and team prizes on offer.

Time Commitment

The typical minimum time commitment is 4-6 hours/week over the course of 8 weeks of the programme. This time commitment might be higher towards the end of the programme as the teams work towards completing the outputs.

Key Dates

  • Notification of outcome: 19 May 2022
  • Confirmation of acceptance: Confirm to us that you accept your place on the allocated project by Sun 22 May 2022
  • Core programme: 30 May – 8 July
  • Window for project output submission: 11 July – 22 July
  • Submission of final blog: TBC
  • Awards Ceremony and finale: 8 Aug 2022

Any questions?

Please direct them to Dr Shruti Narayanswamy at step@st-andrews.ac.uk

List of projects on offer 

Making Graduate Attributes come to life: designing a suite of activities for students

Sponsors: Cat Wilson and Rebecca Wilson, CEED

Student eligibility: This project is open to all

Project description

The STEP team will help create a suite of activities and resources to help students reflect on and develop the University’s graduate attributes. The graduate attributes comprise of 20 key skills that students have the opportunity to develop during their time at St Andrews through curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. As a greater number of students become aware of and engage with the graduate attributes, CEED would like to develop a new bank of activities we can use both in-person, online and in group and individual settings with students to help them reflect on and develop these skills.

Project outputs:

The team will create a bank of resources aimed at helping students develop a range of graduate attribute skills. The resources will be used by students to develop the following skills: • Dealing with imposter syndrome • Navigating change • Being reflective • Developing resilience • Maintaining wellbeing • Managing time and energy • Working well in a team • Being creative • Developing your reading and note-taking skills • Solving problems and thinking critically • Recognising opportunities • Appreciating cultural diversity • Influencing and negotiation • Clear communication • Developing ethical awareness • Engaging in your community The outputs will be embedded in CEED’s workshops in the coming academic year, and will include a mixture of team and individual activities, used in both online and in person environments.

Graduate attributes:

Students engaging with this project will develop a range of graduate attributes. In particular creativity, team contribution, interpersonal skills, communication, digital literacy, and research skills and problem solving.

A Mathematical Museum

Sponsor: Dr Deborah Kent (Mathematics)

Student eligibility: This project would be particularly attractive to students from the Schools of Mathematics and Statistics, History, Physics and Astronomy

Project description:

Although mathematics sometimes seems so abstract, there exist many artifacts that can concretely connect us to mathematical practice in other times and places. Many of these historical objects are housed in archives and museums in St Andrews and around the world. In this project, you will explore, interpret and analyse physical objects and their relationship to mathematical practice. The final product will be a collection of curated displays that will make a virtual mathematical museum.

Some examples of such mathematical collections:

https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/item/khipu/1022479

https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/item/set-of-mathematical-models/1005161 

https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/item/orrery/1001173

https://chsi.harvard.edu/media-gallery/lightbox/1508676/3842535

https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co60164/model-of-a-half-twist-surface-by-alexander-crum-brown-c-1900-surface-model-plaster

https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co56821/islamic-astrolabe-1645-1655-astrolabe 

https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co8103726/box-for-geometry-set-geometry-set 

https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/item/a-group-of-orthic-tetrakaidekahedra-and-reconstructed-models-of-cells-of-elder-pith-showing-their-approximation-to-tetrakaidekahedral-for-after-ft-lewis/607043 

https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/item/wooden-trapezoidal-dodecahedron-model/1004476

Project outputs:

 The team will use Exhibit software to create curated displays of mathematical objects.

Graduate attributes:

Diversity awareness, Effective team contribution, interpersonal skills, negotiation, creativity, confidence, adaptability, making connections, research skills and problem solving, organisation, written communication, specialist skills.

Academic Accessibility: How to make your dissertation or thesis accessible for future generations

Sponsor: Ros Walker (CEED)

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description

Digital accessibility is about making sure your digital resources are usable by everyone, including those who are disabled (visually-impaired, hearing-impaired, limited motor control, mental health conditions). • The resource you will develop will teach students about how to make their work accessible and will need to communicate enthusiastically: o the importance of making digital resources accessible o how students can develop accessible dissertations and theses o discussion with students relating to accessibility We also hope that your resource will be available on the Internet for use by all students. • Digital accessibility is also morally the right thing to do as we want as many people as possible to be able to participate in anything that we publish digitally. This applies to the university where we now have a project to preserve student work in a digital archive, accessible for future generations. All this work needs to be as accessible as possible, and this means that students will need to learn about producing accessible work. • Accessibility is now a legal requirement in any public sector body (PSBAR, 2018) but also something that private companies are increasingly addressing in their business models, as they recognise the commercial opportunities of the ‘purple pound’. (cf The Business Case for Accessibility) • The legacy of this project is potentially huge, as it will enable a new generation of students who enter the workplace aware of what it means to create accessible resources and the impact this can have on society as a whole.

Project outputs:

A resource that can be used by St Andrews students and students at other universities to demonstrate how to make an accessible digital assignment.

Graduate attributes:

Diversity awareness • Effective team contribution • Interpersonal skills • Influencing and negotiation • Creativity • Research skills and problem-solving • Organisation & Resilience • Networking • Digital literacy • Written communication • Specialist knowledge relating to disability and accessibility.

Developing diverse resources for ancient world teaching

Sponsor: Dr Sian Lewis

Student eligibility: This project would be particularly attractive to students students from Philosophy, History, Art History and Anthropology who could bring their disciplinary outlook to bear on the project.

Project description:

In 2020/1 the School of Classics adopted a recommendation to facilitate greater diversity in the scholarship to which our students are exposed. A STEP team was briefed to create a webpage of diverse voices in Classics. The website A Cornucopia of Classics Resources: Diverse Food for Thought (https://cornucopiaclassicsresources.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/) was successfully created and populated with content. The team made great progress in developing the website and gathering material, but were conservative in their approach to the content which they added: most of the material comprises scholarly books or articles. In this year’s project we wish to challenge a team of students to identify more innovative resources relevant to our Subhonours teaching, such as online journals and fora, blog entries and podcasts, exhibition webpages and heritage outreach projects, and to foreground a wider range of voices outside the traditional academy. To encourage the further integration of diverse resources into our teaching a secondary focus of this year’s project will interact directly with our current first-year modules in Ancient History and Classical Studies. Drawing on the material which they are gathering and researching for the database, the student team will produce sample reading lists for topics drawn from existing Subhonours module handbooks, indicating where more diverse resources (both in terms of author identity, approach and format) might be beneficial to student interest and engagement.

Project outputs:

1. An expansion of the existing database (potentially rebranded under a new name) with new and innovative material

2. Four sample topic-based reading lists.

Graduate attributes

• Skills of judgement in the assessment of the teaching/learning value of diverse resources, • Skills of research, analysis and synthesis • IT experience in the presentation of user-friendly and accessible information • A stake in the transformation the discipline of Classics for future cohorts of students. • Experience of communication and teamwork.

Microaggressions: student experiences in a university setting

Sponsors: Prof Gillian Brown (Psychology and Neuroscience), Dr Anna Brown (Management), Dr Akira O'Connor (Psychology and Neuroscience), Dr Neha Gopinath (Management)

Student eligibility: Open to all, but students from minority, disadvantaged or under-represented backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply.

Project description:

Microaggressions are defined as the commonplace, subtle indignities that communicate insults to individuals from a minority or disadvantaged group. Microaggressions can relate to a range of personal characteristics, including race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities and socioeconomic background. Just as in other areas of life, microaggressions occur in academic settings, and students who encounter microaggressions may fail to achieve their full potential because of the impact of microaggressions on student learning and wellbeing. Everyone in university settings should therefore take collective responsibility for tackling microaggressions. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Team has been piloting ‘active bystander’ training sessions with groups of staff and students in Schools, in order to encourage a culture of calling out inappropriate behaviour, and participants of the training sessions are provided with a ‘toolkit’ that describes how to be an active bystander (e.g., engage in distraction, direct action, delegation or delayed intervention). For these training sessions, it would be helpful to have anonymised examples of the types of microaggressions that students experience, so that these examples can be used as case studies by the professional workshop trainers. The goals of this project are to: i) collate anonymised examples of microaggressions from students, ii) review the academic literature on the negative impacts of microaggressions on students, and iii) design posters about microaggressions (including support information) for around the University campus. The project will be supported by the EDI Faculty Leads, Race Equality Charter Chair, Head of Mediation and other members of the University’s EDI Team.

Project outputs:

The main outputs of this project will be: i) a list of anonymised examples of student experiences of microaggressions that can be used as case studies in student-focused and staff-focused ‘active bystander training’ sessions (the examples will be kept in a secure, online database in the Qualtrics platform); ii) posters about microaggressions that have been designed by the students for around the University campus; and iii) an oral presentation about the impact of microaggressions on student wellbeing to key members of the University’s EDI Team.

Graduate attributes:

The students will develop their skills in: a) ‘Valuing Diversity’, particularly diversity awareness, effective team contribution, interpersonal skills, active listening), b) ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset’, particularly creativity, confidence, adaptability, generating ideas for future work, critical thinking), and c) ‘Leadership Skills’, particularly organisation, ability to manage time and deadlines, self-motivation, resilience and communication.

Hook, line, and sinker: how to recruit a marine biologist

Sponsors: Dr Julie Oswald (Biology), Dr Paula Miles (Psychology and Neuroscience)

Student eligibility: This project is particularly well suited for students in Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Sustainable Development, Creative writing, and any student with experience with or an interest in multimedia presentation.

Project description:

Are you interested in marine biology? Do you want to share your excitement about the oceans with others, and inspire prospective students to come to St Andrews and do a degree in marine biology? In this STEP project, we will work to produce recruitment materials to let prospective students know about the exciting teaching and research happening at the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) and what they could get out of a University of St Andrews marine biology degree. These materials will include items such as an illustrated and accessible information pamphlet, recruitment videos for the SOI website, and interviews and podcasts featuring current students, researchers and alumni. You will spend some time gathering information about what graduates are doing now and what possible career paths follow on from a St Andrews marine biology degree. At the end of the project, you will have produced a collection of materials that we will use to spread the word about our program and let prospective students know about what is available here. Your work on the project will allow you to develop communication skills, give you experience with multi-media presentation and information gathering, and allow you to learn about the research that goes on at the SOI. This project is particularly well suited for students in Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Sustainable Development, Creative writing, and any student with experience with or an interest in multimedia presentation.

Project outputs:

The STEP team will produce recruitment materials for the marine biology degree program. These materials will include an informational brochure as well as resources such as videos, blogs, and podcasts for the Scottish Oceans Institute website. Students will have the freedom to develop their own ideas about what resources to produce.

Graduate attributes:

Students will develop many key graduate attributes by participating in this project, including: environmental sustainability (through learning about research at the SOI), diversity awareness, effective team contribution, interpersonal skills, creativity, confidence and adaptability, research skills and problem solving, organisation, leading others, digital literacy, and communication in several forms.

 

Teaching upwards: students sharing insights into what makes great teaching and learning

Sponsor: Prof David Donaldson (Psychology and Neuroscience)

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

Emotions are vital to effective teaching and learning, yet students, educators and psychologists have little explicit awareness of which emotions are most relevant. Nor has much work been done on how good teachers model and promote those emotions, and the impact on students when they experience appropriate emotions. The Teaching Upwards Team will develop materials to improve awareness about emotions associated with learning. In a series of workshops, participants will focus on themes of CARE, CURIOSITY, COOPERATION and CHALLENGE to identify the types of actions and activities that best support and encourage students’ experience of each emotion. Through individual reflection and collaborative working, participants will record examples of how the emotions are best encouraged, demonstrating the diverse range of how and when they are experienced in learning situations. Participants will create resources for lecturers, tutors and advisors to help them teach with confidence that they are promoting the emotional environment best suited to their own and students’ engagement, motivation, wellbeing and achievement. Participants will develop technical skills such as video creation and editing, copywriting and marketing. They will also develop creativity, teamwork and project management skills as they identify target audiences, select appropriate approaches and, within the time available, develop resources most likely to make a meaningful impact on how teaching content is delivered and received. As well as developing transferrable skills for participants, their own teachers and many others will gain from improved understanding of how their behaviour can benefit the emotional, social and academic experiences of students.

Project outputs:

Participants will collectively decide how to disseminate findings to target audiences, based on the skills and interests they wish to develop. Locally, checklists distributed to teaching staff in participants’ academic schools might help them select supportive teaching strategies. Wider impact could be achieved by developing and promoting a simple website.

Graduate attributes:

Entrepreneurship: confidence and adaptability, creativity, recognising opportunities, research skills and problem-solving. Global outlook: digital skills, networking, oral and written communication, and technical skills. Leadership skills: organisation, resilience, self-awareness and reflection. Diversity: awareness of social, cultural and neuro-divergence, team contribution, influencing and negotiating, interpersonal skills. Social responsibility: ethical awareness, civic engagement

 

Developing resources to support students as they transition back to in-person teaching

Sponsors: Dr Julie Oswald (Biology), Dr Paula Miles (Psychology and Neuroscience)

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

Do you remember what it was like to have in-person teaching? Over the past two years, most teaching has occurred online and as such many students have never had the experience of in-person lectures and tutorials. Because of this, there is a lot of anxiety around attending live classes and many students don’t realize all the benefits that come with interacting with staff and students in these settings. In this project, we will develop resources to help support students as they transition from online to in-person learning so that they can benefit from these new experiences. The resources the STEP team will develop will include items such as videos, podcasts, social media communications, and other multi-media materials. We want you to be creative! You will also be involved in planning an event for students that will take place early in semester 1. During this event students will hear first-hand about the benefits of in-person learning and develop skills for effective engagement with in-person teaching, such as effective note-taking and communication. Your work on the project will allow you to develop communication skills, give you experience with multi-media presentation and event planning, and allow you to have a direct impact on student experience and well-being. You will also develop methods for evaluating the success of the resources that you produce. This project is particularly well suited for students who have experience with in-person teaching at St Andrews, in any discipline.

Project outputs:

The STEP team will produce resources to help support students as they transition from online to in-person learning. This may include items such as videos, podcasts, social media communications, and other multi-media materials. Students will have the freedom to develop their own ideas about what resources to produce. Students will develop methods for evaluating the success of the resources that they produce and will complete a 1-2 page report summarizing this. This work will culminate in an event for students in Semester 1 2022.

Graduate attributes:

Students will develop many key graduate attributes by participating in this project, including: diversity awareness, effective team contribution, interpersonal skills, creativity, confidence and adaptability, research skills and problem solving, organisation, leading others, digital literacy, and communication in several forms.

Helping children from Ukraine integrate at school in Scotland

Sponsor: Dr Emily Finer (Modern Languages) and Dr Aisling Crean (CEED)

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

Children displaced by the war in Ukraine will be starting school in Scotland in August 2022. In this project, participants will create information packs for teachers and students to help them help new students from Ukraine feel welcome and understood. Participants will do online research to locate projects and provision by NGOs and government that have been implemented in the past to help other refugee and incoming communities. They will report on and evaluate their findings as a report or poster. This will allow them to decide and plan an output for the project (eg. a lesson plan with powerpoint on Ukrainian history or languages / a reading and watching list for high school students / a guide about Scottish school life for Ukrainian students and their parents). Students with experience of switching school systems, second language acquisition, and those able to produce materials in languages spoken in Ukraine are particularly encouraged to participate.

Project outputs:

The project involves decision making on what outputs to produce.

Graduate attributes:

This project promotes social responsibility and civic engagement, allowing students to respond in a timely way to current events. They will use their imagination to create, design and develop fresh and innovative approaches, possibly drawing on their own experiences. These approaches will be aimed at real life contexts and will require clear communication, potentially in different languages. Above all this will develop participants abilities to to appreciate multiple perspectives and see things differently through cross-cultural communication and understanding.

Shaping enterprise in the curriculum

Sponsor: Dr Gosia Mitka (Proctor's Office)

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

Would you like to be an agent of change and influence the way teaching and learning is being delivered in St Andrews? I believe that students have the creativity and unique ideas that can enrich the way we teach in St Andrews. I believe that learning can be more playful and should happen in a supportive environment while embracing the diversity of our learning community. If you would like to reflect on your learning experience, share what works for you and what you would like to see more of please join me in designing innovative and inspiring teaching and learning approaches that will benefit you and our students. The focus of this project is to find better ways of preparing students for the future and nurturing their creative ideas and supporting them in sparking something new - no matter what subject they are taking. To facilitate that learning we want to empower our colleagues to create such learning opportunities. We will do that in this project by designing and developing teaching materials for staff taking an Elective Module on Enterprise and entrepreneurship education as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP). The materials for the module that we will be designing together will cover concepts such as: growth mindset, entrepreneurial mindset, co-creation, innovation, sustainability, ecosystem, project-based learning, communication, storytelling, etc. We will be using entrepreneurship tools in the process. You can think about this project as a consultancy of students developing a course for staff. We need to think about the content, the delivery and the marketing and how we get the message across to our customers – the teachers. So if you want to change the seat during the summer – be the driver and co-creator rather than a passenger and customer – this project will give you an opportunity to look at a course from the teacher/designer point of view. Please join me and let’s together ‘be the change we want to see in the world’ of education.

Project outputs:

Students will be designing and developing a set of online resources – such as videos, infographics and other creative and playful teaching and learning materials for Staff and Students. Students will be documenting Case Studies and a repository of good practices from different Schools. The project aims to create a set of recommendations for staff on how to teach and assess effectively the graduate attributes related to entrepreneurial mindset.

Graduate attributes:

This project will provide students with an opportunity to develop a wide range of graduate attributes, in particular: Effective team contribution Interpersonal skills Influencing and negotiation Creativity Confidence and adaptability Research skills and problem solving Recognition of opportunities Organisation Networking Digital literacy Written and oral communication.

Rethinking Feedback: Student Perspectives

Sponsor: Dr Aisling Crean (CEED)

Student eligibility: Open to all

Project description:

Feedback is essential to grow as a student and as a person. However, a piece of feedback can easily be overlooked or misinterpreted. This can happen for many reasons: feedback takes different forms, and it is not always easy to identify it and to take it seriously; it is sometimes hard to face and it is often easier to ignore it than use it in the best possible way. “Rethinking Feedback : Student Perspectives” aims to better understand sub-honours students’ perception of feedback to improve their engagement with it. The project will consist of the development of a survey and a series of interviews with students, and a final output communicating the results of the project in an online format. The project is, therefore, structured in two parts: (1) collection of information from sub-honours students from across a range of disciplines on their experience and perception of feedback, both tutor-student and peer-to-peer feedback; (2) elaboration and presentation of the data to highlight the needs of students and find better way to encourage them to engage with feedback. By collaborating on this project, a selected number of STEP students will have the chance to apply and further develop a range of skills and attributes while improving their community.

Project outputs:

There are two outcomes of the project. First, the students will produce a short report with the results of the survey that they will have designed and circulated to understand their peers’ take on feedback in formal and informal situations. Second, the students will produce an online resource (most likely a video, but we wish to allow flexibility to fully tap into their creativity) to communicate their findings and reflections on how to improve engagement with feedback.

Graduate attributes:

  • Digital literacy • Self-awareness and reflection • Critical thinking • Ethical awareness • Diversity awareness • Effective team contribution • Interpersonal skills • Influencing and negotiation • Leading others • Research skills and problem-solving • Organisation & Resilience • Networking • Written communication and digital communication.

Women Historians of St Andrews

Sponsor: Prof Aileen Fyfe (History)

Student eligibility: This project seeks students who would like to practice their communication and engagement skills. It is not limited to students from History, however students from History would make an invaluable addition to the team.

Project description:

Today, just over half of History undergraduate students at St Andrews identify as female, as do 45% of the academic staff. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity, the School of History is investigating the history of the women who studied or taught History at St Andrews over the last 120 years. The project began in 2021, with an archival strand (aided by STEP students!) and an oral history strand.  

We have already discovered that there were women members of staff in the mid-twentieth century who have been forgotten in our institutional memory. We have interviewed over a dozen former staff and students. The work done so far can be seen on our website: https://women-historians.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/

This year’s STEP team will explore ways to disseminate the stories of our women historians to a wider range of audiences. Other than our website, how could we tell more people about the pioneering women historians of St Andrews? There are two main audiences we have in mind: current students; and people beyond St Andrews (including alumnae). 

Creating Wikipedia pages for our women will be part of our strategy for reaching wider audiences, but what would be the most effective ways of reaching and engaging with our current students? The STEP team will brainstorm ideas for both audiences, and then work to transform the existing stories and experiences on our webpage into different formats or media, for dissemination through other channels (e.g. Wikipedia, video/audio clips, Instagram, online exhibitions, etc).

Project outputs:

Will depend on what the students decide, but hopefully a) a set of Wikipedia pages for all our women; and b) some other (multimedia?) versions of these women's life stories.

Graduate attributes:

Participation in this STEP project will help students develop attributes of social responsibility, and valuing diversity, in addition to entrepreneurialism and leadership. In particular, they will gain: • Practical experience of communicating historical research to wider audiences • A greater understanding of the historical experiences and treatment of women within the University of St Andrews, and academia more broadly • Practical experience working in a team, including opportunities for developing management and leadership skills.

Saving Wemyss Ancient Caves Society: How to promote and preserve Pictish history

Sponsors: Dr Shiona Chillas (Management), Anastasia Ellis (CEED)

Student eligibility: Open to all, but this project might be especially attractive to students from Social Anthropology, Management and History.

Project description:

Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWAC) is a community-led charity that works to protect, promote and preserve the culturally important Pictish carvings in East Wemyss. Students will aid the preservation of culturally-important, local sites of Scottish heritage through the development of outreach materials, adapted to younger audiences, as well as the creation of business models and promotional materials to ensure the sustainability of the charity. Students will be consulting with the SWACS committee members in the production of these materials throughout the program.

Project outputs:

One teams output will include the creation of educational resources for the SWACs museum and an educational package of lesson plans, activities and games to enthuse children about Pictish history; whilst educating them about the carvings in the Wemyss caves. With the possibility of delivering these materials at a local primary school. The other team will produce various promotional materials for SWACS to highlight the caves, increase the awareness of them, look at how to make the charity more sustainable and methods to market the caves to targeted demographics for a consistent volunteer base and footfall.

Graduate attributes:

Creativity in the production of engaging activity sheets/ events for children, Environmental sustainability (social responsibility), effective team contribution, active listening to the SWACS members and asking questions - being curious about the charity and their wants and finally developing commercial and business awareness.

Illuminating St Andrews: Constructing a Magic Lantern exhibition based on the history of St Andrews

Sponsor: School of PAFS (Department of Film Studies) 

Student eligibility: Open to all, but a candidate from Chemistry or Physics who would help us communicate the science behind the Magic Lantern would be especially welcome. 

Project description: 

The magic lantern is often considered a nineteenth century precursor to cinema, equally had its own place as an exhibition technology used by show-men show-women, lecturers and amateurs to give exhibitions on a range of topics - illustrating novels, virtual tourism (local and global), and elucidating on flora, fauna and animal life inter alia - for both entertainment and education. The St Andrew photographic collections, contain extensive collections of old lantern slides and a lantern projector. This project proposes research in the St Andrews archives, to select, curate, and deliver a magic lantern exhibition based on the slide collection available. Students will be required to undertake research (online and in-person) into the photographs and their history, to construct this exhibition, including developing and narrate a script to accompany the exhibition of images. The project engages with local histories, and the history of visual media and its influence on local culture. It seeks to highlight contemporary relevance of heritage documents, also finds ways in which archival documentation could be made relevant to local community (beyond academia). This project also offers research into educational methods which is particularly valuable in the post-Covid environment. It examines how media technologies of the past played a role in information circulation and learning, giving us an insight into how we could tailor our own educational-media use to make it more effective. At the heart of the project is also an appreciation and engagement with storytelling. Who were the storytellers of the past, what were the stories they prioritised through these lantern, and how do they impact the spaces they went to. Further, in telling our own stories related to the past, what images, personalities, and ideas would we like to prioritise?

A brief look at some of the lantern collections in the St Andrews Archives:
John H Wilson Collections: https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/series/dr-john-hardie-wilson-teaching-slides-box-5/592852

https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/series/dr-john-hardie-wilson-teaching-slides-box-5/592852

Hay Fleming Collection: https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/series/hay-fleming-magic-lantern-slides/379129

Janet Low Collection: https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/search/?query=janet+low&form=grid&mode=query

Around the world in 100 minutes tour: https://collections.st-andrews.ac.uk/collection/round-the-world-in-100-minutes/593226

For more information on the magic lanterns: https://www.magiclanternsociety.org/about-magic-lanterns/#:~:text=The%20magic%20lantern%20was%20invented,lit%20by%20increasingly%20powerful%20means.

http://www.magiclantern.org.uk/history/
 

Project outputs: 

Students will construct a magic lantern show based on their research. Much like the lantern use of the past, the students will have the freedom to construct a fictional or non-fictional narrative (or a combination of the two). Further, to accompany the exhibition they would need to put together a small installation on the history of magic lantern use and its users within St Andrews and its neighbouring villages.

Graduate attributes:

As graduate attributes, students develop civic engagement and social responsibility, teamwork and leadership, oral and written communication, creativity, and the valuing of diversity (in discovering and telling untold histories and narratives). These attributes are based on the project's focus on historical and archival research (both written and visual), curation, writing, and public speaking. Further, the combining of research ability with public engagement, as they think about creative ways of community engagement.

Children's Literature about Ukraine

Sponsor: Dr Emily Finer (Modern Languages) and Dr Aisling Crean (CEED)

Student eligibility: Open to all 

Project description:

How are the diverse cultures and histories of Ukraine represented in literature for children and young adults published in English? To what extent do these books create or perpetuate stereotypes and colonial narratives? Does the English-language reader have access to translations of books originally written in the languages spoken in Ukraine? The research team will explore a range of online research methods in order to compile an online database. This will allow them to identify trends and gaps in coverage and to present their findings in a report to a children's publisher with the aim of influencing future commissions and translations.

Project outputs: 

Database of children's literature in English about Ukraine. Report to a publisher surveying what has been published and making recommendations for future publications.

Graduate attributes:

This project will improve participants' diversity awareness and aim to improve society's knowledge of a complex and diverse culture endangered by war. Participants will identify practical uses for their research findings and influence positive change. The creation of a database and report will require problem solving, research project design skills and teamwork to agree on key issues, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of alternative options, and to find ways to work through challenges.

St Andrews Forest: Carbon, Biodiversity and environmental benefit

Sponsors: Dr Lydia Cole (Geography and Sustainable Development), Richard Streeter (Geography and Sustainable Development), David Toy (Eden Campus)

Student eligibility: This project would be particularly interesting ro students from the School of Geography and Sustainable Development (for both carbon, and biodiversity and ecosystem services components) and the School of Biology (especially for the biodiversity and ecosystem services component), but students in other Schools with sufficient understanding of quantitative environmental data collection and with an interest in environmental management might also wish to apply.

Project description: 

The St Andrews Forest is becoming a reality: trees have been planted in three locations across Scotland with the goal of offsetting emissions from student travel. While it is self-evident that every location will provide “some” environmental benefit, the size of this benefit must be understood to know if the Forest’s vision is being realised. Evaluating the benefit of each site will require: (i) baseline assessment of the biodiversity value and provision of ecosystem services, including carbon content; and (ii) ongoing monitoring, to measure how these key parameters are changing over time. These activities will require the deployment of a range of techniques, from drone surveys, remote sensing, GIS analysis, and associated ground-truthing, and biodiversity assessments, both of above- and below-ground (e.g., soil) ecosystem components. This timely project will conduct a literature review to identify what an appropriate baseline assessment and ongoing monitoring protocol would entail for the Forest. It will provide an opportunity for members of the University to further develop knowledge and skills in forest assessment and monitoring: important in-house expertise to support the University’s sustainability agenda. STEP students will have an invaluable opportunity to develop a scalable, evidence-based protocol for a local, interdisciplinary and meaningful project, of direct relevance to the University, their university experience, and to their undergraduate learning within Geography and Sustainable Development. Students will have an opportunity to work with staff across the academic and professional services, engage in meetings where real-life challenges and trade-offs are discussed, and build skills in communication and problem-solving.

Project outputs:

The outputs of the project will be two-fold, and encompass two themes: (i) an annotated bibliography for forest carbon assessments, and for forest-based biodiversity and ecosystem services assessments, structured to facilitate the extraction of information to support the development of assessment protocols; and, (ii) draft protocols for the collection and analysis of baseline and annual monitoring data on forest carbon and forest-based biodiversity and ecosystem services, which consider the competing assessment approaches identified in the literature and signpost options according to project priorities and resources, and long-term feasibility and utility. Working in close collaboration with the St Andrews Forest team, outputs from this project will form the essential basis of a repeatable, scalable, tailored yet compliant baseline assessment and monitoring plan for the carbon content, biodiversity value and environmental benefit of St Andrews Forest, and undergo verification (via external consultation) and revision as required prior to deployment.

Graduate Attributes:

Transferrable skills opportunities: - Critical review and evaluation of themed literature, involving a diverse range of sources; - Working effectively in a team, collaborating and reporting on task completion; - Communicating, regularly and effectively; - Context-specific and pragmatic working, translating general literature into local requirements, balancing ideal with realistic goals. 

"Antibiotics under our feet" Wikithon

Sponsor: Dr Clarissa Melo Czekster (Biology)

Student eligibility: This project is open to all, but would be especially attractive to students from Biology, Medicine, and those with an interest in scientific writing and writing for non-specialist audiences.

Project description:

Antimicrobial resistance is a global concern. The World Health Organisation has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. "Antibiotics under our feet" is a ScotPEN Wellcome Trust funded citizen science project based at the University of St Andrews searching for new antibiotic compounds from soil samples sent in by primary schools. This project will give you official training in Wikipedia editing so that you can become a Wikipedia editor to help to tackle our weird and wonderful Wiki-worklist. Working as a team, you will improve your digital literacy, referencing and communication skills while contributing to the public engagement aspect of our project by creating a legacy of accessible encyclopedia entries and infographics for kids and the general public about the top bacterial species found in the soil. You will also be exposed to and gain experience in graphic design skills. Our Wikithon is in collaboration with the IDEA Network (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility in Open Knowledge Network.

Project outputs:

Completed set of Wikipedia encyclopedia articles to be uploaded and infographics on bacteria to be used online and printed for schools.

Graduate attributes:

Students will gain knowledge and skills relating to environmental sustainability, civic engagement and good citizenship through participation in our project. By making effective team contributions, students will enhance their organisational and digital literacy skills with an emphasis on accurate written and visual communication, with appropriate research and referencing academic skills.

Diverse Posters for the Mathematics Institute

Sponsors: Dr Isobel Falconer (Mathematics), Dr Aidan Naughton (Mathematics)

Student eligibility: We especially welcome students from the Schools of Mathematics & Statistics, History, and International Relations, and those with an interest in graphical design.

Project description:

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is eager to make the environment within the Mathematics Institute more welcoming for students, staff and visitors from diverse backgrounds. They would be especially keen to celebrate diversity among mathematicians who were alumni of St Andrews. They have identified wall spaces within the Institute where they might hang framed posters that convey the diversity of mathematics and mathematicians in the past. The purpose of this project is to create such posters. The starting point for the project will be information, gathered during previous student research projects, about mathematics alumni who were women, or came from overseas, or both. In many cases we have very little information about their careers, so research will be needed to find out more about them. Then the team will need to agree which people and/or mathematics to represent on the posters. Reading on how best to design graphics for public engagement will inform team decisions about design principles for the posters. Working in small subgroups, the team will then produce a number of posters according to the design principles, creating or sourcing the graphics, writing text, and arranging for printing. The supervisors are Dr Aidan Naughton, Convenor of the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, and Dr Isobel Falconer, a historian of mathematics.

Project outputs: 

By the end of the project, the team will have produced between 3 and 7 A1 posters suitable for framing and hanging in the Mathematics Institute.

Graduate attributes: 

Students will gain mathematical, historical, and communication skills and increase their diversity awareness. They will increase their adaptability, and exercise their creativity and innovation in problem solving and presenting material in a visually engaging manner. Students will make an effective team contribution while negotiating decisions and implementing their ideas.

Historical Mathematicians on Wikipedia

Sponsors: Isobel Falconer (Mathematics), Kirsty Ross (The Library)

Student eligibility: We especially welcome students from the Schools of Mathematics & Statistics, History, and Computer Science.

Project description:

The School of Mathematics and Statistics hosts a major database of biographies of past mathematicians. Around 250 of these mathematicians do not have pages on Wikipedia (the names in italics at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Stinglehammer/Mactutor and list at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MacTutor_archive). Other mathematicians are on Wikipedia, but their pages could be improved using information available on MacTutor. This project will use automated queries to update the list of mathematicians missing from Wikipedia, and to identify pages that could be improved. The team will agree criteria for prioritising which Wikipedia pages should be created/improved and will collaboratively select subjects according to the criteria. Optionally, they may identify whether these subjects are present in other language wikipedias. They will allocate subjects to small subgroups of 2 or 3 students. The subgroups will research the lives, historical context, and mathematical work of their subjects. They will write the text for the page, or the improvements to the page, probably in English, but maybe in another language. They will critique each other’s work and try to find appropriate public domain or openly licensed images to illustrate the pages. The team will receive training in Wikipedia authoring and editing near the beginning of the project and this will inform their editorial decisions while preparing their text. Finally, the students will create or edit the Wikipedia pages using the text they have written. Each student will author/edit at least one page. The supervisors are Dr Isobel Falconer, a historian of mathematics, and Dr Kirsty Ross, Acting Head of Public Engagement.

Project outputs:

By the end of the project, the team will have produced at least 6 new Wikipedia pages and improved at least 6 more. They may do much more than this.

Graduate attributes:

Students will gain mathematical, historical, and communication skills. They will increase their adaptability, and their digital literacy in writing for the web, and their ethical awareness in considering open licensing requirements. Students will make an effective team contribution while negotiating decisions and, implementing their ideas.

Double vision: how do students from non-traditional HE backgrounds engage with feedback?

Sponsors: Dr Aisling Crean (CEED), Dr Kenneth Mavor (Psychology and Neuroscience)

Student eligibility: Open to all 

Project description: 

This project has several outcomes. (1) It researches the impact of traditional versus non-traditional HE backgrounds on feedback engagement. A recent and expanding literature explores the role of identity experiences of non-traditional students in HE on engagement with feedback. Mavor publishes in this area; Crean has an historical interest in the area and a professional interest as part of her role in CEED. The project would have students work on this research project to produce an online questionnaire, and collect, analyse, and report on the data in a report to be published on the CHER website and presented to CEED and CELPiE. (2) Led in discussion by the Sponsors and Coach, students will engage with the literature, learn about the nature of assessment feedback, its role in HE learning, and reflect on their own practice. (3) Students will also learn specific IT and research process skills. They will be instructed on how to use Qualtrics to produce an online research study, and learn what an ethics application for such a study looks like, how consent is implemented online, and how to extract and analyse the data from an online study. (4) Students will also engage in a peer-teaching situation and consider how to teach future students to use Qualtrics by sharing their own experience as a case study. They will learn how to design teaching materials and develop scripts for specific associated micro-skills (e.g. preparing a “scale” in Qualtrics so that it is correctly encoded; recording associated explainer videos.

Project outputs: 

The STEP team will produce (1) a Qualtrics online questionnaire that investigates the experience of assessment feedback engagement for traditional versus non-traditional university students ( at St Andrews, and more broadly); (2) To collect and analyse data on this topic and present a report to CEED, and to be reported on the CHER website; (3) during the development of the Qualtrics questionnaire, to document the phases of preparation as a series of video based presentations and associated teaching materials (using Panopto or similar) so that the project can be used as a teaching case study for PS3022, and as a training resources for 4th year project students in Psychology (and on request, other disciplines that do empirical online projects). 

Graduate attributes:

Diversity Awareness Digital Literacy Ethical Awareness Research skills and problem-solving Critical Thinking Self-awareness Leading others Effective team contribution Interpersonal skills Influencing and negotiation Organisation & Resilience Written and oral digital communication.

 

Decolonising the School of English

Sponsors: Dr. Martha Baldon, Dr. Alex Davis and Ms. Dina Nayeri (School of English)

Student eligibility: This project is open to all

Project Description:

Following the precedent of the Decolonising the School of Biology STEP Project (2021), the Decolonising the School of English STEP Project is seeking to work along similar lines to assess current efforts of decolonisation within the School of English. We believe everyone deserves to see themselves represented within higher education, and we want to expand students’ learning within a decolonial framework through the research and conversations they will take on within this project.

The aim of this project is to produce a statistically- driven review of teaching materials used within the School of English curricula, such as reading lists and secondary sources, to aid the current efforts of decolonisation in the English department. Students will engage in conversations and develop a critical understanding of colonialism and race that are important to a holistic and global understanding of English literature. Not only will students develop key communication skills, research development, and critical analysis skills through their research and critical assessment of departmental teaching materials, but they will also have the opportunity to be creative through the development of unique programmes, such as a student led reading group. Overall, we hope to encourage students to engage in conversations and efforts surrounding decolonization in the School of English and wider University.

Project Outputs:

The Decolonising the School of English STEP Project Team will produce a final statistically- driven review of teaching materials used within the School of English curricula that could be taken into consideration in the department’s ongoing EDI- focused review of its sub honours modules.

We are also open to the idea of creating other programmes and activities that will go towards this goal of decolonisation, such as developing materials for a postcolonial reading group students could participate in.

Graduate Attributes:

Through our STEP Project, students will develop a variety of transferable graduate attributes, mainly from the Entrepreneurial Mindset and Value Diversity sector. Students will develop confidence and foundational research skills, and they will also develop interpersonal skills through diversity awareness and negotiation with our sponsors in the School of English.