Inspire Digital is an open interface for secondary school students and prospective university applicants, which is designed in the format of an online magazine. There are plenty of challenges on offer, with specialists providing source- and critical thinking questions of the type that prospective Oxford applicants might be expected to answer in an interview.
Through the first issue, ‘How to design a successful video game’, we hope to show the many and varied perspectives on, and approaches to, computer games design. Several St John’s tutors have contributed articles: Economics tutor Dr Kate Doornik focuses on revenue and profitability, English tutor Professor Carolyne Larrington thinks about story-telling and characterisation, and Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, talks about the addictive nature of games. We also hear from James Hyde, a Maths graduate from St John's, about his personal journey into the games industry. James is a build engineer at the UK's biggest games studio, Creative Assembly (his first project was Halo Wars 2).
There are plenty of other challenges on offer – for
example, puzzles set by mathematicians Dr David Seifert and Dr Tom
Crawford, and physicist Professor Tony Weidberg. Professor Richard
Compton and his research group have created a series of
chemistry brainteasers, Professor Ian Sobey tests readers' engineering
and French Lecturer Marie Elven wants to know how you would cope if you
suddenly found yourself stranded in a foreign land where you did not
We are delighted to have the involvement of secondary school teachers, who have contributed questions, brainteasers and puzzles to the site. All solutions will be posted regularly and there are even prizes to be won! Also included are useful links to information and resources on how to make a competitive application to a highly selective university, as well as tips and advice for interviews and admissions tests.
Look out for our new edition coming out next term – 'What is the power of a volcano?'
Why not let
us know what articles you would like to see? If you are a teacher, perhaps you
would like to contribute to the next set of tricky questions.
For further information and alerts on events and opportunities at St John’s, please contact the Access and Admissions Office.