Friday, 29 November 2013


On 27th & 28th June 2014, The SATRO Snowdon Challenge will be taking place! This is a great overnight event for all to enjoy the fresh air and superb views of Snowdonia National Park. Snowdon is the second highest mountain in England and Wales at 3560ft (1085m).

The paths up Snowdon take approximately 5 to 6 hours return up and down and no previous hill walking experience is needed, although you should have a reasonable level of general fitness.

Sign up here and get yourself sponsored to earn SATRO funds!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What’s My Line comes to Gordon’s

90 year 12 students at Gordon’s School in West End Woking got to meet a huge variety of business professionals last Friday during a frantic 1½ hours of ‘Careers Speed Dating’. We had scientists, engineers, both civil and structural, chartered accountants, lawyers, a software developer, a patent attorney, a Press & Marketing Manager, a Creative Learning Manager, a Chief Petty Officer, two PhD students studying Virology & Immunology, a Doctor, a Book Publisher, a Management Consultant, and several representatives from the Police covering counter terrorism, forensics & a chief inspector, 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 exactly what they did for a living, and how they had got where they were. A whistle sounded and another willing 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 the range of different career choices available that I didn’t know about”, and “I learned you must do something you enjoy, everyone in the world is clever in some way”. Additionally many of the students felt that with the right attitude & experience anything is possible and many commented, “This was a fantastic event and should be offered to all schools.”

Friday, 22 November 2013

Year 8 Construction, Engineering and Design Challenge

Jeremy Owen and SATRO volunteers, Martin James, Jenny Warhurst and Jude Edwardes, worked with 72 Year 8 students from a number of schools. Hosted by Sir William Perkins's School in Chertsey, the students learnt about basic engineering and design and building their own structures - which were then tested with heavy weights. An engineer from the Tony Gee and partners gave a presentation to the students on bridges.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Marketing Challenge - Raising Awareness to prevent terrorism

There are many ways of supporting young people who may be vulnerable to violent extremism. The Government's Prevent Strategy aims to work with communities and institutions such as schools and colleges to raise awareness of the risks and support the victims of extremism activity. As part of this strategy Surrey Police worked with SATRO to develop a Marketing Challenge for 6th form students, sponsored by David Munro, Chairman of Surrey County Council and held at County Hall on Monday 18 November.

Eight teams of 6th form students from Surrey Schools and Colleges took part and having thoroughly researched the topic spent the day fine tuning their presentations. Support was on hand throughout the day from the Crime Prevent Team and Jonathan King, a Marketing expert. The teams were required to prepare a 5 minute PowerPoint presentation showcasing the various methods they would use to communicate their message, thereby raising awareness with their target market, their peers.

The judging panel were hugely impressed with both the quality and content of all the presentations and it was a closely fought contest. Heated debate amongst the judges resulted in Rosebery School taking first place, closely followed by the team from Priorsfield with Fulbrook taking 3rd place. However ideas generated by the other five schools and colleges taking part may well also be turned into reality by the Crime Prevent team.

As the students feedback shows this was a serious topic which struck a chord with all who attended. "Better education about extremism for young people is vital if we are to raise awareness and aid prevention", " Terrorism comes in many more forms than I previously anticipated and there are many solutions that could be implemented to help raise awareness in schools.", "I learnt so much more about terrorism and how to create an effective campaign," "It felt like a real project which will be taken on board." The final words of the day go to Lee Sawkins, the Prevent Coordinator Specialist crime command and Head Judge, " This was a fantastic event which exceeded expectations in terms of support and outcomes. I am really enthused about working with young people and would recommend to colleagues."

Friday, 15 November 2013


TeenTech Surrey is over for another year – but what a day we had! Over 300 year 8 and 9 children took part in an event involving more than 30 different companies employing scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians. All combined to make a fairly mind-blowing experience!
We know the students really enjoyed the day and that it made a huge difference:
·         In the morning 47% were fairly or very interested in becoming a scientist compared to 70% at the end of the day
·         In the morning 37% were fairly or very interested in becoming an engineer compared to 63% at the end of the day
·         52% arrived thinking that people working in STEM were clever interesting and well paid compared to 74 % who left the event feeling that way

So a very significant shift in attitudes, which is what we are trying to achieve!
TeenTech is a collaborative event and we were proud to work with TeenTechCIC and many local and national sponsors. As a result of the huge success of yesterday’s event, and schools now clamouring to book their place for next year, we are busy making plans for another event next November - TeenTech CIC and Satro are really looking forward to continuing our work together – and having another bumper event in 2014. Watch this space!

Thursday, 14 November 2013


KS2 pupils at St Lawrence Primary School in Effingham were challenged to find new ways of problem-solving when they participated in a Fun Maths workshop. Using this novel way to cover a wide range of maths concepts, the children had the chance to test existing knowledge and learn new skills. These incorporated Thinking, Talking and Reasoning, as well as Team-Working. The teachers noted that the children were deploying different strategies to solve problems and that teamwork was essential. As one pupil commented: “It was good to work in partners because some people have different abilities.”

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Inspiring tomorrow’s innovators today
TeenTech returns to the Surrey!
TeenTech® , the award winning industry-led initiative aimed to inspire the next generation of scientists and technologists, has returned to Surrey today for the second year running. SATRO is proud to be running the event again which is being held at Surrey Sports Park, part of the University of Surrey.
Over 300 school students aged 12-13 from the South East of England are spending the day with scientists and engineers from some of the world’s leading companies – including P&G, JVC, Samsung, BOC and Virgin Media - giving them the unique opportunity to do hands-on experiments and learn more from those at the top of their field. This year the students have the opportunity to see a planet show in an inflatable mobile planetarium, programme robots, solve a forensics crime scene, run a production line, become a virus detective, or create some digital art amongst many other exciting projects.
TeenTech® is the brainchild of co-founders Maggie Philbin (BBC Tomorrow’s World) and Chris Dodson, OBE, Institute of Directors (IoD). It was founded in 2008 to enable young people to understand their true potential and to realise the many doors that can be opened for them through embarking on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) career path.
Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech comments: “It is important for companies to be actively involved in helping young people and their teachers understand what the real opportunities are in their industries, and the skills needed to take advantage of them. The commitment shown by all the companies participating is fantastic, showing how they are taking this responsibility seriously. It is not enough to moan about the skills shortage, we need to actively change the current perceptions held by teenagers and their parents about the future employment possibilities in the region."

Research conducted in last year’s event shows a shift in the participants’ attitude toward careers in science and engineering. When asked at the end of the day compared to the start if they would consider a career in science, there was a marked increase from 51% to 81% saying yes. Similarly with engineering this increase was from 48% to 79%. Watch this blog for the results of today’s event!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Years 1 and 2 pupils at Prior Heath Infant School had an exciting day of exploration on 11th November: workshops on Floating and Sinking and electric circuits in Lighthouses were delivered by the SATRO team. Year 1 experimented with a variety of objects to test the different properties of floating and sinking; boats were crafted from aluminium foil and weights were added to investigate the Archimedes principle. Year 2 learnt about the components of a simple electric circuit and used this knowledge to build a lighthouse with a flashing light. The teachers were pleased with the outcomes of the day, agreeing that it increased the pupils’ knowledge of science and provided an opportunity for team-work. The children enjoyed a positive learning experience and some commented that they would like to be an engineer or scientist when they grow up.

We are grateful to Councillor David Ivison who sponsored this event.

Monday, 11 November 2013


60 year 4, 5 & 6 pupils from St James' Primary School in Elstead had a harsh lesson on 6th November, quickly realising that global trading is deeply unfair!

The children were broken down into two groups of six countries representing rich/emerging & poor countries of the world and tried to generate wealth for their ‘countries’ by making paper shapes which had a currency they could then bank. The poor countries had lots of raw materials (paper) but no technology and the rich countries had all the technology but limited raw materials. The rich countries quickly began manufacturing but were unwilling to trade their technology for the raw materials they needed thereby ensuring the poor countries remained poor. It evoked some wonderful thinking and comments from the pupils... "I learnt that you have to think about he trade before you do it. Fairtrade will make sure that people who are poor will get some money, I loved the game!" and, "I learnt that we should trade more fairly so that some children go to bed with a full stomach and that if we work fairly we will probably all have the same amount of money and hopefully that will mean there will be no more wars."

A de-brief following the game highlighted the plight of the cocoa farmers in Ghana and the fact that out of a £1 bar of chocolate the farmers only receive 7p with the rest going to the two Governments in tax, the manufacturers and the retailers which the children thought was deeply unfair.

A powerful and thought provoking game for all concerned.