Abertay 25 Changemakers

"Abertay 25 Changemakers” saw Abertay 25 volunteers work with 250 young people at S2 or S3 level in Dundee. Their mission: to research 25 stories of people and innovations associated with the history of the institution and design creative presentations based on their findings.

We were pleased to work with 4 schools in Dundee during this phase: Braeview Academy, Grove Academy, Morgan Academy and St John’s RC High School. The purpose of this project, however, was not only to share knowledge of the archives and build research skills.  It was important to allow the Young Ambassadors to explore their creativity and discover how to present information to a target audience. This, for many Young Ambassadors, brought both fantastic creativity and teamwork as well as stage fright. Every group we worked with helped us explore and share the stories we had discovered and, in total, our Young Ambassadors successfully delivered 26 creative outputs based on 11 of the 25 stories.

The Stories

Several of the 25 stories relate to the achievements of women, such as Victoria Drummond (the UKs first woman Maritime Engineer) and Lily Miller (Dundee City Council's first woman politician).

We also wanted to celebrate Abertay’s multicultural ties and were thrilled to share the stories of Kalam Chowdhury (with his links to the development of Dundee’s Central Mosque and the Bangladeshi Association) and Nani Bhusan Ghose (who studied Jute Manufacture in Dundee at a time of great uncertainty for his family at home in Calcutta).

You can discover all 25 of these stories here: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/about/the-university/archive/first-of-abertays-firsts/

Female staff member at Dundee Institute of Art and Technology (Abertay University) looking at data being printed from a computer in the 1960s

The Young Ambassadors

This phase of the project aimed to develop essential soft skills in our Young Ambassadors including their confidence, communication, and motivation both as individual learners and as part of a team. It also aimed to help them develop research skills, and gain an understanding of heritage and, more specifically, give them an insight into the heritage of the city and the university. We’re pleased to say that many of our Young Ambassadors revealed that they felt they had developed their skills and understanding of heritage by the end of the phase.

Braeview Academy Young Ambassadors

The Volunteers

Our volunteers also showed huge leaps in confidence, and most were taken completely out of their comfort zone during this phase, many never having delivered a project quite like it! Not only were they going to work with teenagers in schools, they were to provide support for their creative outputs. Needless to say, our volunteers did a fantastic job and the project wouldn’t have been so successful without them.

Students and lecturer talking

Creative Outputs

26 creative outputs were generated from 11 of our Abertay Firsts. These outputs included puppet shows, artworks, game designs, rap songs and passionate talks about the environment. Pupils learnt the many uses for continuous casting; discovered Abertay’s links to the HMS Unicorn; and uncovered lost voices from the archives. Although we can't display them all here, we are equally impressed and proud of each and every one of them. You can scroll through to examples of these by clicking on the arrows above.

Morgan Computer games design

Morgan Academy – "Steve the Potato" Game Design

Young Ambassadors at Morgan Academy researched our history with computers and computer games to inspire their own computer game design.

Morgan Computer games

Morgan Academy - HMS Unicorn

Young Ambassadors at Morgan Academy looked at our history with developing environmentally friendly wood preservatives for preserving the HMS Unicorn to inspire their own environmentally friendly ship designs.

Unicorn - Bottle Boat - Morgan Academy.

Braeview Academy - Nani Bhusan Ghose

Young Ambassadors at Braeview Academy researched the history of one of our international students to inspire creative writing exploring comparisons between Dundee and India at the time of Partition in 1948.

You can read one of these letters here.

Student group

St John's RC High School - Margaret Cameron

Young Ambassadors at St John’s High School researched the life and times of Abertay alumni Margaret Cameron, Dundee’s first female Naval Architect to create a collage presenting everything they’d learnt about her.

Margaret Cameron - St Johns RC High School

Grove Academy – David Reid Tait

Young Ambassadors at Grove Academy explored the life and adventures of Abertay alumni, David Reid Tait, in Henderson Island and Christmas Island, to inspire several presentations that included current environmental issues affecting the Islands, and a puppet show about his life.

Grove Academy - David Reid Tait Puppet Show

The project finished with a vote for the “First of the Firsts” – a public vote for the most innovative story from our 25. Six hundred people voted in this poll, and you can discover more about our winner and runner ups here.


NLHF and Abertay University logos

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