Friday, 28 September 2012


On 26th September Riverview Primary School in West Ewell welcomed our Associate Peter Stables and five SATRO volunteers, all of whom brought their expertise into the classroom to deliver a hands-on Science Day.  Pupils from Year 1 through to Year 6 had the opportunity to learn, design and construct models in a variety of ways:  Forces were demonstrated in Floating and Sinking,  and through making Pneumatic Monsters and Water Rockets (Years 1, 3 and 6), electric circuits featured in the Scene in a Box activity for Year 5 and astronomers were in abundance in Year 4 as they went on an exploration of the Planets.  “This is the best ever day I’ve had in school” exclaimed a Year 3 pupil as he proudly showed off his dragon monster.

This event was sponsored by the CP Charitable Trust.  The school was delighted to welcome Trustee Chris Brewer, who was escorted round the classrooms by Headteacher, Mrs Sue Potter, to see the activities in action.  He was very pleased to see the enthusiasm of the pupils and thanked the SATRO team for the splendid curriculum support they provide to primary schools.  He commented:  “What children experience during a SATRO Science Day makes significant links to engineering in the real world; I was delighted to see how the pupils enjoyed working together”.

A Riverview pupil showing Chris Brewer his 'Scene in a Box'

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Pupils at Godalming Junior School started the new academic year with an exciting day of science.

Thanks to the generous support of Godalming Round Table we were able to offer a range of workshops to 240 pupils in KS2:  Year 3 were parachute designers, Year 4 structural engineers, Year 5 rocket investigators and Year 6 electrical circuit detectives.  Eight of our volunteers brought their engineering expertise and enthusiasm into the classroom to create a full day of science, which provided learning in a fun, informative and engaging format. 

The children responded positively to working with these visitors and reported at the end of the day that they had learnt many new ideas.  Our thanks go to Godalming Round Table for helping to make the day such a success.

Monday, 24 September 2012


Working on your dreams and ambitions is a good thing to do no matter what stage of your life you’re at.  A brilliant time to do just that is in the 6th form when your education and working career stretches out ahead of you.  Without goal setting and connecting up with the motivational reasons why you want to succeed in a given vocation there’s a chance of drift and ending up in a job you don’t like which doesn’t fit your talents with the inability to see a way out.

SATRO has developed i-Map, a short, highly interactive workshop designed to inspire students to become more motivated and positive about their futures. This programme enables each student to design a powerful vision for their future and to create a route map for success which they can use to steer themselves through school and life. 

Two i-Map sessions were delivered to years 12 and 13 at Gordon’s School, Woking, on 19th and 21st September providing them with the opportunity to consider their futures and create smart goals with actions and milestones which make it more likely that they will achieve their ambitions.  A fundamental part of the workshop is engaging with the key principles of success enabling students to reflect on what personal power they have to make choices, to know they are always good enough and learning from mistakes means ultimate success.  All students had plenty of food for thought and tools with which to create a compelling future for themselves.

The teachers and students at Gordon’s were delighted with the workshop, illustrated by their comments...

Student comments...
"Know that visualisation is an effective technique – not focusing on what could happen if things go wrong, but what could happen when things go right."
"I understand the importance of setting goals and striving towards it!"
Teacher comment...
"Pupils encouraged to think about new topics and in new ways - it made them think."

Friday, 21 September 2012

Local Schools Get into the World of Business

90 year six students (ten & eleven year olds) from Coombe Hill Junior School had a hugely enjoyable day  running their own companies, thanks to partial funding from Kingston Rotary Club. The students took part in a ‘SATRO Junior Business Game’ - a business simulation game, organised by SATRO, a not for profit charity who offer opportunities to enhance relationships between schools and businesses, on Thursday 20th September.

Kingston Rotarians volunteered their services, along with several Governors and other business volunteers, offering advice and encouragement to the young entrepreneurs. Jill Evans,  a parent Governor, said: “Our governors thoroughly enjoyed working with both the children and the volunteers from other local businesses.  They gained enormous satisfaction from having the opportunity to support young people”.

As the students’ fledgling companies emerged, they produced prototypes and competed for stationery orders from the discerning buyers.  Bank accounts were opened and accountants wrestled with the intricacies of cash flow, whilst sales managers were intent on winning orders and marketing managers were busy promoting their companies.  The Game threw the students some real challenges along the way - as the businesses settled down to regular trading, they were faced with paper shortages and one off, time limited opportunities!  The students gained some valuable hands on learning with some companies forging ahead, taking a clear lead.

Later in the day, in a quest to win the best presentation award, the students prepared a short performance, outlining what they had learnt throughout the day.  Competition was tough but there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the judges listened to the children’s journey into the business world.

The schools Headteacher, Mr Hodges said: “We are so grateful to Kingston Rotary Club for providing some of the funding for the ‘SATRO Junior Business Game’. The children had enormous fun overcoming the challenges. The Game provided a real insight into the world of business”. 

SATRO’s Senior Manager, Margaret Royle said: “This is an inspirational way for students to develop and practice skills so necessary in the workplace. Working alongside excellent role models from the business world raises the students’ self-esteem and aspirations”.

Friday, 14 September 2012


180 pupils from Corwalles Junior School in Camberley enjoyed a SATRO Fun Maths event today. 

Years 3, 5 & 6 children divided into groups throughout the day to solve puzzles, bringing maths to life in a practical and applied manner, in a fun format.  It also engaged the pupils in a team-building environment, pairing up and helping each other, reinforcing learning objectives of the National Curriculum.

Comment from a pupil, "I didn't know maths could be fun - I really enjoyed it!"

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

At our Scholars and Apprentices Awards Ceremony last night we heard from Professor Sam Luke from Sinclair Knight Merz about why his company works with Satro - so many people in the audience have requested a copy of his speech that we are reproducing some of it here so that you can be as inspired as the audience was last night -
You [the young people receiving awards] are our leaders of tomorrow. We need you all to continue to excel to make Surrey and the south east of England prosperous. Let’s look at some statistics. The south east is the second largest economic block just behind London, with a value of nearly £200bn. The region has the largest number of businesses of any region in the UK and is the most affluent.  It would be the 31st largest economy in the world. Surrey has some of the most high tech businesses in the UK and is home to over 60,000 businesses. Surrey is the largest in the South East in terms of GDP, tax revenue, etc, and Guildford was the most competitive city in the UK in 2009 and 2010. Surrey has some of the best schools in the country and an educational system second to none in the UK.
We need to continue to increase our competitiveness, be more innovative, generate new ideas, and create new jobs, so we continue to be world class. How do we continue to do this? By investing in education, investing in you people, industry and academia working hand in hand to give youngsters who are bright and entrepreneurial the opportunity to shine and flourish through scholarships, through research and development and technological advancement.
I have been investing with the Satro Scholars Programme for 6 years now, and have sponsored/ or am sponsoring 20 students. These students add a huge amount of value to our business when they work for us during their summer vacations. We are also able to train them so when they hopefully join us when they complete their studies, they hit the ground running. Our investment pays for itself very quickly. There are numerous examples of students who have excelled for us during their summer breaks. I would urge other firms in Surrey who have not yet taken the plunge to go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Skilled and talented young people from across Surrey, together with their parents and sponsors, gathered at County Hall, Kingston-upon-Thames for the 11th annual Surrey County Scholars and Surrey County Apprentices’/Full-time Student awards ceremony, organised by SATRO:

Awards including trophies, certificates and cash prizes were presented to students by Dame Sarah Goad, DCVO, JP, Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, and Mr Paul Coleman, DL, Coleman Charitable Trust.  Seventeen of the County’s brightest and best Scholars were awarded bursaries to enable them to study science and engineering at university and to open up exciting career opportunities with leading Surrey-based companies.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the John Coleman Trophy to the overall winning apprentice,  Joe Waldman, who attends Nescot and is employed by Fine Cut Carpentry.  The winning Full-time student was Jason Garner from Nescot who received the Wates Cup as a result of his hard work and enthusiasm for the course.

For the very first time a prize was presented to a student for his work towards an Advanced Apprenticeship.  This was presented to Robert Metcalfe who is studying at Brooklands College

Mrs Lavinia Sealy, Chairman, Surrey County Council, welcomed the guests to County Hall, and praised SATRO and the work it does to encourage young people to achieve their full potential in life.

Monday, 10 September 2012


The summer was truly a time of great celebration, with the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics all taking place in our great nation.

It's now back to school and the planning begins in earnest for booking practical activities to complement schools' curriculum. The SATRO calendar is filling up fast - we already have over 50 confirmations for events from Primary and Secondary schools for this academic year. 

To ensure that you and your school don't miss out, contact us via email or telephone 01483 226322 NOW!

Friday, 7 September 2012


Two Nuffield Projects, one on Chemical Engineering  and another on the Magnetosphere have already been received and assessed as suitable for Gold CREST Awards from this year’s group of Nuffield Bursary students.  These projects are exciting and interesting to read, and are looking into new areas of study not normally open to the public domain, but of interest to the company and research establishments to take their work forward.  Well done! 
Other supervisors from Royal Holloway College and Surrey University have complimented their students on their enthusiastic work ethic, and SATRO eagerly awaits their reports!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Mentoring in Surrey unlocks young people's potential!

SATRO's Mentoring Programmes - helping hundreds of young people in Surrey to unlock their potential!
"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches
but to reveal to him his own."
 - Benjamin Disraeli

Did you know that up until last year SATRO's volunteers provided one to one mentoring support to approximately 300 young people aged 15-17 in more than 25 schools per annum and had been doing so for 14 years? 

Last year, when all our funding was cut by the local authority we thought we might have to put an end to all of this valuable work, but we're delighted that we have managed to build up programmes across Surrey this year funded by charitable trusts, 14-19 Networks and corporate sponsors. We've had mentoring programmes running in 10 schools across the county during 2011-12, and already we have several requests to expand into new schools next year.

These are some excerpts from our annual evaluation of the programmes...

What difference does mentoring make to young people?
Our programmes are designed to help young people that are not reaching their full potential - for whatever reasons, here are some of the things they said this year:

'Helped me to know how to achieve my goals and to improve within school. I found out about future careers and what I need to do for certain jobs.'

'It's nice knowing that you're going to go and see someone who you can talk to about absolutely anything.'

'[my mentor told me] You can achieve anything you want, you have the potential. I've seen you grow in your confidence and effort towards your school life. I'm proud of you.'

What difference does the programme make to our volunteer mentors?
Volunteers from all areas of the working world come forward to help SATRO to mentor young people and several large organisations such as Just Retirement, Wates and Legal & General use our mentor schemes to provide training and development in coaching skills for their staff - but many volunteers are surprised by how much they get from the programme, here are some examples:

'The mentoring scheme has been a brilliant programme as it really seems to help the targeted students who have various teenage and/or family challenges.'

'It gives me a warm feeling inside - my mentee is always very enthusiastic about arranging the next meeting.'

'It has been lovely to see my student's eyes light up when I share a thought or experience that strikes a chord with her. Already I can see how she is responding to my words of encouragement to do her absolute best in subjects she has not bothered with in the past... now rather than sitting back and doing the bare minimum, she is really thinking about what her goals are for next year and what she needs to do to achieve them and I am very much looking forward to helping her get where she wants to be.'

If you'd like to get involved in our mentoring schemes this year please do drop us a line - we would love to hear from you! Our many years' experience in developing and running schemes, including EU-wide collaborations, will guarentee that you are properly supported and trained - and all the wonderful young people taking part will guarantee that you learn an awful lot about 'generation Z', and also about yourself! Go on give it a try...!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Lunch with Lilly!

Today SATRO's CEO and several members of staff are visiting the Lilly site, near Windlesham in Surrey. The Lilly Research Centre was founded in 1967 and since then, it has become a centre of excellence in neuroscience research, with scientists dedicated to unravelling the mysteries of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Their greatest success to date was the discovery of olanzapine (Zyprexa), used for the treatment fo schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which was launched in 1996. Their research teams continue the quest for new medicines for neurodegenerative disorders, cognitive diseases and more recently sleep disorders.

Like many companies employing scientists, engineers and technologists, Lilly recognize that it is vital to encourage new talent into their industry, and hence they support the Surrey Scholar Bursary scheme which SATRO operates. This scheme is open to students from Surrey who will be studying for degrees in any STEM subject (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Successful applicants who are chosen by one of our sponsor companies, like Lilly, are supported financially during their studies and often get work experience with their sponsor, or, like today, get to visit a state of the art research facility and find out what it would be like to work there.

Today, SATRO staff will be accompanied by Lilly's current Surrey Scholars - and a very impressive bunch they are! We're sure that they hugely value the support and encouragement which the company is giving them, and that they will have wonderful STEM careers as a result.