The Mysteries of Marden High
alongside researchers Anne Preston, and Phil Heslop, we were glad to welcome Year Eight students
and teachers from Marden High School, North Shields to Newcastle University’s
As part of
their Activities Week, the group of students and their teachers Miss Anna Reid
and Mrs Candida Mellor came to create their own mysteries using our Authoring
already in mind, they arrived on Tuesday (16/7) and learned about Digital
Mysteries and the processes involved. This was followed by discussing their
ideas and starting to use the software themselves. With a day’s break
in-between, they came back on Thursday morning to input their mysteries. They
used the Authoring Tool on the tabletops and multi-mouse PCs to do this, with
help from Ahmed and Steven from Reflective Thinking. On the afternoon they
solved each other’s mysteries and rated them.
Students using Digital Mysteries
Teachers Mrs Mellor and Miss Reid
Researcher Phil Heslop
Students solving their fellow pupils' mysteries
It was later
that evening that Anne Preston welcomed the students back, alongside their
parents. Greeted with drinks and nibbles, they enjoyed seeing their children’s
work in action on the technology.
Anne Preston,and some of the students presenting at the beginning of the session
Working on a mystery using a multi-mice PC
Parents exploring the mysteries their children had been working on, and the technology
We were pleased to attend, and our Director (and Research Associate at the university) Ahmed Kharrufa presented his thoughts on all of the mysteries and told the excited families who had won the competition.
Director Ahmed Kharrufa and researcher Anne Preston discussing the students' work with the group
for the winners of the project was to have their mystery included as part of a
commercial product: Digital Mysteries. Please see below for the main question
in each group’s mystery:
Llamas: Should scientists be allowed to perform de-extinction
on the mammoth?
Dictionnaires: Should footballers be paid so much?
#swayducks: Should people with little quality of life
be allowed to ask people/doctors to assist their death?
Silver: Should the voting ages be lowered to 14 years
was judging, he gave scores for each mystery using a set of criteria taking
into account several things including; the question, quality of content, how
engaging it was and the design. This was then combined with the peers’ ratings
to give an average score.
It was very
close, as all of the mysteries were excellent and had strengths in different
areas, but the winner was Dictionnaires with their footballer’s wages mystery.
The 3 group members of Dictionnaires
students go back to school in September, we will work with them to finalise
their mystery and then include it in our program.
To round off
the night, Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology and
winner of the 2013 TED Prize, gave an insightful speech about how the method of conducting examinations
in schools throughout history framed the whole education process.
Sugata Mitra delivering a speech
enjoyed ourselves and look forward to working with Marden High School in the