Students deliver ‘go creative’ message

Niamh Curran, left, and Holly McNie told Deputy First Minister John Swinney about their work
Niamh Curran, left, and Holly McNie told Deputy First Minister John Swinney about their work
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Two Edinburgh College students took the stage at Scotland’s biggest gathering of education professionals to talk about how they are inspiring young people to be creative.

And the pair of graphic design students got to tell Deputy First Minister John Swinney all about their innovative work.

Students and staff from Edinburgh College attended the Scottish Learning Festival and delivered seminars to audiences from the country’s education community on engaging young people in art and design and inspiring young people to learn digital skills.

Nineteen year-old HND graphic design students Niamh Curran and Holly McNie presented the Graphic Design Ambassadors project – a project conceived and delivered by the pair. This involves them going into schools to work directly with pupils in art and design classes to give them the benefits of their own creative and education experiences.

Niamh and Holly also shared details of their Day Dream Believers course – developed as part of the project – which offers a unique opportunity for secondary school pupils to spend a week at the college participating in a number of workshops across different design disciplines and meeting employers from design agencies.

Graphic design lecturer Helena Good, who delivered the seminar with the students, said: “The festival provided a fantastic opportunity to share the work the college is doing to better facilitate and strengthen the important links between schools, colleges and employers in creative industries.

“It was also a great experience for our ambassador students to showcase their project to a varied audience. The college encourages students to take part in events such as this to develop their skills.” As part of the Inspiring Young People into Digital Skills seminar, Edinburgh College Computing curriculum manager Sam Blyth presented the Codespace CSI project, a pilot scheme developed by the college to engage school pupils in digital skills.

The project involves pupils learning and using a variety of digital skills to solve a fictitious crime.

Sam was joined at the event in Glasgow by Frances O’Neill from the local tech company Global Treasure Apps, which makes clue-based treasure trail apps for visitor attractions locally and globally – including high-profile Historic Environment Scotland attractions such as Edinburgh Castle.

Frances described the Global Treasure App project which gives pupils an opportunity to gain experience of working on a real live digital project for a client.

Sam Blyth said: “We received great feedback and spoke to representatives from schools, both nationally and internationally, who are keen to find out more about the projects. The need for digital skills is growing by the day and it is important that we as educators are inspiring young people to learn more.”