Thursday, 31 January 2013


Year 1 - exploring properties of forces through lifting
Year 2 - discovering forces through the use of pulleys
Year 3 - investigating rocks and soils - and, building pneumatic toys
Year 4 - devising alarm systems in electric circuits
Year 5 - understanding cams in working models
Year 6 - investigating electricity and circuits

This was the varied programme of exciting science workshops held at St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School on 30th January. 180 children took part in this annual event, in which they learnt about different aspects of science and technology - and how it works in the world around them.  A SATRO team of engineering experts were on hand to guide the pupils through the interactive workshops.
The Year 2 teacher remarked,"Tony [Pulleys] was brilliant with the children.  They listened to what he had to say and was willing to answer their questions."

A Year 6 pupil commented, "I learnt more about electricity and how it works.  I also learnt that electricity is very dangerous; electricity does not work well with water. It was fun!"
We acknowledge our thanks to the CP Charitable Trust, which part funded this event.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


SATRO Volunteer Chris Dymond leading the 'Scene in a Box' activity
with Year 4 & Councillor Frost visiting

360 pupils at St Martin’s Infant and Junior schools in Epsom experienced an exciting day of science activities on 28th January.   Each of the 12 classes were led by one of SATRO’s expert volunteers from an engineering background. The programme covered various topics ranging from forces and properties of materials to electric circuits.  The six different workshops, designed to inspire young people about the fun of science and encourage them to continue their science-related studies into secondary school and beyond, were well received by pupils and teachers.  One of the highlights of the day was the launching of water rockets by Year 6 pupils.

The success of the day was captured in the following pupils’ comments:
“You have given inspiration to me about designing and inventing.” “It has been the best science day ever... definitely made me more interested in science.”
And from a teacher:              
  “Never have I seen my class so enthusiastic and engaged.  They have really learnt the importance of team work and accuracy.”
The day was kindly sponsored by local Epsom County Councillor, Mr Chris Frost, who visited the school to see the children in action.  He commented that he had been inspired by his science teacher to become an industrial chemist and therefore hoped that this event would likewise encourage young people to think about a science career. The school and SATRO thank Cllr Frost for his generous support.

Friday, 25 January 2013


Proctor & Gamble substantially funded a SATRO Junior Business Game for Twenty-eight Year 6 children from St Alban's Catholic Primary School in East Molesey on Friday 25th January.  The pupils were divided into mixed ability and friendship groups to emulate the real working world.

The day was fast and furious, sometimes stressful (just like the real working world!) and hugely exciting – for students and teachers!
"The day was greatly enjoyed by the children and they all took the task seriously and leant about the real world.  Very well prepared and carried out at a level just right for our children.  It was great to have the volunteers from 'real' business environments," remarked one teacher.
It engaged the pupils in problem solving and working to tight deadlines. It bought numeracy and literacy to life in a practical, hands-on way and also gave them experience of working with business people and an opportunity to discuss careers.
A pupil's comment, "Working in a company isn't just about the money, it's also about teamwork and fun.  I have really enjoyed today and I hope that in the future this will be what a real job is like.  Thank you so much Jo and SATRO." 

Thursday, 17 January 2013


90 year six students from Liphook Junior School had a hugely enjoyable day running a stationery company thanks to partial funding from Allianz. The students took part in SATRO's Junior Business Game, a business simulation activity designed to encourage the students to think creatively and realise the importance of teamwork when trying to make money!

Employees from the local Allianz office volunteered their services along with several Governors, offering invaluable advice and encouragement to the young entrepreneurs.

As the students' fledgling companies emerged, they produced prototypes before competing for orders from a discerning panel of buyers. Bank accounts were opened and the newly appointed Accountants wrestled with the intricacies of cash flow, meanwhile the Purchasing Managers constantly demanded money for more resources!  Sales Managers were kept busy promoting their companies.  The game threw the students some real challenges along the way but they all coped wonderfully.

"I learnt how hard our Mums and Dads work and it gave me a little idea of what I want to be when I am older - and I could see how hard Marketing Managers have to work," one pupil remarked.

Later in the day, in a quest to win the best presentation award, the students prepared a short presentation outlining what they had learnt throughout the day. Competition was tough as the judges listened to the children describe their first foray into the business world. 
Liphook's Executive Head, Michele Frost said, "We had the most AMAZING day today. Thank you."
"All children were on task and enthusiastic throughout the day.  The children were challenged to work together and encouraged to meet deadlines. They enjoyed the experience as they were shown new skills and treated as adults. A real insight into the world of business!" Charlotte Bardsley, Upper School Leader, commented.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


45 students from The Warwick, Bleinham High and Oxted Schools were busy today 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.

Friday, 11 January 2013


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. 

An i-Map session was delivered to 30 Year 9 students at St Mark's Academy, Merton, on Thursday 10th January, 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.

Students' comments, "I have made targets that will help me achieve future goals."  "It helped me a lot to improve my grades from a D, I started getting C."

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Year's Resolutions?

A Happy New Year to all SATRO's friends and volunteers - we hope you had a great break and feel refreshed and revitalised (we have lots of events that need your help this term.....!).

If you have been making resolutions about working 'smarter', being more 'productive' or simply maintaining your work life balance in 2013 you might like to take a moment to view a posting on the TED site: We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity the happy secret to better work.

I don't know about you, but I found myself talking to lots of friends over the holidays about how unsatisfying their work was - and when I compared what they described to the atmosphere here at SATRO it was hard to believe they could put up with their situations when they could have something so much more fulfilling! I love the difference that our programmes make to young peoples lives, I love meeting all our fantastic and fascinating volunteers, and I am inspired every time I talk to the young people we work with (even the little ones!).

So if you are finding insufficient happiness in your work why not change things by getting involved in our work - and if you're already involved then spread the word please, there seems to be a lot of people out there who are simply not happy enough!

All the best for 2013, everyone!
Beccy Bowden, CEO

Friday, 4 January 2013

Here's to an inspirational 2013!

As part of easing ourselves into the New Year (and preparing for the onslaught of schools' activities that will start next week!), we have been catching up on our reading here at SATRO, including this interesting article which highlights the chronic shortage of skilled people, particularly in engineering and technical disciplines - 2013 looks hopeful for the recruitment industry.

The writer ends by saying, 'My special wish for 2013 is for a move away from "Just in time”  recruitment, allowing us to work in conjunction with our clients to strategically plan resourcing programmes to anticipate needs and manage costs, rather than to respond reactively to crisis events when someone resigns.'

Well leading on from that, SATRO's special wish for 2013 is for more companies to realise that the best way to plan for their future is to engage with the next generation now - to encourage them to continue studies in areas of chronic skills shortages, raise their awareness of all the opportunities that exist for them, and also to improve employers own understanding of how best to recruit and retain the stars of the future, otherwise we will be reading more articles in the future about how difficult it is to recruit good people and our young people will continue to be under the impression that there are no jobs for them!

So come on all you forward-looking companies in the South East, what are you waiting for? Get involved in inspiring the next generation NOW!