Friday, 31 August 2012


Forty-four students have spent the summer frantically collecting data and analysing it for their Nuffield Foundation Bursary projects, which are now coming to fruition.  The projects have to be completed and handed in by 7 September, before the start of the new school term.  Once they are read and assessed students are notified if they have gained Gold CREST Awards and this can be added to their UCAS forms as well as a statement of participation in the bursary project!

Several projects have already been completed and assessed and the valued Gold CREST status given.  A number of supervisors have already acclaimed the work done by their students as being "as good as their MSc student’s work, if not better!"  All projects will be on display at our Celebration Evening in November when their authors will chat with next year’s prospective applicants.  Information will be available from your school co-ordinator for prospective applicants in late October, early November.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


The SATRO Business Game stretches young people’s minds and abilities in a way they probably never thought possible! 
SATRO delivered 43 events in the last academic year, influencing 3,627 students.  No wonder most schools have already re-booked for 2012/13.
Running a business and showing enterprise skills that mirror the working world is the main topic covered in an intensive and exciting day that makes up the SATRO Business Game.
A huge number of volunteer facilitators from the business community have also enjoyed the experience.  Typical of their reactions has been this volunteer’s comment…
“I was completely impressed; not just with the excellent programme, content and organisation but with how the students performed and threw themselves into the tasks – so creative and full of enthusiasm – really gratifying.  The skills they acquired throughout the day will stand them in good stead as they enter the world of work.”

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


WOW - what a year for celebration in 2012:  not only did Surrey raise its profile by hosting the Olympic road cycling races, but some 8,000 young people in the County and border areas experienced a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activity through SATRO’s Discovery Science Programme.   This programme supports the National Curriculum syllabus by promoting STEM subjects through practical hands-on activities in school.  The aim is to inspire young people about the world of work, but it also assists teachers to develop the delivery of these subjects in an exciting, informative format.  Covering both primary and secondary students, we have offered a diverse range of activities throughout the year: science workshops, Fun Maths, Healthy Eating, the Sports Stadium Challenge, Alternative Energy Days and Bespoke Problem Solving Challenges.  Our work is supported by experienced volunteers from industry and commerce who bring their knowledge and enthusiasm into the classroom; a fantastic 155 of these volunteers participated in the Discovery Science programme over the past year, with many of them supporting more than one activity.

Comments we received from teachers and students validate the success of these events:

“The engineer showed us how to make a fantastic rocket – it was the best day ever!” – primary school pupil enthusing about the Water Rockets workshop

“I learnt that planning is a key point in engineering” – secondary school student participating in a Bespoke Problem Solving Challenge

“Great for the less ‘literate’ children to really excel at something practical” – a teacher’s response to the Sports Stadium Challenge

“A really good chance for the children to work as a team, listen to each other and share responsibilities” – a volunteer facilitating at The Alternative Energy Day.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Students Excel in Surrey Schools Challenge Programmes

Problem Solving Challenge Final 2012
A student's comment on what surprised them, "How well our team got on, how much energy we had, how motivated we were."

SATRO has facilitated and delivered 'Schools Challenge Programmes' to 1590 students, from 161 schools, in the last academic year. 

The various challenges, aimed to develop teamwork, business acumen and problem solving skills, were supported by a range of sponsoring bodies, including NDS and Siemens.

There are still places available for the 'NDS Red Button Company Challenge'.  Kick off is 4th October 2012 so ENTER NOW!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

GCSE results day!

All of us at SATRO would like to say a big well done to all students collecting their GCSE results in Surrey and borders today – you’ve worked very hard and you deserve your success!

But if you aren’t so happy with your results we’d also like to say, DON’T PANIC!

As you know, we work with thousands of young people in Surrey and borders every year, including hundreds who receive one to one mentoring from our volunteers – so we know that far too often it can seem like this is your ‘one chance’ in life to get it right.

Of our 850+ volunteers, from all areas of the working world, some did get it right first time – but a huge number didn’t, and lots and lots of them didn’t discover what they wanted to do until they had tried several different things first (and hated them!) – and they are all successful and love what they do now (which is why they volunteer for us, to help inspire you!).

So here’s what to do next if you are not jumping for joy today:

·         If you don’t get the grades requested by the sixth form or college of your choice, approach them and see if they are prepared to take you on for different courses. Alternatively, approach other schools or colleges – you might find they will offer you a place.
·         Talk to as many people – parents, teachers, mentors, friends, careers advisers – as possible to get a good idea for what your options are.
·         Further advice can also be found on the following websites:

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Olympics - a lasting memento!

What a fantastic event the Olympics 2012 was, and we're looking forward to watching the ParaOlympics soon too. Did you know that Satro has been using the theme of 'sports stadia' to help inspire young people to think about the engineering and science skills needed to design and build the wonderful venues needed to host such great events?

The results have proven so popular that Schools have asked if they can keep their constructions to display - and we have several mini sports stadia adorning our offices too!

In the 2011-12 academic year, which has just finished, we ran 22 Sports Satdium Challenges involving 1,833 students from both Primary and Secondary schools - and we have many more planned for next term!

In our challenge, teams of students have to work together to design and build real structures, as you can see in the photo! Our volunteers help them to think about the engineering principles as well as the aesthetic issues.

Its a fantastic event, as you can see some of the quotes below:

Students - What did you learn today?
'that teamwork makes building more efficient and much faster'
'that we need to cooperate with eveyone, not just our friends'
'I wanted to be an engineer, and this has showed me what its like. I've enjoyed it and I want to do it more now'
'It has raised my interest in engineering and construction'

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A-level Results day!

All of us at Satro would like to say a big well done to all students collecting their A level results in Surrey & borders today - you've worked very hard and you deserve your success! :-)

But if you aren't so happy with your results we'd also like to say, DON'T PANIC!

As you know, we work with thousands of young people in Surrey & borders every year, including hundreds who receive one to one mentoring from our volunteers - so we know that far too often it can seem like this is your 'one chance' in life to get it right.

Of our 850+ volunteers, from all areas of the working world, some did get it right first time - but a huge number didn't, and lots and lots of them didn't discover what they wanted to do until they had tried several different things first (and hated them!) - and they are all successful and love what they do now (which is why they volunteer for us, to help inspire you!).

So here's our top tips for what do do next if you are not jumping for joy today:

  • Get advice: speak to teachers, careers advisors and any contacts you or your parents have in areas of work that you might be interested in - about what your options are and what to do next.
  • Do your homework: think about other options - not just alternative Universities, but Apprenticeships, part-time degrees and vocational courses at colleges. Satro regularly employs Apprentices and they all tell us that for them, it was the best choice they could have made. There are loads of opportunities out there - check the National Apprenticeship Website.
  • Make the best impression: whatever option you have chosen, arm yourself with extra information that could make you stand out formt he crowd, such as relevant work experience, awards or achievements - things like participation in SATRO Challenges or SATRO/Nuffield Work Placements have been known to make the difference - especially if you can demonstrate what you have learnt from taking part!
  • Don’t panic: places can go quickly, but avoid the temptation to take the first offer.
  • Rehearse: be prepared to explain why your grades were disappointing and rehearse answers to questions admissions staff or potential employers are likely to ask you.
  • Stand tall and be confident - if you need to make a phonecall about a place or a job - have your 'script' written down ready, stand up and smile - you'll be suprised how confident it makes you feel and sound, and the person on the other end of the phone won't be able to see you!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Day 6 in the Nuffield Placement!

Sian is acquiring lots of new skills in her placement at Guys.

"The day started with my lab safety training, where there were several others – mostly Romanian students. I then took my data that I had presented and showed it to Jeremy. There is no obvious relationship between golgi orientation and elongation of cells, however there were a few similarities between the embryos. We agreed to get more reliable results we need to image another embryo. I also need to divide the palatal shelf into sections and analyse the orientation of the golgi.
I got started with Eleni on preparing the embryo for imaging, overall it will take about a week to image."

The real benefit of volunteering!

"Its not just about giving back to the community, it's about what the corporate gains from it" Volunteer, Allianz.

Satro staff & Trustees gathered at our office in Send yesterday to hear from a fantastic team of volunteers from Allianz who have been working on a project for us that will make a real difference to the way we work.

Allianz, in common with many large employers, run an excellent Leadership Development programme for their up and coming 'bright stars' - what's different about their programme is that each team is asked to work on a project that will use all of their newly acquired leadership tools, but which will benefit a local charity. This is a fantastic opportunity for Charities to access skills and expertise that they wouldn't normally be able to, so Satro was delighted when earlier this year we were asked to get involved.

We asked the Allianz team to help us get better at capturing data on what difference we make - to young people, to teachers and to our volunteers, and also to give us some ides for how we can shout about our work. Too often we are simply too busy 'doing' to take the time to tell people all about it. In these times of drastically reduced funding, it's vital that as many people as possible in our region, and elsewhere, know what good work is going on under their noses!

The team from Allianz have developed some new systems for us to capture the huge impact of what we do, and much better (and simpler) ways for us to express how important our work is - even making a fantastic fundraising film for us which will be up on our website very soon! We were thrilled with the new tools and techniques we have, but also we thoroughlly enjoyed working with the team. The team too had enjoyed the experience - they all spoke passionately about their support for Satro's work - and about how much they had learnt by being able to work with a charity in this way - far more, they thought, than if they had been asked to work on a project in their own company.

We hope that other employers in the area, large and small, realise how much volunteering can be a fantastic opportunity to develop new skills amongst their staff, as well as raising their profile in the local community, and truely giving something back to the community - if they don't, we can introduce them to several hundred people who already volunteer for us and can tell them all about the real benefits!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Sian's Nuffield Placement continues...!

Sian has been hard at work at Guy's Hospital - here is what she did yesterday!

"When I got in to the post-grad office, I went over a few things I did in the previous week and then it was off to a lab meeting. Six of us met in Jeremy’s office where we discussed what we were all doing in the lab and how we were getting on – I even said my bit!
On the computer I added to my project document, updating what I had been doing. I then used the data from volocity (drawing lines between golgi and nucleus) and put it into excel. I calculated the frequency of bearings in different angle categories, e.g 0>30degrees. No obvious pattern shown yet."

follow her on:

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


One of our fabulous Nuffield students, Sian Nasse, has started her Nuffield placement at Guys Hospital in the Craniofacial Department, researching into cleft-lips.  Sian hopes to post every day and we can't wait to see how she fares at this prestigious London hospital.  Follow her on the link:

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Great news!  We have just had the results for this years' students:

Level 1 Certificate: 85.6% pass rate (LY 82%)

Well done to the students and the tutors. 
The vans are having a well -earned rest and MOT in readiness for the new Academic Year!

Friday, 3 August 2012


FANTASTIC FEEDBACK  about one of this summers' Nuffield Placement students, Oliver Page of the Royal Grammar School.  His supervisor, Dr Jon Varcoe Reader in Materials Chemistry at the University of Surrey has contacted us to make us aware of Olivers' achievements.

"Oliver Page is on his last day of his 4 week Nuffield placement in my laboratories, and we have been delighted with his efforts. He has worked very hard and professionally. He has produced some excellent results of such quality (and potential impact to my field of polymer fuel cells) that we are planning on publishing his results later this year in a Royal Society of Chemistry high impact journal [once we have done a few follow up experiments that take longer than 4 weeks to complete]. Dare I say it, but he has produced more high quality work in 4 weeks than some of our final year undergraduates managed in a few months!

Congratulations Oliver!