Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Having a Blast at BOC
SATRO had a fantastic opportunity to provide entertainment and education at BOC’s bi-annual ‘Bring Your Family to Work’ Day on Friday 27th July.  Over 100 children, from the ages of 4-14, made their own water rocket.  Led by a SATRO team of 4 engineer experts and supported by 2 members of BOC staff, Lesley Cain and Barbara Hammond, every child achieved a successful launch of their unique rocket, amidst much excitement.  A competitive streak amongst older children created an enthusiastic desire to improve on design, whilst the younger children were simply thrilled to watch their rocket “whoosh” through the air.  Many of the Dads launched themselves into the fun and proved they were able “pump” technicians.  A very uplifting experience for all participants on a (at last) lovely summers day!

Monday, 30 July 2012


Here at SATRO we are not just all about , business games in secondaries, mentoring programmes or problem solving or firing rockets at primary schools - oh no!  A great part of our activities is the work of the unique fleet of Mobile Classrooms which teach hands-on construction skills to young people in schools and at other youth venues throughout the county.  These vans do great service but like us all, need a bit of TLC now and again. We are delighted that thanks to the generosity of The Shanly Foundation and Gatwick Airport Community Trust that we are able to replace one awning and fit one to the most recently acquired van.  Awnings mean that students can carry on their work and skills-building whatever the weather, come rain or shine!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Youngest ever volunteer for SATRO!

SATRO's offices in Send played host to our youngest-ever volunteer as Francesca, daughter of our Volunteer co-ordinator came to lend a hand.  The 11 year-old quickly got to grips with checking and setting up the materials for lots of different activities - from business games to sports stadium construction challenges.  We didn't work her too hard and look forward to seeing her again soon.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Rosebery School, Epsom
34 teams,  totalling 240 Year 10 students, enjoyed the Sports Stadium Challenge at Rosebery School on 16th July.  Two of our Associates and seven volunteers guided the girls through the process of planning, design and construction to create some amazing structures.  Teachers commented that “even those students not interested in maths/engineering took part and enjoyed it” and the volunteers were “enthusiastic and knowledgeable – excellent mentors for the students”.
The students said that this was “a useful challenge” which helped them to have a greater understanding about Forces in Structures, Engineering and Construction, Design Principles and problem-solving and working to a deadline.   Comments included “ I learned how to construct a building using logic and teamwork”; “I learned valuable information for future career choices”; “I am now more determined and focussed about my career choices”.
Now just waiting for the real thing at the Olympics!

Friday, 20 July 2012


AND A NEW RECORD!  The Summer Term has seen SATRO deliver 22 Sports Stadium Challenges to primary and secondary schools across the County.  On 4th July a SATRO team worked with 90 Year 9 students at City of London Freeman’s School in Leatherhead.  Led by Peter Stables, our volunteer team comprising Sarah Bostock, Gordon Bell and Nick Cox were on side to help the students with their design concepts before the build stage commenced in earnest.  As structures emerged from the architect’s drawing into visual structures, noise levels rose with the excitement of how the finished models would turn out.  Teamwork, creative thought and engineering skills were all put to the test with the teams achieving great results. 
 “Outcomes were excellent”.  “Good to have pupils have contact with other adults with real world experience”. “I would recommend this activity”.
Students loved it and had an insight into what engineers do and a third of them siad it had  raised their interest in design, engineering, construction and architecture. 
“This has changed my outlook on what engineers do”.  “I can work in a team of people I might not like”.  “I learnt to think on my feet and adapt to situations”.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


The annual Alternative/Renewable Energy day was held at The Warwick School on Thursday 12 July - as dynamic and exciting as ever  with 14 engineers working with the science and technology departments at the school.  Year 9 students were grouped into 8 large teams, divided into 2 engineering and 1 media team per group, each named after a famous scientist or engineer.  The day started with an introduction to renewable/alternative energies and then on to the design and build!

From a pile of bits of wood, screws, bolts, copper piping, guttering, plastic dustbins and all sorts, each group produced 2 large scale working models which actually generated electricity; 2 small scale working models – a windmill and a solar boat; and the media students created a four page newsletter containing photographs and interviews  Large waterwheels and turbines were tested outside with flowing water and gave enough power to light LEDs; in the hall, fans became wind which turned all the innovative wind turbines, and theatrical lights simulated the sun to heat water in various water devices.

The Day has evolved over ten years with SATRO and The Warwick working closely together.Our Ambassadors return year on year and there is a competitive element between groups now, not only of students but also between the engineers!  Our thanks go to all of them from Allan Hopkins (The Warwick) and Denise Balmer (SATRO) for once again supporting this and making it such a worthwhile day.  We are also indebted to Cllr Lyn Hack of Banstead and Reigate Council for providing the funding to enable this worthwhile day to go ahead.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The final week.....

The last week of the Summer Term is about to start - but rather than winding down, SATRO are still full steam ahead with activities in schools.

This week sees : a Sports Stadium Challenege at Rosebery School, Epsom
* Healthy Eating at St Dominics School, Godalming
* Satro Business games over 2 days at Rosebery School
* The same at the Ashcombe School on Thursday and Friday
and the grand finale, a Water Rockets day for BOC in Guildford!

Whew - and then , deep breath, start looking forward to September when we look busier than ever!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Great oaks.......

Dr Beccy Bowden, our CEO, was recently invited to talk to a group of ten people at Detica offices on the Surrey Research Park at Guildford - Detica is part of BAE Systems and do a lot of work on cyber securty.  They wanted to engage with young people to encourage them into Science and Engineering as they struggle to recruit suitably qualified young people.  Beccy told them about all of SATRO's activities in the area.  At
the end of the session one of the engineers came up to say he had been involved in our Maths Challenge and Problem Solving Challenge when he was still at school and how this had helped spark his intererst in Science.  He had then had a Nuffield Science bursary organised by SATRO - and now lo and behold, he is now a fully qualified engineer working at Detica and wanting to encourage the next generation.

Nice to hear the full story of just one of the thousands of young people we have worked with over the years!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

There's a World of Opportunities out there!
80 lower 6th students from schools throughout Guildford attended a fantastic Careers Event on Friday, hosted by George Abbott School and organised by Satro in partnership with Guildford Network - designed to open their eyes to the huge range of possiblities out there.
Over 20 volunteers were involved whose jobs ranged from Actor to Patent Attoney, Forensic Scientist to Copywriter - and lots more! A 'What's My Line' session, in which groups of students had to guess the occupation of the volunteers, was followed by a series of short workshops on subjects including Apprenticeships, Sponsored degrees, How to prepare for an interview, Where to search for a job, Entrepeneurship, and Personal Presentation.
Comments from students attending included:
  • 'Its helped me to think past Uni as I never have before'
  • 'I have realised that Uni is not the only option'
  • 'It has made me feel more confident about the options'
  • 'It gave me hope'

Monday, 9 July 2012


Please find a link below to the photographs taken of the magnificent Willmott Dixon team during their Three Peaks Challenge 2012. You will see the gruelling conditions that the fantastic team walked in - making their success even more admirable.

So far, they have raised a staggering £23,680.00. You can still support this venture by donating via virgin money giving.

Thanks for all your support!

If you are having problems viewing the photographs, copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=114974736096278184317&target=ALBUM&id=5762858787800619649&authkey=Gv1sRgCISmlKH2iriNrwE&invite=CIeVwJwP&feat=email

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wimbledon might be over - SATRO still winning!

The end of the summer term is in sight, but there are still plenty of activities taking place in schools around the county.  This week sees:
SATRO Business Games at Rodborough School, Glebelands and Blenheim  x 2! A Careers Day focussing on Entrepreneurship at Broadwater on Friday and an Alternative Energy Day at the Warwick Schoool in Redhill on Thursday.

Its a great summer - despite the weather!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Cooking up a Treat

SATRO team of 4 visited St Nicholas CofE Primary School in Shepperton on Tuesday to deliver two Healthy Eating workshops with Year 5 and Year 2.

3  x Year 5 classes, a total of 90 pupils, were hands-on making delicious flapjack, being packaging detectives and learning how to plan a meal for 2 within a limited budget.

Pupil comments
“I properly understand what a balanced diet is and you need balance to stay healthy”  “there are hidden salts and fats in products”  “what different food groups there are and what foods are in the groups”

Teacher comments
“Useful addition to NC and re-inforced work on digestive system”  “children enjoyed ‘adult activity’ of meal planning”  “better awareness of budget”  “Very interesting session”

2 x Year classes, at total of 60 pupils, did a carousel of three activities:  sandwich-making;, creating a healthy eating plate; cooking skills game and choosing food items for a picnic basket.

Pupil comments:
“If you eat healthy food, you grow quicker”  “I’ve learnt a bit more about hygiene”  “some things are good for you and some are not”  “to eat healthy things and to try different things”  “that you have to eat the right food to be healthy and grow”

Teacher comments:
“Supports Science curriculum – Healthy Eating”  “Nice for children to work with different people”   “It makes the learning fun”

The children in both year groups were very excited to be able to take something home with them at the end of the day: either a piece of flapjack or a delicious sandwich.

Edible learning!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

They're back - all in one piece!

All the teams from the Willmott Dixon/SATRO 3 Peaks Fundraising Challenge to scale Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowden arrived back safely at the company's Cobham headquarters on Monday afternoon after a soggy but exhilirating time!

Monday, 2 July 2012


The Willmott Dixon teams are returning today to Cobham after completing the Three Peaks Challenge.  Whilst a little damp, all are in good spirits after achieving a difficult trial.


They did it - the teams from Willmott Dixon raising money for SATRO in the 3 Peaks Challenge this weekend are back - all 3 peaks scaled and despite some damp weather along the way, done in good time.

Photographs available shortly.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

What a night!

All the teams on the SATRO/3 Peaks Challenge are clear of Scafell Pike and making good time.

Quote :  "Very wet!"

Snowden here they come.