Summer School 2016 Workshop Descriptors


This year we’re being very ambitious indeed – we’re aiming to design and create the biggest iPhone in the world! This master class will suit anyone with ideas and energy, not just confident artists.

Using the playful and exciting paintings of Hundertwasser, we will design a background ‘wallpaper’ for our 2.5m tall iPhone using a map of York. Hundertwasser’s unique patterns mixed with your ideas will bring our map to life.

You will then design logos for apps based on attractions and features of York before painting them onto a separate panel.

Our collection of creative, colourful apps will hang on small hooks on the huge screen so viewers can move them around to make their own personal artwork.

So, fancy helping to design a 2.5m tall interactive iPhone..? Sign up and join the team!



What is out there? What would a life inhabited planet look like? How do we observe these places? AND even if we do spot one, how do we even get there to say “Hi!”? Step forward the topic of this masterclass; Astrobiology. A unique blend of chaos and intellect.

Across the four days you will explore:

  • The mesmerising world of Physics which includes;  the manufacture and use of telescopes, investigate the construction of rockets, blowing up balloons with colourful gas in them.
  • The breath taking world of Biology which includes; the building blocks of life, evolution and natural selection and extra-terrestrial appearance.

The only requirement for this masterclass is a passion for science and all things crazy.

Biology aspect of Astrobiology

We will look at how chemicals work together to make living cells, and we will look in detail at what the different parts of cells do. We will learn about some of seven different energy-collection systems found in living things on the Earth, and review the local objects of the solar system for places life might exist. We will do an experiment to find out if photosynthesis as we know it could happen on another planet, and speculate on what life might look like on some of the exoplanets we already know about. We will concentrate on the process of evolution by natural selection, playing a game to show how quickly organisms can evolve, and another game that runs a simulation of an exoplanet ecosystem. We hope to enough time to design an ecosystem for the oceans on one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa.



As Malcolm X once said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

The media influences and shapes our lives on a daily basis, from the stories we hear and read, the pictures we see and the programmes we watch, but what actually goes into reporting the news and how truthful is it? In this masterclass you will be introduced to the fundamentals of journalism and reportage and get to hear and experience this first-hand through a workshop with a published journalist. Later, you will explore how the media affects and controls us by looking at how stories are reported from different viewpoints, the influence of social media and the impact of images on our emotions and opinions. Next, you will learn to question the reliability of what you read and consider the impact of the writer’s agenda on what is (and isn’t!) reported. Finally, working collaboratively with the other students in the group, you will create your own newspaper or news broadcast which will draw together all the aspects of the masterclass and allow you to “control the minds of the masses”!

If you are interested in communicating with the world through the written and spoken word, social media and the power of carefully chosen and devised images then this is the masterclass for you.



  • Have you ever wanted to keep something secret but not let anyone else do the same?
  • Does the concept of imaginary numbers keep you up at night?
  • Are you planning a holiday to the 4th dimension but don’t know what to pack?

These questions and so many more will be answered in the Maths Summer School. Four days where we can really focus on the depths of Maths.

There will be material from A level, degree level and some new stuff that’s not found a place yet. We’ll probably chuck in a little Computer Science for good measure too. All you need is an enthusiasm for all things logical and mathematical and you will have a great time.




This is an opportunity to get an insight into Psychology and how our growing understanding of the human brain might affect your future in intriguing ways! This workshop gets you involved in interactive demonstrations and activities so that you can get a handle on some of the latest scientific research and put it to good use in your own mind and brain. This workshop might well change your perspectives, ‘open your mind’ and leave you questioning the nature of reality more than ever before. Plus you will learn a little about how stage magic works through an understanding of information processing and hypnosis.

You will be introduced to the mental tools that allow you to cut through the neuro-nonsense to be found all over the media, so that you can sift out the really useful neuroscientific findings and techniques and put them into practise.

Skills you will learn about and practise on the course:

  • ‘Mind control’ techniques both ancient and modern – practical tips and tricks that you can use yourself!
  • How to perform memory feats.
  • How to use ‘positive psychology’ and neuro-linguistic programming.
  • How to measure and reflect on your personality to make the most of your capabilities.
  • How you might go about maximising your own mental health and avoid going mad!