Year 8 pupils from The Farnborough Academy in Clifton convinced more than 200 Nottingham University students and lecturers to take part in their graffiti art project to highlight young people’s career aspirations.
The youngsters, aged 12 and 13, were invited by Nottingham University to create the graffiti career path along one of its walkways.
They used stencils and spray paint to create hundreds of speech boxes along a pathway behind the Portland Building on the Park Campus, each one featuring the sentence openers “As a child I wanted to be…” and “Today I want to be…”
They then set to work persuading throngs of university students and staff as they poured out of lectures to chalk their answers into the boxes.
Julianne England, head of Expressive Arts at Farnborough, said: “It gave our pupils a wonderful opportunity to talk to adults about aspirations and futures with an international community.
“There were some real stars among our pupils on the day, such as Alex Lane and James Wells, who managed to ask almost everyone that came out of the Hallward Library – that would have been hundreds of people – to take part in the career path.
“A huge thank you to the university for inviting us to do this and for being so enthusiastic about contributing to the path.”
The Farnborough pupils said they found the project a fascinating experience.
“It was good to see what the local community thought about art and their futures. They took part in a real positive way,” said Liam Bramley.
“We saw that a lot of people became what they wanted to be,” commented Ben Harvey.
“It was also good to see that ideas change and it’s OK to not know what you want to be,” added Yasmin Bollwell-Walker.
The art project is part of a year-long programme of activities to raise aspirations among Farnborough pupils.
The whole programme is being funded by the University of Nottingham’s Teacher Fellowship programme, after the school successfully bid for the support. Four visits and three workshops are taking place over the year, involving all year groups at the school.