Dr Alison Taylor
This paper discusses the establishment of two new foundation year programmes at the University of Surrey; one in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the other in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Specifically, it explores how the programmes have been constructed and how programme teams have attempted to avoid the ‘deficit model’ by adopting a student-centred approach that focuses on the development of successful students when considering staffing expertise and curriculum design. This is followed by an exploration of staff and student perspectives on what constitutes a successful foundation year student. Finally, the paper comments on how success will be measured in the future, suggesting that, whilst specific metrics might serve as indicators of success, no single metric is likely to capture the complicated nature of what success is and what it looks like for the individuals we teach. Overall, the paper suggests that the question, ‘What is a successful foundation year student?’ should be considered carefully in the process of designing and developing foundation year programmes.
In this work, we present a simple and affordable experiment to determine the Reynolds number for water flowing through a cylindrical aperture. Commercially available equipment exists but often at high cost. Instead, the use of simple laboratory equipment (stopwatches, measuring cylinders and plastic bottles) allows an entire class to complete the experiment simultaneously. By measuring the mean bulk flow rates and calculating a value for the mean bulk speed of the fluid the Reynolds number (Re) can be determined. Using this experimental equipment we observed both laminar and turbulent flow, as confirmed through our calculated values of Re = 1100 300 and Re = 9400 700 respectively. Finally, we offer practical advice for carrying out these experiments as well as suggesting suitable further activities to make this activity accessible to various levels of study.