Thursday, 26 March 2015


An astronomer uses a wide range of scientific techniques to study the universe. This would include its origin and its make-up. You could specialise in a particular area, such as planetary science or the formation of galaxies. If you love science and you are interested in stars, planets and the universe, this job could be just what you are looking for.

Astronomy is divided into two main areas – observational astronomy and theoretical astronomy.

In observational astronomy your work could include:
  • Collecting data from satellites and spacecraft using radio and optical telescopes
  • developing new instrumentation and maintaining existing equipment
  • developing software to interpret the images captured by satellites
  • analysing data and testing theories

In theoretical astronomy your work could include: 
  • Creating complex computer models to develop theories on the physical processes happening in space
  • Analysing the results of past observations to develop new predictions
  • Making observations and testing theories
  • Analysing data to help develop our understanding of events in the universe

To be an astronomer you should have…

  • Good powers of observation
  • a methodical and logical approach to work
  • the ability to work with abstract ideas and do complex calculations
  • patience and determination to see a project through to completion
  • good attention to detail
  • the ability to analyse problems
  • the ability to produce scientific reports for publication
  • confidence to present your research findings
  • strong IT skills
  • the ability to develop good working relationships with colleagues around the world

To work as an astronomer you would usually need to begin with at least a BSc (Hons) degree (first or upper second class). Relevant subjects could include:
  • Maths
  • physics
  • astrophysics
  • geophysics
  • astronomy
  • space science

To do a degree, you will usually need five GCSEs (A-C) including maths, English and science, plus three A levels, including maths and physics. You should check with universities for exact entry requirements as other qualifications may also be accepted.
Funded PhD research students starting out can be awarded around £13,000 to £14,000 a year while they study.
Postdoctoral researchers or research fellows may earn from £29,000 to £36,000 a year.
Lecturers, professors and senior staff in research institutions could earn up to £60,000 or more.

(guideline figures only)

For more information:

Friday, 20 March 2015

The CISCO Little BIG Awards – Friday 20th March 2015

We use the internet every day: on our computers, on tablets and mobile phones. You can watch TV, make phone calls, send photos, and shop – all on the internet.
But even today less than 1% of all things are connected to the internet. What happens when your microwave, your central heating, your car, or even maybe your schoolbooks are connected to the internet? Cisco invited schools to take part in the Little Big Awards to show them how students thought their lives could be made better by connecting everyday things together.

Teams of 6 were tasked with coming up with their own idea for an application that connects things in the home or in people’s daily life: the Internet of Everything. With thousands of possibilities, the ideas could be wide-reaching or focused on one specific area. The important thing was that all ideas were thoroughly researched and followed through, supported by a Cisco mentor.

Students from Bishop David Brown School, Broadwater School, Cox Green School, Halliford School, Hampton Court House School, Magna Carta School, Rivers Academy West London, St Mark's Catholic School, Thomas Knyvett College, Tiffin Girls School and Twickenham Academy will gather on Friday 20th March to present their ideas to the judges with the winning team taking home the Little Big Awards trophy and other prizes. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


If you want a future career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths – check out these amazing websites:

1.  Tomorrow’s Engineers is a careers programme led by EngineeringUK and the Royal Academy of Engineering which aims to promote engineering to pupils aged 11-14.

2.  The Institute Of Physics and National HE STEM Programme have produced a series of short careers video clips to illustrate the breadth of options available to those who study physics at A-Level and beyond. Each clip is 5 – 8 minutes long, designed to appeal to 14-16 year olds, and is linked to the GCSE curriculum.

3.The Institute of Motor Industry’s main website has information on all things automotive, from the comprehensive career portal for advice to industry news and events, funding information and downloadable teaching resources.

4.   Future Morph is the Science Council's careers website and has been designed to show teachers, students, parents and careers staff some of the amazing and unexpected places that studying STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths - can take you.

5. BigAmbition is the go-to place for young people to find out more about a career in IT.

6.  Start your career journey with the National Careers Service

7. Gocracker is designed to encourage young people to study STEM subjects and to discover the exciting career opportunities available to them in the SET sector. Young people can find information and news about STEM subjects, industry sectors, apprenticeships, colleges, universities and leading employers.

8. Three Career Insight videos featuring technicians are now online. These videos can be used in careers talks or other activities focusing on technician careers. To access the videos on You Tube, please click here.

9. Women in Science & Engineering - Promoting female talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from classroom to boardroom

10. Welcome to science career pathways,
designed with employers to introduce you to the huge range of job and career opportunities available in the science-based industries.

Monday, 16 March 2015

SATRO's Top Ten STEM Resource Websites #BritishScienceWeek

Here at SATRO we are celebrating British Science Week!

We have listed our Top 10 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Resource websites – take a look and dive in to a world of discovery

1.  The British Science Association have FREE packs full of science and engineering hands-on activities and projects which are available to download all year round Each year, over 32,000 CREST Awards are undertaken by 11-to-19-year-olds, giving them opportunities to explore real-world STEM projects in an exciting way.

2. Want to set up a STEM Club at your school? Check out

3.  Visit the latest Bee Scene newsletter from the Wild About Plants team designed for teachers, educators and those working with 4-11 year olds.

4. Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS) creates opportunities for teachers and students to find out more about plants and to become more interested in plant science.  SAPS believe that young people should understand the importance of plants in the world and be aware of the relevance of plant science to modern life.

5.  The Society of Biology has launched a new higher education teaching website

6.  The Science Museum has launched Futurecade, a suite of four online games which engage students with current and future applications of science, technology and engineering through gameplay and powerful questions

7.  In the Zone is the Wellcome Trust’s major initiative inspired by London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It provides a fun, FREE and fascinating way of using science to discover how our bodies work during sport activity, movement and rest. 

8. The James Dyson Foundation wants to excite young people about design and engineering, demystify the design process, and encourage creativity.  Whether you are a teacher or a student, their resources will give you an insight into the process of making something that works.

9. Easily create Apps for your Android Phone, Tablet or Smart Watch using JavaScript. Control devices such as Lego Mindstorms, Espruino and Arduino! For more information click here 

10. The Changing Futures’ website has been launched - developed by teenagers for teenagers - exploring cystic fibrosis (CF) and gene therapy.

Friday, 13 March 2015

#ApprenticeshipWeek - BT apprenticeships & graduate jobs

BT recently announced that they are creating 1,000 new apprenticeships and graduate jobs for young people this year. These roles will be in a range of areas, including software development, IT, engineering and digital technology. 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

#ApprenticeshipWeek - Event at Guildford College

We are attending the apprenticeship event at Guildford College today. Why not pop in and see us – the event takes place between 4pm and 7pm. It is a fantastic chance to find out what an apprenticeship has to offer you. It is a great opportunity to meet apprenticeship providers, current apprentices and their employers and find out what it is like to do an apprenticeship. You will also find out all the types of apprenticeships available and what you will need in order to do an apprenticeship. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

2015 SATRO Problem Solving Challenge Grand Final

The well established SATRO Problem Solving Challenge is a competition for teams of six students in KeyStage groups 3-5 (years 7-13) and is open to all secondary schools in Surrey and the surrounding areas. The teams are set a problem to solve within a set time, using only the materials provided (anything from some Polos to a piece of tin foil!). The winning teams are those in each key stage group who have been judged to have best met the criteria set out in the problem.

The culmination of the 2015 SATRO Problem Solving Challenge heats which took place around the county will be on Thursday 12th March 2015. The two highest scoring teams from each of the 3 key stages at each heat will go up against each other at Charterhouse School to decide the 2015 victors.
This years Problem Solving Challenge has been kindly supported by Allianz, CBS Butler, The Manly Trust, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, The Armourers and Brasiers Company and the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Their support has allowed SATRO to host over 70 schools, reaching over a thousand students; enabling them to develop their team working, problem solving and time management skills, as well as have fun whilst learning.

Students from our SATRO Problem Solving Challenge heats said:

“The best part of the day was working together and producing something I am proud of”

“The best bit about today was that it was fun to take part and its hands on rather than questions.”

“We learned and improved lots of skills such as teamwork, and it was a fun activity”

#ApprenticeshipWeek - CISCO WORK EXPERIENCE

Are you interested in working for a technology company? Cisco offer a week work experience for year 10 and 11 students – 15th-19th June in Reading or 6th – 10th July in Feltham. Places are competitive : closing date for applications 15th May. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

#ApprenticeshipWeek - BDO Accountancy Summer School

Like to find out what is involved in accountancy? BDO offer a summer school between 27th July and 7th August in London and Guildford. To apply you need you need  B in Maths and English at GCSE and min 280 predicted UCAS points. For more information

Monday, 9 March 2015

#ApprenticeshipWeek - Allianz Training Programme

Predicted B in A level Maths? Not sure if University is for you? Allianz in Guildford offer a 3 year training programme leading to chartered status with the Chartered Institute of Insurance and a starting salary of £18,000. Email For more information :

Friday, 6 March 2015

Satro AS Maths Challenge - 24th February and 5th March 2015

SATRO hosted its annual AS Maths Challenge across two dates at local George Abbot School on Tuesday 24th February and Thursday 5th March 2015. This after school event is aimed at sixth forth students from schools around Surrey and neighbouring counties, and challenges them to tackle mathematical problems, including concepts taught at AS Level, as well as ideas which the students might expect to meet should they continue to study maths at degree level.
In addition to the challenge element, the students were treated to talks from staff at Unum and Allianz on how studying maths at university can be an excellent choice for a career, explaining that there is far more to maths than meets the eye.
The highest scoring teams from the two evenings were the Royal Grammar School Guildford and Barton Peveril Sixth form College who travelled from Eastleigh, Hampshire for the event. The teams scored 95% and 90.8% respectively.
The Maths Challenge has always been fantastically supported by schools, with extremely positive feedback from both staff and students. Less than 20% of students continue the study of mathematics beyond the age of 16, and so it is important to encourage those who do to consider taking their studies even further. SATRO very much hopes the event will inspire those who attended to continue studying mathematics into University by providing interesting and unique problems for the teams to solve.
SATRO, based at Surrey Research Park, provides skills training and workshops within schools in the county, particularly with careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Over the past 30 years SATRO has worked with more than 450,000 young people educated in Surrey. The charity offers a range of practical hands-on programmes that engage young people of all abilities aged four to 19. Visit for more details. 


SATRO is delighted to be attending the National CSR Awards being held at Mercedes Benz World, Brooklands, Surrey today.  This is the first awards event covering all aspects of CSR.  We shall be in the Charities/Education area showcasing some of the hands-on activities we run to encourage young people to discover skills they did not know they had which are relevant to the 21st Century workplace.  We are hoping to meet local and national partners who we can assist in meeting and exceeding their CSR targets and goals with our unique range of programmes designed to engage employers and their employees with their potential workforce of the future.

Visit our website for more information on how you could exceed your CSR targets,