‘It was unlike anything I’ve ever done’ – Kelvinside Academy pushes young minds

By Ian Marland at

Pupils have been inspired by top US technology experts at a series of pioneering summer camps in the West End.

The events marked an exclusive partnership between Kelvinside Academy and NuVu – the world’s leading innovation school.

NuVu summer camps

Learning: Isla McLean S3 pupil at Kelvinside Academy, taking part in NuVu’s BioFashion studio, modelling a design she has made. Photo credit: Elaine Livingstone

The pupils on the design and technology camps worked with experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard to explore the combined intelligence of humans and machines to solve problems.

Communication skills were honed with pupils presenting their finished projects to guest experts, receiving constructive feedback in real time.

Martha Armstrong, S2 pupil at Kelvinside Academy who has been exploring swarm robotics said the camp was “unlike anything I’ve ever done”.

“You create incredible products and get to use kit you’ve never tried before like laser cutters and 3-D printers as well as using code and different materials and components”, she said.

“You are constantly learning but it doesn’t feel like you’re in school being taught.”

NuVu summer camps

Tech-savvy: S2 pupil Martha Armstrong shows off the robot she designed and built during the NuVu swarm robotics studio. Photo credit: Elaine Livingstone

Ian Munro, the school’s rector, secured the exclusive partnership with NuVu, which aims to stretch the boundaries of what constitutes education.

Since his appointment in April 2016, Mr Munro has introduced innovative digitally-inspired learning experiences for pupils.

One of his first steps was to oversee the transformation of the school’s old library into a high-tech hub with a ‘thinking space’ – an adopted classroom where students map out ideas by writing on the walls.

He said of the camp: “The skills they (the pupils) are learning are vital for the world beyond the school gate which is constantly evolving.

“I’m so pleased our partnership with NuVu has allowed our children to experience a very different, but no less valid, way of learning.

“Inviting world-leading experts into our school can only help our pupils develop their thinking.

“It’s awe-inspiring to see some of the work they have produced in just one week.”

NuVu summer camps

Right material: Myles Codona, S1, designs an outfit as part of NuVu’s BioFashion studio.

Based in Boston, NuVu was established in 2010.

Since then, thousands of pupils experience its unique educational model.

Rather than classrooms and subjects, pupils work on collaborative projects, immersing themselves in the creative process and all its challenges.

Professor Frank Coton, University of Glasgow vice-principal, Dr Stephen Breslin, chief executive officer at Glasgow’s Science Centre and Alex Clarke from Skills Development Scotland were among the studio visitors who met the pupils, and their robots.


Dr Stephen Breslin said: “It’s inspiring to see all this innovation at Kelvinside Academy.

“Pupils are being challenged to think outside the box and are coming up with some truly astonishing solutions.”

The team from NuVu includes Emily Glass, NuVu’s Head of Partnerships, Swarm Robotics expert Nathan Melenbrink, design fellow Anjali Patel, Chief Academic Officer Andrew Marcus and University of West England senior lecturer Becca Rose.

* For further information on the school, visit More details about NuVu can be found at