Thursday, 31 July 2014


On this day in 2003, 34 year old Austrian, Felix Baumgartner became the first man to pass over the English Channel by unpowered flight. He leapt from a plane at about 9,800m above Dover, England and glided 22 miles across the Channel in only a 10 minute flight wearing a special suit with carbon-fibre wings across his back. The flight began at about 220mph, descending to around 135mph towards the end of his flight, when he landed by parachute at Cap Blanc-Nex, near Calais, in France. He was equipped with all necessary equipment, oxygen, cameras and high tech data monitors which enabled his journey to be tracked. His wing span of 1.8m was about 10cm longer than another he used only a few weeks earlier to win a race against an aeroplane in the U.S. 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Pirbright Institute - 100 Years

The Pirbright Institute opened the doors of it's laboratories on Saturday 19th July, to mark 100 years of research into livestock diseases. The institute was founded as a cattle testing station for tuberculosis in 1914, in more recent years it had become a centre for virus research. The open day included tours of the newly constructed laboratory complex. Visitors also had the chance to talk to scientists and enjoy interactive, hands on exhibits.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

SATROClub Work Placements

Yesterday, two students from Guildford County School and Esher College began their 4 week long SATROClub Extended Work Placement at The Royal Holloway University of London. They will be conducting research to put into projects. One student's project is focussed on Plant-microbial ecology, and the other will be researching the effect of soil bacteria on foliar-feeding insects attacking calabrese. The students are amongst a group of 12 who will all be participating in Work Placements over the Summer at various companies and Universities including, Surrey Wildlife, Vzzual, Jacobs and The University of Surrey.

Monday, 28 July 2014


A satellite designed and built in Guildford has been sent into orbit! SSTL (Surrey Satellite Tecnhology Ltd) who are based here in the Surrey Research Park, have successfully launched a new satellite in Kazakhstan. It was announced that the spacecraft, called TechDemoSat-1, launched into orbit just before 4pm on Tuesday 8th July. It includes a miniature radiation and effects monitior from the Surrey Space Centre, a compact instrument to detect electrons and ions from the Mullars Space Science Laboratory, and an enhanced GPS reciever from SSTL, which will be used to monitor reflected signals to determine ocean roughness. SSTL will be managing the spacecraft monitoring and operations for TechDemoSat-1 from their base in Guildford.

Thursday, 24 July 2014


Nayan Dhokia from Tiffin School has been part of a SATROClub Extended Work Placement over the past few days, he started on 14th July and will be on the placement for a further three weeks. Nayan's provider is St George's University of London and he will be conducting research for a project titled 'Cardiovascular adaptations in Premier League footballers'. Here's what Nayan had to say about his placement so far...

"The first week of my project included a trip to the West Ham FC Training Ground, in Chadwell Heath. Ahmad and I met Professor Sharma (Prof) at the ground, before meeting with his cardiology team of St George's University Hospital. We also had the privilege of meeting some of his medical students, who were able to give us insight into the application process for universities, while also telling us, personally, how life at university is. While the cardiology staff set up the ground's medical room with equipment used for measuring the ECGs (electrocardiograms) and echocardiograms of the players, Prof along with his staff briefed us on what we would be doing through the day. We were told the process used to connect the players up to the ECG machines - where exactly to place the electrodes on the body of the player. The doctors working with Prof showed us how to analyse echocardiograms of the players and how to record certain measurements such as aortic size and the hearts muscular wall's thickness. Soon after, we had the fortune to meet the reserve players and the first team players to measure their ECGs and record their echocardiograms. Through the day, we continued with this process, alternating between roles. At times, we would have to take personal details of the players, and ask them to sign the suitable consent forms. At the end of the day, we had met each player of West Ham, including manager Sam Allardyce, and were able to have friendly conversations with them. Ahmad and I had each brought a football which we were able to get signed by each of the players, which was the highlight of our day. 

In general the whole experience was very enjoyable as being football fans, meeting the players was an exciting opportunity. Along with having a fun time, we were able to learn a lot, with ECGs and echocardiograms being new to us. Our research project is based on comparing the heart rate of a professional athlete with an ordinary non-athletic person. In addition, we will be comparing the heart rates of the players of West Ham, with the heart rates of players of perhaps Tottenham Hotspur or even Manchester City. Other factors the project may look into investigating are if race, age and fitness have any effect on the performance of the players hearts. 

In terms of minuses, I must admit I have yet to report on any so far. The project has been intriguing and engaging for us. We hope soon we can visit another club to record some more data for our project. Prof has kept the results and data but with his permission, we can use it to tailor our projects. Of course, the project will not include the names of the players, due to the players confidentiality agreements."

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


We have now had our last event of this academic year. However - there is no time to put our feet up and relax, as it's time to replenish all resources and restock for next year. We have already taken many bookings for the next academic year including numerous Business Games, Discovery Science Workshops and Careers Speed Dating Workshops. We also have a couple of events happening over the Summer Holidays. The Three Peaks Challenge, a sponsored walk, is taking place in August and our very own Dani Longhurst and Lisa Dimbylow will be facing the challenge amongst a group of others, any sponsorships would be very welcome!! We also will begin preparations for our Fundraising Concert that is happening on Saturday 18th October. For more details about any of these events please visit our website. Don't forget to keep checking our blog, Twitter & Facebook pages for updates and information. We hope you all have a lovely summer!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Yesterday, SATRO headed over to Rodborough Technology College for our last event for this academic year! We delivered another of our Business Games to around 180 students. The participants were required to run their own stationery company for the duration of the workshop. Each team consisted of different 'Job Roles' including Managing Directors, Marketing Managers and Sales Managers to name a few. Each individual was given a role along with responsibilities that they were to keep on top of throughout the day. Over the course of the day, students were faced with different challenges including a Newspaper Advert and an increase in resource prices. The game aims to educate students about the real working world and the importance of skills such as teamwork and time management. It's clear from the students feedback that they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learnt many important life and employability skills.

Monday, 21 July 2014


On 16th & 17th July, SATRO delivered two Mega-Structures Challenge workshops to Students at The Howard of Effingham School. Over 180 students participated over the two days, supported by a number of SATRO's faithful volunteers, all of whom have expert knowledge and experience of the engineering industry. The students were required to design and build a Sports Stadium, made entirely with rolled up paper, held together with nuts and bolts. The students had to work their costings and use innovative ideas to deliver a 'pitch' to convince judges that their designs were the best. The students seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and now have greater understandings of engineering.

Friday, 18 July 2014


On 15th and 16th July, SATRO delivered Business Games to St Peter's Catholic Comprehensive School in Guildford. A group of lovely SATRO volunteers were on side to help the students on the first day. The second day was kindly funded by Allianz who sent a group of employees to help and guide the students in the Business Game. The students were required to run their own stationery business over the course of the day, each had a different role with different responsibilities that they had to keep on top of during the game. The students seem to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained a great insight into the real working world, and the importance of teamwork, time management and cooperating with peers.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


Today and tomorrow, a lovely band of volunteers from Pfizer will be attending The Ashcombe School to help deliver another two SATRO Business Games. The volunteers will be working with our Deliverer to help support the Students in running their own stationery company. Throughout the day, they will be faced with many challenges including a business presentation towards the end of the workshop. We have delivered numerous events to The Ashcombe School this year including Careers Speed Dating Workshops and Inspirational Speakers. We have recently received this lovely testimonial from Chris Panting of The Ashcombe School...

"The Ashcombe have worked closely with SATRO for a number of years but over the past 12 months we have increased the number of events we have staged.  The support SATRO give is exceptional allowing us to offer new experiences to the students.  The recent Careers Speed Dating events have been some of the most successful extra-curricular activities we have done, with students and volunteers praising the impact of the session.  Students met several professionals from a variety of occupations and this interaction has helped to widen the horizons of a number of students and demonstrated that career paths are very varied.  The organisation of Margaret Royle was particularly impressive. SATRO continue to be invaluable supporters of the school and I cannot praise their contributions highly enough."

Friday, 11 July 2014


The annual Alternative/Renewable Energy day was held at The Warwick School on Wednesday 9th July as dynamic and exciting as ever with a number of engineers working with the science and technology departments at the school.  Students were grouped into large teams, divided into 2 engineering and 1 media team per group, each named after a famous scientist or engineer.  The day started with an introduction to renewable/alternative energies and then on to the design and build! It seems the pupils really enjoyed themselves, and gained a great insight into renewable and alternative energies. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


On 8th July, 55 Year 10 students from Glebelands school gained an invaluable insight into the world of work when they took part in the SATRO Business Game. Teams of students became stationery companies for the day manufacturing booklets which they had to sell to a discerning panel of buyers. The game stretched their minds and abilities in a way they never thought possible. They had a myriad of business decisions to make as the game unfolded and were aided in their tasks by a number of business volunteers whose job it was to guide, support and encourage their teams as they got to grips with all the challenges inherent in running a business.

The stress levels were high as companies competed with each other to see who could make the most profit. Many valuable life skills were learnt.


180 year 9 students at Glebelands School are currently participating in SATRO's Mega-Structures Challenge, in which they have to construct a bridge made from paper sticks, held together with nuts and bolts. Their brief is to design and build a bridge that can hold the most weight! Problem solving and teamwork are key elements of the session. 

Monday, 7 July 2014


110 Students from Year 8 at Guildford High School got to meet a huge variety of business professionals on Wednesday 3rd July during a frantic 2 hours of Careers Speed Dating, We had a biologist, a web designer, an attorney, a concierge, a neuroscientist, an actor, an accountant, and a member of the royal navy, to name just a few, 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 profession. 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 volunteer from a different profession presented themselves for questioning.

It was fast, frenetic and enormous fun,what was clear from the students feedback was that it has really changed their perception of what the future holds for them and makes it seem less daunting.

Friday, 4 July 2014


On Wednesday 3rd July, SATRO headed to Southfield Park Primary School for the last Junior Business Game of this academic year. 60 pupils were put through their paces during a hugely exciting day running a stationery company.

As the pupils' fledgling companies emerged, they produced prototypes and competed for stationery orders from the panel of buyers.  Bank accounts were opened and accountants wrestled with the difficulties of cash flow, whilst sales managers were intent on winning orders and marketing managers were busy promoting their businesses.  The Game threw the students some real challenges along the way, including paper shortages and one off, time limited, opportunities to make more money for their companies!

Later in the day, in a bid to win the best presentation award, the students prepared short presentations, outlining what they had learnt.  Competition is always tough and the judges had a challenging job selecting the winner.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


On Thursday 26th June, students from Parkside Prep School in Stoke D'Abernon formed 5 teams to take part in SATRO's Business Game. 

SATRO's business volunteers alongside class teachers were at hand to offer advice and encouragement to the young entrepreneurs. 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 is always tough and the judges faced a challenging job selecting the winner. 

One student commented,

I was very surprised at how enjoyable the days activity was and I will go away from this with a better thought on companies. I thought today would be a lecture in the performance hall. (I was pleasantly surprised.) I learnt that businesses aren't boring and are very competitive. I thoroughly enjoyed myself today and would like to thank the SATRO Volunteers for their help in today's activities!"

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


Two SATRO Business Games were held at Heathside School in Weybridge last week. Over the two days, around 400 keen students from Year 10 took part. Participants had to start up a company and discuss their logo, company name and their roles within the business. They were then set the task of making and selling the goods to make a profit. The exciting  day ended with a presentation where the judges choose the winner.
One student commented, 

"The dynamics and roles of how a company functioned surprised me, but also helped me to learn how to work in a team to be successful. Working with different people I normally would not have, helped me to be more confident with my employability skills too."
Another commented, 

 "I was surprised by the freedom and how our choices affected us, we were given the freedom to make our own decisions with little or no guidance to the correct answer/product. I learnt how companies work and function with specific people doing very important and vital roles to make the company successful."
Some very valuable lessons!