Thursday, 29 November 2012


On 27 November 180 pupils at Wallace Fields Junior School in Ewell had a science day with a difference.  A SATRO team of 6 engineers brought their knowledge and expertise into the classroom to help the pupils learn about the world in which they live.  Year 4 investigated the weather, using data loggers to capture information about light levels (different density of cloud cover) and sound (wind and thunder); Year 5 learnt about gravity and made parachutes as part of the Egg Drop Challenge; and Year 6 became novice civil engineers learning about structures and constructing towers.  Teachers were delighted with how well the day consolidated the topics and supported the wider curriculum.  A pupil commented: “This has been the best day ever!”.

The event was part-funded by sponsorship from The CP Charitable Trust.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Food For Thought

Last Thursday Year 5 pupils at Westfield Primary School in Woking were challenged to think about food from a different perspective. They became packaging detectives, analysing and comparing the fat, sugar and salt content of various foods; they thought about planning a meal within a tight budget and how cost might impact our shopping habits; and they had fun making flapjack to take home at the end of the day. SATRO's workshop supports the healthy eating curriculum and gives the pupils the opportunity to understand about the digestive system and how important a balanced diet is for our well-being. The pupils were all thoroughly engaged during the morning's activities and commented that they had learnt lots of new facts.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Speed dating session with a difference!

100 year 12 students at Gordon’s School in West End Woking got to meet a huge variety of business professionals yesterday during a frantic 1½ hours of ‘Careers Speed Dating’. We had scientists, engineers, both civil and structural, construction managers, accountants, architects, a patent attorney, an actor, a software developer, a TV producer, insurance company personnel, together with representatives from the Army and the RAF, all of whom were passionate and enthusiastic about their chosen careers.

The students were put into small groups and had 5 minutes to quiz their ‘business volunteer’, who was only allowed to answer yes or no thereby requiring the students to try & guess their professions. A further 5 minutes of frantic questioning followed to ascertain what they actually did for a living and how they had got where they were. A horn sounded and another ‘business volunteer’ from a different profession presented themselves for questioning.

It was fast, frenetic and enormous fun with the students commenting afterwards, “ I was astonished by how many different jobs there are available today” and “How many career options are open to me. You don’t need to go to university there are lots of other ways to get jobs”. Additionally many of the students commented that, “ I should research more on different professions as there are lots of interesting jobs out there and including lots that I have never even heard of!”

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Year 8 Construction, Engineering and Design Challenge

Jeremy Owen and SATRO volunteers, Gary Hedges and Jude Edwardes, are working with 72 Year 8 students from a number of schools. Hosted by Sir William Perkins School in Chertsey, the students are learning about basic engineering and design and building their own structures - which are then tested with heavy weights. Two engineers from the Costains team, working on the new bridge over the Thames at Walton, are also visiting. This is a great opportunity for the students to hear about a real engineering project.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

And the Winner is.....!

Tension is building for the announcement of the Winners at tonight’s Spelthorne and Runnymede Education Business Awards.
Satro has been supporting these awards for many years and we’re delighted to be involved again this year. Schools and Colleges from across Spelthorne and Runnymede Boroughs have submitted entries for consideration for the Awards. Categories include:
  • Most innovative link between school/college and business at Primary, Secondary and Key Stage 5 level
  • Overall Champions Cup
  • Best Presentation
  • Winning Display Stand
The projects entered are fantastic – small and large – and really demonstrate the huge benefit to both businesses and schools/colleges in working in partnership. Good luck to all participants!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Money Matters - Marketing Challenge at County Hall

We are currently making the last-minute preparations for our Marketing Challenge tomorrow at County Hall which we are very excited about. The Challenge will involve teams of 6th form students from across the County competing in a ‘pitch’ before a panel of experts from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Bamzonia. They will have to design a Marketing Campaign about Payday Loan schemes – the twist being that they can chose to be ‘For’ or ‘Against’.
Recent research by Santander shows that over 1 million people use payday loans each month to pay their bills, etc, as, in the current financial climate households struggle to manage their bills from one month to the next. As part of their preparation for tomorrow’s Challenge students will have been researching Payday Loans and will either devise a marketing campaign to encourage their peers to make use of them; or a campaign to raise awareness amongst their peers of dangers associated with such loans. There will be cash prizes for the winning ‘pitches’.
We are really looking forward to viewing their entries – and as always, glad someone else has the challenge of doing the judging!

Creative Kebabs Contribute to Good Health

Imagination and presentation skills were called upon to produce delicious mouth-watering fruit kebabs as part of SATRO's Healthy Eating programme.  The event was held on Wednesday 14th November at Seaton House School in Sutton with 70 participants, from Years 3 to 6.  The pupils were given a selection of fruit and challenged to create the most eye-catching kebab.  This was one of three activities that students undertook to help them learn more about healthy eating, the importance of looking after our body, understanding the nutritional content of food products and how to plan a meal within a budget.

Monday, 19 November 2012

What a Blast!

On November 14th the first ever TeenTech Surrey took place – and what an amazing event it was (even if we do say so ourselves!).
We had around 300 Year 8 students, over 40 companies represented, and 30 volunteer Ambassadors - it was a superb day, thanks to the huge professionalism & hard work of all involved – now its time to plan for TeenTech Surrey 2013, which we hope you will all be a part of!
To make sure there isn’t too big a gap for budding scientists and engineers until November 2013, we look forward to seeing you all at our Summer Science Festival on June 26th 2013 in the meantime!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Nuffield Bursary Students Receive Their Accolades

David Rapley of Tiffin Boys School, Prof Danielle Schreve
of Royal Holloway, University of London & Emma Beer of Esher College.
The annual Nuffield Celebration Evening held on Tuesday 13 November at Esher College was a huge success with over 40 students presenting their projects on displays to some 200 guests, parents and supervisors.  The students amazed their guests with the range of projects they had completed and the standard they had achieved – many will be included in forthcoming publications.  The main guest was Professor Danielle Schreve from Royal Holloway, University of London, who spoke about the challenges faced by science in the coming years and how important it is to promote the kind of programmes offered by the Nuffield Foundation.  She herself had been a supervisor to a student this year and had experienced first-hand the enthusiasm portrayed by these sixth formers in carrying out their placements. Professor Schreve presented all the students present with their Certificate of participation and Gold CREST Awards.  

Angel Hall, Director of Science Education at the Nuffield Foundation, spoke of the changes to the placement programme for next year and Jon Tickle, SATRO Patron, expressed his delight at the students’ work and ability to articulate so clearly to the visitors.   Denise Balmer, SATRO Nuffield Co-ordinator, outlined the programme for next year and thanked Esher College for once again hosting the evening. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Over 100 year 5 and year 6 pupils at Leatherhead Trinity School were very active participants in the SATRO Global Trading Game which took place on 6 November 2012.  A fast and furious experience involving six teams in each of the four heats, this was an excellent opportunity to learn the importance of trading and teamwork, and some of the differences between advanced and poorer economies around the world.  Thereafter, a de-brief session allowed the pupils to reflect on what they had learned from the experience and to hear and discuss the challenges facing the world and how those in richer countries can help; an issue already known at Trinity which has established links with a school in Uganda.  One commented...
“I learned that people in countries like America have technology but need other resourses that they don't have - and the other way round for people in Africa, so they trade.”

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Students go to the Races!

Numeracy Day – Lingfield Park Racecourse

45 students from Weydon, Reigate and Oakwood Schools were busy yesterday at Lingfield Park, seeing how maths is used in the real world. In this case, a racecourse on a raceday. Ex-jockey Olly McPhail is showing them the weighing room, parade ring and jumps. And entertaining them with stories from when he raced.

Surrey Teaching Centre Children Launch Rockets!

Rockets were the theme of a special display at the Surrey Teaching Centre at The Children's Trust, Tadworth, on 7th November.  A small group of children with severe brain injuries were treated to a short workshop on rocketry.  Balloons flew around the room and stomp rockets were used to demonstrate flight.  Having made their bespoke water rockets from plastic bottles, the children were able to watch them being launched outside - with great success and much excitement for all the spectators.

Teentech Tomorrow!!

We are looking forward to welcoming around 300 excited Year 8 pupils from across Surrey and neighbouring counties to our Teentech event tomorrow. Each group of ten students will be guided around the day by a Science Ambassador and will visit the Insight Zone, the Innovation Zone and the Challenge Zone to learn more about all the fantastic things you can do with science, engineering, technology and maths – from apprenticeships to post-graduate positions. There will be bridge-building challenges, 3D printing, crime scene forensics and artificial intelligence – and much more besides! - we’re confident that the young people attending (and the volunteers!) will have a really great time.
Check out or follow the event on twitter for a blow by blow account of the day. Let’s hope it’s the first of many Surrey Teentech events in the future!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Countdown to Teentech!

We are currently rushing around making last minute preparations for a huge new event which we’re very excited about – Teentech Surrey. You may have heard Maggie Philbin talking about Teentech on Radio 4 last week. Check out the website for some nice photos of the amazing venue ( We have around 30 different science and engineering employers attending including the likes of Sony, Surrey Satellites, Detica, Proctor & Gamble, the Pirbright Institute, and Willmott Dixon. We will be showing young people the vast range of possibilities available in science, engineering, technology and maths in the region. It really is a vibrant sector with lots of opportunities – and we’re looking forward to enthusing the next generation about it all (whilst having a lot of fun!).

Friday, 9 November 2012

Wray Common Primary School Think Maths is Fun!

Years 4, 5 and 6 at Wray Common Primary School in Redhill enjoyed the opportunity to test their maths knowledge in a new and fun way.  The Fun Maths workshop, held on 6th November, presented challenges to the children in the form of 45 different puzzles.  Ranging from shape recognition, sequences, calculation and logical thinking, the pupils worked in pairs to solve the problems within a time limit.  Teachers were impressed with the perseverance of their pupils to solve the puzzles. "Maths is fun!" was the general agreement of the children at the end of each session.

St Dunstan's Pupils Learn Through Experimentation

A variety of exciting primary science workshops were held at St Dunstan's Catholic Primary School in Woking on 6th November.  Delivered by SATRO's expert volunteers, 180 pupils took part in the workshops investigating Forces through activities on Pulleys, Friction and Structures.  The afternoon session saw two classes vying for victory in the land yacht competition, with the winning yacht travelling some 15 metres across the hall. 

Great fun, great learning.