Masterclasses 2018 – Years 9&10

This year’s BIG question, explored, explained, examined: ‘What is Truth?’

The Y9&10 masterclasses descriptions are provided below.  Flyers with further information, together with details of how to apply, are now available in schools.

Scientific Thought: A Journey to the Truth?
Do you ever wonder whether we got it wrong? Whether this whole time you’ve been studying Science that what your teacher has said is just, well, a lie? Atoms, forces, cells, virtual particles, gravitational waves, it all just seems a tad bonkers and that someone, somewhere is playing a dirty trick on us. But, what if it is right? Or should I say how have we convinced ourselves that it is “The Truth”.
This masterclass puts that conviction through its paces. You will be taken on a journey from Antiquity through to Modern times. From Aristotle’s Four Causes to Hawking’s Black Hole Radiation, you will be shown step by step how we, Scientists, have subscribed to a literature dubbed as “The Truth”, and then, we will tear it apart…

Physical Art and Selfies
Do you like to be inspired and learn new techniques?
This masterclass will explore shadows defined by drawing the silhouette using light and projection.
Our physical forms offer a direct subject matter. It is a chance for you to use lighting, props and backgrounds to record your silhouette selfie using a variety of materials. We will combine printmaking collage and text to capture reality in shadows and discuss “What is the Truth”, behind the image.  Is there a story to be told?
A silhouette is a powerful image every detail is important to allow our minds to decode what we are seeing. Sometimes we fill in the contours subconsciously. Silhouette animation artist Lottie Reiniger captures the suspended reality in her films and offers us a visual new world. We will touch on other artist such as Banksy, Naish and Picasso during the classes and offer discussion to build our own final ideas about ‘What is Truth’ in art.

Get to the Heart of Philosophy:
What is truth?  This question is at the heart of philosophy.  Firstly we will explore the importance of philosophy, and the limitations of science, in our pursuit of truth.  The sessions will explore key questions at the heart of the quest for truth; questions that are fundamental to human flourishing.
Can morals be true?  Is there such a thing as true justice?  Can myths be true?  Are certain modes of language more true than others?  Is truth subjective?  What about true love and beauty? Is the truth unconscious?  What is the way to truth?

What Makes Maths True?
In history we learn about the past, in English we learn about literature, in science we learn about nature, and in maths we learn about… maths!  What makes maths different to other subjects?  Does maths HAVE to be true?  Could it have been different?  Are there surprises in maths?  Do we ever get to decide whether something is true in maths, or is it always decided for us?  Is maths just a game with symbols?  And if it is, does it count as true? 
In this masterclass, we’ll ask these questions and along the way learn about shapes of 2, 3, 4, and 5 dimensions, discuss whether ‘infinity plus one’ makes sense, and decide whether mathematicians are more like scientists, athletes, or artists.  The goal is to do some enjoyable (not necessarily hard!) maths while also doing some hard (but no less enjoyable!) thinking about what truth in mathematics is.

The Quest for True Sound
Have you ever wondered how the soundtrack of a film, video game or TV programme is produced? How control of the spatial positioning, timbral or tonal characteristics can support the narrative? Or how a chart-topping musical performance is created for commercial release?
This masterclass will investigate industry-level considerations in the production of professional sound and music. We will cover all aspects of production from recording and editing, to mixing and mastering. Music and sound only truly come to life when experienced by an audience. In this interactive age, the audience demands a ‘true sound’ every time they listen. We’ll also investigate how close to reality this perception of a quality sound actually is.

Truth According to the Ancient Greeks and Romans
How did the ancient Greeks and Romans see themselves? Were they truthful in their self-reflection, or not? What about their view of the world around them? 
In this masterclass, we will explore how truth was presented in Greek theatre, such as through Oedipus’ doomed search for the unbearable truth about himself.  We will look at portraits, idealised by the Greeks and ‘warts and all’ for the Romans. And we will try to find out how many lies Roman politicians dared to tell.

Professors, Propaganda and Printer’s Errors: The Problem of Historical Truth
Establishing the truth about the past is the ultimate aim of historians. Yet working out a true account of events is rarely a simple process. As the poet W.C. Williams reminded us, “even the facts may be nothing but a printer’s error.” Of course, it’s often far more deliberate than this. Everyone can lie, obscure, or simply forget, but so too can government records and university professors. All this makes the role of historian both considerably more difficult and infinitely more fascinating.
This masterclass will consider common mistruths, for example, that tolerance of ethnic diversity is a modern idea. We will unpick how historians try to establish the actual truth, especially in contexts where ‘truth’ is completely distorted by the people who create the records. Perhaps we leave the most fascinating question until last, when we will ask whether or not the truth of the past actually matters. If we consider that the purpose of history is to learn from it, does it really matter if the stories that can teach us so much aren’t actually true?

What is Truth in the Post-Truth Era of Politics?’
Trump, Brexit, Scottish independence, austerity – what is truth in today’s polarised and emotive political world?
Do you wonder what politics is about, what you believe – and why you believe it? It could be about social justice, poverty, freedom, opportunity, or choices for the future. It should be about what the new generation wants to make the world a better place … but what would that be?
We’ll explore the forces which are shaping our world today & which will decide our future. We’ll consider what is fact, fiction and fantasy and consider whether there are political truths we can grab hold of, right or wrong. If not – what new truths might we devise for the future?

The Truth in What We See!
In 1929 the Belgian surrealist René Magritte painted a pipe with the title “This is not a pipe.”  For centuries artists have argued whether art can or should be truthful.  And what do we mean be truthful anyway? Do we mean that art should closely as possible describe an object in the style of photograph, or does truth mean something broader? Should art carry intellectual, moral and emotional truths? For some the highest purpose of art is the creation of a “true likeness”, but what does that mean when we cannot check what a historical figure in a portrait really looked like, or indeed what an angel might look like in reality, were such a thing to exist? When politics and art mix, will truth always suffer.

Fake News: How to Use Tech to Fake It!
Every wondered how much news is real and what is made up? Or why there is some much fake news out there?
This masterclass will look at how fake news is created and how easy it is to limit access to different people. We will discuss censorship before creating two websites, one containing real news and one with fake news. We will then use programming to direct different people to different news based on where they say they are located. We will look at how to use sensors and programming to gather data then edit it to produce fake results and present these as real. If you want to know how easy it is to fake news then this masterclass is for you!

Note: Information for Y7&8 masterclasses is on the 7&8 flyer.