Tag Archives: questions

Micro interns with macro impact!

The Oxplore team were lucky enough to be joined by three fantastic Oxford University undergraduate students on ‘micro-internships’. These shorter placements are organised by the Internship Office at Oxford University and offer applicants the chance to contribute to a project within a team for a week at the end of term.

We were hugely impressed with the quality, breadth and depth of the work they each produced. Being such a small team, we were able to vastly increase the scope of our project for the week which had a direct and positive impact upon audience reach and engagement.

One of our interns, Molly, focused on creating new digital content for our upcoming Big Question on mental health. She independently organised, filmed and edited a series of short interviews with undergraduate students. Within the videos, students gave their top self-care tips on looking after their personal wellbeing, and they explained on what the concept of mental health meant to them.

Our other two interns, Olivia and Jessy (pictured below), were tasked with organising a Facebook live stream in a week! They approached this daunting prospect with calm professionalism, and pulled together three excellent speakers to discuss and debate the Big Question ‘Should we believe the history books?’

Check out the video here! 


Thoughts from the students

We asked each of the interns to write a reflection on the week that they spent with us- we were thrilled to hear that they all found it useful and enjoyed being a part of the team. We are very grateful for the enthusiasm and energy that they brought to the role, and wish them all the very best in their future careers!

I found my week at Oxplore really exciting and insightful. It was lovely to work in the office alongside so many dedicated people on such a thought provoking and clever piece of Outreach work. One element that I really enjoyed was the freedom of seeing a project through from start to finish. Being able to dedicate the whole week to the live stream and pick our chosen question, create the promotional content and guide the academic discussion gave me lots of new skills in organisation and planning. I particularly enjoyed making the trailer for our live stream and it has encouraged me to put more time into video editing. Now I’ve learned what it is like to focus on outreach full time and how closely intertwined this is with video production and social media, it has shown me that two of my pre-existing interests can meld really well together. I will definitely be getting involved with more work like this in the future – Olivia.


My week with Oxplore has been amazing! I’ve really enjoyed learning more about this platform and the University’s widening participation schemes. It’s been so beneficial to have the opportunity to plan a live stream outreach event from scratch; from choosing the question, thinking ourselves about how we would tackle the question, to gaining skills in event management by finding relevant academics and locations, as well as having to film, edit, and promote videos for the site. This microinternship has been fantastic because of all the different skills involved and subsequently all the experience gained in just 5 days! I hope to use these skills to take digital widening participation back to my College to ensure opportunities are there for students and schools that can’t make it to Oxford for a visit and equally to put a more academic-spin on access. Also, I’ve really loved working full time in outreach every day and hope to be able to do this once I graduate – Jessy.


I have found my week as a micro-intern for Oxplore incredibly interesting and insightful. My passion for creating videos was always merely a hobby, and so I am really thankful for the opportunity to pour all my energy into producing these three videos without any other priorities and distractions. I have learnt about using professional video editing software like After Effects, been taught about different lighting techniques, and discovered what it is like to produce videos as a group. It has been really informative to see what producing videos is like in a professional environment. This experience has encouraged me to pursue more professional opportunities in video production and further develop my own skills in video editing software – Molly. 



Photo by daveynin (Flickr) - (CC BY 2.0)https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Why did the chicken cross the road?

‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ is just one of the questions we debated this week as part of our content development work. To find out why you’d want to ask 11-18 year olds this cliché joke, read on.

A blue sky for thinking (behind the clouds).

‘The Big Questions’ is one aspect of our content development that we’re pursuing as a hook to hang our super-curricular and cross-disciplinary resources on. We know that young people love to have their say and to think about things in a quirky way.


Today the project team went to visit out developers at their office in Summertown to brainstorm questions. We discovered that it is harder than you’d think to come up with the perfect question that is both profound but attractive and can encompass many different academic disciplines and approaches!

This is just one half of our work.

The questions have to be both academically stimulating and have an element of ‘click bait’ to them. This is a marriage of two styles that don’t often sit together on the internet. After 2 hours we had a pretty big stack of post-its gathered in loose groupings. The most important facet we identified was that we wanted questions that elicited an emotional response – so users felt they could answer immediately even if this initial answer would be informed by their learning as they worked through it.

So, why did the chicken cross the road? This is often answered with a statement of fact (to get to the other side) – yet plenty of people think of it as an archetypal joke. This might lead us to ask where humour comes from, what happens in our brains and bodies to make us laugh, why some people find some things more amusing than others, and how jokes and humour have evolved over time through books and drama.