Youngsters have enjoyed a day of robots, giant bubbles, microscopes, ‘minibeasts’, musical instruments, animal skulls, skeletons and skins as part the Children’s University Graduation Day

The kids from across Cornwall took part in hands-on activities thanks to the organisations taking part, including Geevor Tin Mine, Newquay Zoo, Music Cornwall, and local colleges and universities including Cornwall College and Truro and Penwith Colleges.

The University of Exeter, Falmouth University and Plymouth University were also involved in the event which was aimed at giving over 400 children and adults a chance to learn more about what they do through interactive bite-size activities, performances and demonstrations.

“The children were invited to receive their national awards from the Children’s University and we wanted to reward them with something extra special this time, to inspire them to keep learning and to show them where their efforts may lead one day” said Lisa Neville of Cornwall Learning, which manages Children’s University in Cornwall.

“Everyone had a fantastic time and the children took part with great enthusiasm. We are so thankful for the amazing support all the exhibitors gave and also to the student ambassadors who did a brilliant job looking after everyone and made all of us feel welcome”.

The celebration event, which was hosted by The University of Exeter and Falmouth University at the campus they share in Penryn, was attended by around 150 children.

All the children receiving awards had built up between 65 and 600 hours of learning through clubs and schools’ out-of-hours activities as part of Children’s University, a national scheme open to all five to 14 year olds to encourage them to get involved in high quality learning activities in their free time.

The youngsters were presented with their certificates by councillor Beverly Hulme, the mayor of Penryn, who congratulated the children and young people on their achievements and also gave credit to the parents, carers, teachers and club leaders who supported them.

Mark Norris of Newquay Zoo said “It was great fun to meet so many sparky kids with so many different achievements and reasons for being at the Children's University Graduation. I think many of them and their parents enjoyed meeting our minibeasts, puzzling out our mystery animal objects and finding out about our wartime zoo gardens project. We enjoyed being part of it and meeting lots of people interested in learning”.

There was also plenty of musical entertainment on offer at the event, provided by 14 year old classical guitarist Damien Watson of Penryn College; children from Stagecoach Newquay who performed a song; and the Cornwall Youth Brass Ensemble who got everyone in a festive mood with some Christmas tunes.

Tanya Moore of Music Cornwall said ‘Our team had a fantastic time at the Children’s University Graduation Day. We had an array of musical instruments for people to try out and lots of children – and adults – were finding hidden musical talents on all sorts of instruments. It was very rewarding to see their enthusiasm for having a go and many said they have been inspired to take up an instrument’.

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