Thursday, 31 May 2012


Sixty year 5 & 6 pupils took part in a SATRO Sports Stadium Challenge on Tuesday 29th May.  They were divided up into groups of about 6 children whereupon they designed their own stadium, fit for the specific purpose they selected, be it swimming, cycling, athletics, etc.  The teacher's comments and photographs evidence what a fantastic day was had by all...

The building of the structures with real nuts, bolts and screws was brilliant - made it more like real life."

I feel it is positive for students to have support from external staff and volunteers as it gives them a new opportunty, new people to inspire them and new opinions/methods to inform their thinking."

Year 5 & 6 children at Meath Green Junior School
contructing their stadiums


Pringles Tubes (empty) were being put to good use in this half day event for 18 students, a mix of Years 7, 8 and 9 at Wishmore Cross in Chobham.  They were building lighthouses  and being Circuit Detectives with fault-finding boards.  The session was led by Jeremy Owen, supported by 3 of our volunteers.  All the students particpated to some extent and really enjoyed the activity.  Jeremy was especially impressed by how some students customised their lighthouse. 
The teachers commented that the event was informative and engaging for their students, that it provided an opportunity for some good team-work and that many of the boys enjoyed themselves.

Volunteers were delighted with the great results.  

"Thank you so much for a great morning building lighthouses and being circuit detectives. Even though the boys were very lively they did enjoy themselves. "I am pleased with my lighthouse, I enjoyed putting the light on and making it work"
"I enjoyed decorating the plate with real rocks"
"It was fun stripping the wire and making the circuit"
"I really liked the detective bit, it was hard but I found out what was wrong"

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Big Community Day in Surrey with Eagle Radio!

It's Big Community Day in Surrey with Eagle Radio!

SATRO's Beccy Bowden started the day off well with an early morning interview with Peter Gordon on the breakfast show talking about how simple and valuable volunteering with SATRO could be.  No need to commit to a regular day or time - SATRO have lots of varied activities throughout the year from Business Games to Discovery Science (water rockets to circuit detectives) and careers speed-dating.  Building sporting structures or maths challenges - the list is endless!

Check the Eagle Radio website to find out more about to-days' activities.


Matthew Arnold School – 25th May 2012

Friday saw 45 Year 7 students, supported by some Year 8 and Year 10 students at Matthew Arnold School in Staines , taking part in an exciting challenge to test their engineering skills.   Seven teams worked furiously despite the heat to create individual sports stadiums with a huge range of designs.  The SATRO team of experts were on hand to give guidance and construction tips.  And the teaching staff were no less enthusiastic  - there was a real buzz in the hall!

And they learnt about :       Forces in Structures / Engineering & Construction / Design principles - not bad for a day at school!

The students found it particularly great working in different teams and some even said it had made them think about an engineering or construction-related career.

Many thanks to Geoff Evans, Deputy Head, and his staff for making us feel so welcome and ensuring that all the necessary preparations were in place to achieve a really successful event.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Perfect Day for Challenges!

Today sees SATRO delivering 2 Sports Stadium Challenges at Eastwick Junior School in Great Bookham and the Matthew Arnold School in Staines - busy end to a very busy week!

But next week is even more hectic with 9 events being organised across the county - from Springfield Primary in Sunbury to Riverview primary in West Ewell, and Godalming College to Cordwalles Junior School in Camberley!  That is a lot of business games, engineering challenges and science in one week. Looking forward to the pictures and some great quotes.


60 budding entrepreneurs from St James' Church of England Primary School in Weybridge had a wonderful day on Tuesday this week getting a taste for the business world.  Divided into 8 teams - some great company names : The Page Stopper Company and Shazam! - they took on real business roles and had to deal with all the excitements and frustrations of trying to set up and run a successful company. Team Stationary World won the game and the best presentation came from LEADO.  Hard lessons learnt - one team came last because they failed to bank some money!

And what did the pupils learn? "If you don't organise then nothing works properly"
"That its good to not just work with your friends"
"I would love to work and can't wait"

Sounds like a successful day!

Monday, 21 May 2012


We have a great week of events ahead - 3 SATRO Junior Business Games at St James CofE Primary School, Weybridge, St Dunstan's in Woking and Warren Mead, Banstead.  Then on Thursday there is a Primary Science morning at Wishmore Cross with 2 Sports Stadium Challenges on Friday at Eastwick Junior, Great Bookham and The Matthew Arnold  School!  Whew!

There will be lots of reports and photographs on the blog - so watch this space.

Friday, 18 May 2012


What a great finale to a great competition!  Year 9 @ Winston Churchill School in Woking have been learning all about what makes a good radio advert. Teams of students chose between two clients – Mercedes Benz World and Make a Wish Foundation, designed and performed an advert, and went on to develop a ‘pitch’ to the panel of expert judges about why their proposed advert should be chosen.
The judges were from Eagle Radio, Woking Borough Council and SATRO and they had their work cut out with a very tough competition, with many students having produced scripted adverts with music and sound-effects.
Second-place went to Mercedes Benz World and featured an excellent Jeremy Clarkson impersonation which had the audience laughing out loud. The overall winner though, was an advert for Make a Wish foundation which really pulled at the heart strings and left everyone in the audience wanting to dash out and make a donation to the Charity. It even included some music written and recorded by the students. The winning team will be taking a visit to the recording studios at Eagle Radio’s HQ in Guildford to record their advert, and find out how a radio station really works.    Congratulations!

Students had a great day - some quotes:
"I learnt a lot that I will benefit from in the future
  • They were very inspiring when they told us the task ahead
    • They gave us perspective from the eyes of professionals
    • It made me think about thinks I wouldn’t have thought about before
    • I’ve become more interested in the media world and have improved my speaking skills"
and from a teacher "

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Great excitement all round for Year 9 at Winston Churchill School in Woking as today sees the start of the judging of their advertising radio jingles for their chosen companies - Mercedes Benz World or Make a Wish Foundation.  Students have had 2 weeks to perfect and practise their performance and presentations and will be aiming to wow the judges from Eagle Radio.

We will find out later today who the first group winners are!

Friday, 11 May 2012


Whew  - after a hectic and challenging day at the offices of Siemens, the 12 schools competing in the 'Next Big Thing' Challenge, had a suspenseful wait to find out who had won.

And the winners  were :
Key Stage 4 : Weydon School with Faster Plaster (runner up-Herschel High Baby Monitor)
Key Stage 5 : Surbiton High School with H2pOwer(Tomlinscote 6th Form Hydraband)

Well done and looking forward to next years' Big ideas!

The Siemens Challenge for schools is organised by SATRO.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Thursday 10th May 2012 - the big day for 12 schools from Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire.  Today is the final of the Siemens 'The Next Big Thing'Challenge 2012!

Now in its 4th year, 6 Key Stage 4 teams, 6 Key Stage 5 teams have been working with their Siemens mentors since the launch on January.
The Challenge ?
For over 160 years, Siemens has been at the forefront of innovation and product development to meet constantly changing demands and issues.
So what will the Next Big Thing be?
The winners will impress the judges by the way they have worked together to improve on the idea they have, which they will need to present on the judging day, with the centrepiece being your Prototype.
The teams will man their stands and exhibit their prototypes to impress two teams of ‘dragons’ made up of Siemens staff. Teams will also visit Siemens City of the Future interactive exhibition during the day.

We wish them all good luck and can't wait to see what the new ideas will be!

Monday, 7 May 2012


The last two mornings with year 9 students at Winston Churchill School  have really rocked! The Invest In Your Success initiative funded by Woking Borough Council and organised by SATRO has been helping studentstake part in the Radio Rockz Challenge, run by Eagle Radio, and have been working on creating an advert and a pitch to present to a panel of judges.  Having received a creative brief, one about Mercedes-Benz World and one about Make A Wish Foundation, they chose which they would like to make their advert about and set off to brainstorm their ideas to decide exactly what they were going to do.

Before we get back together again on the 17th May the students will have time to work on their presentation and advert, record it if they want to, and then present it to their form groups. Using a secret vote, each person will vote for their favourite team to go through to the final on the 17th May when they will present to a panel of judges, and the rest of their year group, in a Dragon's Den style.

The winner will get the fantastic opportunity to go to the Eagle Radio studios, get a tour around, meet some of the presenters and producers and record their advert for it to be used and played on Eagle's sister station Eagle Extra.

From what we have seen over the last couple of days there has been some really great ideas, so we're all looking forward to the 17th May!

Friday, 4 May 2012


This has been a very busy week which is just the tip of our very busy summer-activity iceberg - literally scores of exciting challenges and events.  A new activity, the Sports Stadium Challenge, features strongly.  Two events took place this week, one at Hoe Bridge School near Woking and the other at Glebelands School in Cranleigh.  At Hoe Bridge a mix of their Year 5 and Year 7 pupils, working in teams of 6, designed and built a wonderful architectural array of different stadia.  The brief was to design a stadium suitable as a sporting venue and then build it, having made their own construction sticks from rolled paper.  The afternoon session tested their creativity skills further by making a presentation about their design to a team of panel.  The winning team were presented with certificates for Best Design award.

 Some comments from Hoe Bridge pupils when asked, ‘What have you learned today?’…

That team work makes building more efficient and much faster."
"That building is fun.  Working together is better than one."

And responses to, ‘How did the scientists and engineers help you today?’…

They helped me by letting me participate in the funnest team work building competition!"
They helped us perfect the ideas we were trying to use to keep our stadium stable."

The Glebelands event involved 180 x Year 9 students, split into a morning and afternoon session.  Time constraints made this a fast and frenetic activity for both groups, in which the students were tested to work to tight deadlines to complete their structures.  The result was good team working and some excellent designs.  Two teams received awards: overall Winner for Best Design and Highly Commended for Innovation.

Both events were supported by SATRO volunteers from an engineering background who were able to give expert guidance when needed.  The presence of volunteers creates links for the students with the working world as they learn about real-life experiences and career opportunities - in a creative and thoughtful way.

Student's response to, 'In what way may this event have influenced you about future career choices?'...

Well, I wanted to be an engineer and this has shown me what it's like.  And, I've enjoyed it and I want to do it more now."
"I want to find out what careers involve engineering, it's quite interesting."

A teacher's comment...

Even more challenging students joined in and were interested.  Very positive!"

Who said maths was boring!

Pupils in Year 3 and 4 at St Bartholomew’s Primary School in Haslemere experienced a new slant on maths when they took part in a fantastic Fun Maths activity on Thursday 3 May 2012.  Presented with a range of different mathematical challenges, as diverse as adding, subtracting, calculating, sequencing, logical thinking, etc, the pupils worked in pairs around the 40 tasks.  They were supervised by four of our SATRO volunteers who were on hand to give explanations and tips; as each task was completed the teams had their score sheet signed off.  The highest number of tasks completed in just 1 hour was 21 – a fantastic achievement.  The children agreed that they had learnt how useful maths is and its importance in everyday life. 
Even those pupils who had said at the beginning that maths was BORING agreed that it was fun! A great way to get them hooked on numbers early.

Some teachers commented...

Great fun for the children to solve problems in a fun environment.  Good range of different activites.  Supported class maths at different ability levels.  I teach a less able maths group and even they were able to do well."
"A good balance of number and shape problems.  Also there were activities suitable for all abilities - the more able were stretched and some activities were suitable for the less able."

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Winston Churchill Rocks on!

Thursday 3 May 2012 saw the launch of Radio Rockz at Winston Churchill Secondary School with 160 Year 9 pupils getting the chance to enter the world of radio advertising, complete with professional help from Eagle Radio 96.4!  The students were thoroughly absorbed for nearly 3 hours as they got stuck into planning their radio adverts.  Choices were between Mercedes Benz World or the Make a Wish Foundation - while a lot of boys tended towards the cars, it was good to see a lot of students wanting to make an advert for Make a Wish!

They have 2 weeks to perfect their jingles before the judging commences.  The eventual winners will have their advert recorded and broadcast - a great opportunity be part of the real world of media.
Radio Rockz is part of the 'Invest in Your Success' Programme for Woking Secondary schools funded by Woking Borough Council and organised by SATRO

Wind, sun and water energy at Warwick

It was a fun hands on day with a serious purpose for 9 Year 5 children from St Matthews Primary, Redhill and Furzefield Primary School this week when they had the chance to go to the Warwick Secondary School in Redhill and get to grips with thinking about why we need energy and what the alternatives could be.  The day was made possible by funding from Councillor Lynne Hack, who has supported the programme for a number of years, the fantastic Warwick School and SATRO organisers.wind energy devices, solar powered boats and waterwheels that lift weights.
Students from the Warwick worked with the teams who had the chance to make

Judging by the responses from the pupils, the solar-powered boats and the VERY competitive racing of them was the highlight! "The best bit was when my team won the race".  The message of the day made an impression too : " I learnt that we can all save our planet, by walking more and using the car". 

And if it keeps on raining, those waterwheels and solar powered boats will come in very useful indeed!