Warwick's International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY) team has been working to move to an online model with the aim of encouraging gifted young people from across the world to get involved. To this end, the team have been expanding and developing major partnerships with technology leaders IBM and Cisco.
IGGY was launched in 2008 and has held 5 IGGY U events - two-week residential courses held at Warwick and overseas. However, only a relatively small proportion of IGGY members have been able to attend these summer schools. By moving online, the IGGY team will be able to reach more people who will benefit from IGGY on a far more frequent basis.
The team launched a programme of testing in May with a cohort of current members. This features three academic strands:
- Maths: Computer Programming - led by Dave Wood and Andrew Brendon-Penn (Maths)
- Creative Writing – led by Peter Blegvad and George Ttoouli (Warwick Writing Programme)
- Global Leadership – led by Sue Bridgewater (WBS)
Some of the IGGY testers attended an intensive day workshop at the University on 18 June. At the workshop they used one of the new Cisco Telepresence Suites to talk to other IGGY members in Brunei, Pakistan and Canada. The overseas members used basic web cameras on their home PCs and appeared on the huge 65 inch screen in the WBS Dean's Meeting room, discussing ideas with their UK IGGY counterparts.
A larger Summer Pilot will be launched in July for more IGGY members with new strands including: Chemistry and Physics, Astrophysics, Entrepreneurship, and podcast challenges with Professor Ian Stewart.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift commented:
"IGGY is a central part of the University Strategy. It has a major role to play in developing new methods of teaching and learning; it is an international first and promises to evolve into a unique and powerful community of the world's brightest and most creative future talent."
IGGY aims to launch the new IGGY Online service for all current and new members from September 2011.
Other IGGY Projects
IGGY is again supporting the Litro Young Person's Story Competition, an opportunity for all young people from around the world aged 11-19 to share their stories for the chance to win £2,500 and see their work published in Litro Online and on the London Underground.
IGGY is also working with a 10-person Junior Commission over the next six months to research future energy consumption.
IGGY's academic programme is led by Dr Dave Wood. He is looking to engage all parts of the University with developing learning content for IGGY members as well as helping them develop into the global leaders of the next generation. He can be contacted via email at David.Wood@warwick.ac.uk.