SATRO News 2022- 23


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8th construction van joins the SATRO mobile teaching fleet


We are thrilled to launch our 8th van into our construction fleet in our 18th year of delivering the service.  This brings our full fleet to 9 vans including our STEM van.

This expansion reflects the demand for our services particularly in bringing vocational and hands-on learning to students seeking an alternative to academic studies.  Working with both schools, colleges and the construction industry itself we are supporting these young people on their first steps on their pathway into employment in an industry which is currently struggling with recruitment and which has well paid opportunities at all levels and across all disciplines.

We are also thrilled to welcome two new construction tutors to the team: Pete and Matt join Kevin, Paul, Peter, Seth, Jon and Peter.  Together they will be delivering 58 two-hour sessions a week across the region in mainstream, PRU and SEN schools.


Celebrating our Students BTEC Results

SATRO is proud to celebrate our 2023 vocational construction students achievements today:

86 BTEC Level 1 Certificates of which 6% Distinction, 34% Merit
59 BTEC Level 1 Awards of which 17% Distinction, 24% Merit
13 BTEC Unit Notifications
267 SATRO Awards

Most will now be looking forward to college or an apprenticeship as the pathway to a career in the construction industry. For others they have added practical skills to their portfolio, whilst for our SEN students these are skills for independent living.

Feedback from a family May 2023: Oli has successfully gained an Electrical Apprenticeship to start in September. They were particularly impressed when he shared his SATRO portfolio of work at interview, particularly as they don't usually recruit to at his age.

A further 84 students continue into their second year of study with us. They will be part of the 58 weekly sessions that we will be running this coming academic year across the region.

Thank you to all the 38 schools we work with and the supporters of the programme Shanly Homes COINS Foundation Ringway Beard Thakeham Community Foundation for Surrey Heathrow Community Trust Geoff Herrington Foundation GUILDFORD POYLE CHARITIES Walton Charity Pryer Construction to all the volunteers who supported both our sessions in schools and Construction Festival CITB MIT Skills Activate Learning Brewers Decorator Centres BAM Construction 3ti Energy Hubs Assent Building Control Ltd Milestone Infrastructure UVEX SAFETY GROUP | Headquarter Raccord ME

Award for Most Comprehensive Educational Charity 2023

SATRO are proud to have been recognised for the breadth and quality of educational provision in our area.


SATRO's Inaugural Construction Festival - April 2023

Our vocational construction programme has been running for over 15 years with 430 students studying with us this year.  With a growing skills gap in the construction industry we have launched a new event to support our students learn about the breadth of careers and the pathways into employment.

A busy day saw students from 13 schools join us for the launch of this annual event.  They enjoyed four different sessions:

  • Company Stands with activities introducing construction careers and technology:

           Beard Construction - house building

           Berkeley St Edward - professionals and their role in the construction process

           CITB - construction careers

           Milestone Infrastructure - highway electrics

           MIT - electrical circuits

           Pryer Construction - robotic vehicles on site

           Thakeham - planning process for new developments

  • Pathways into Employment with hands-on activities:

           Activate Learning - further education choices

           CoTrain - apprenticeships

           Ringway - expectations in the workforce

  • Careers speed networking involving companies present and joined by:

           Assent Building Control

           Brewers Decorators

           Future Homes Design & Build

           3Ti Solar Car Parks

           Royal Academy of Engineering

           SATRO Trustees with relevant experience

  • Team building challenge run by SATRO tutors including Da Vinci bridge construction, hazardous material disposal and the gutter challenge.  

We were also delighted to be joined by Shanly Foundation our main construction funder, National Highways, EnterpriseM3, Coast to Capital and Chris & Priscilla Brewer a key STEM funders.


Thank you to our funders - Ringway who are committed to demonstrating to students and teachers the huge potential for employment opportunities in the construction industry.

SATRO's 27th Annual STEM Festival - March 2023

SATRO's patrons HM Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux and Jon Tickle joined us for a full day of STEM activities for Year 8/9 students from across the region.  

  • UN Sustainability Goal challenge to identify key issues for their future and how STEM can provide solutions,
  • Humanitarian careers challenge to expand their knowledge of STEM careers and their application to a real-world problem,
  • Company investigative workshops for 30 minutes:

             Nature Metrics - E-DNA monitoring,

             Roke - Robotics & Sensors,

             Ringway - Da Vinci Bridge structures

             SEROCU - Cyber security

  • Company activities introducing different STEM industries:

           Air Products - Hydrogen Cars             

           BAE Systems - Communications

           Beard - Construction

           British Computer Society (Berkshire) - IT

           CNOOC - Energy

           KPMG - Finance

           Milestone - Highway Lighting

           Powercor - Sustainable Energy Solutions

           Roke - Cyber Security

           SATRO - Programming

           Surrey Satellite Technology - Space

           Surrey University Veterinary School

           UVEX - Personal Protection Equipment

We were also pleased to welcome visitors from EnterpriseM3, Coast to Capital, Surrey Community Foundation and Brooklands Museum.


Huge thanks to our funders CNOOC, Points Align, ColdFuzion, Alliots & BCS Berkshire and to our hosts ACS Cobham International School with whom we collaborate on STEM projects.

Senior Problem Solving Challenge 2023

This year's challenge had a sustainability theme throughout. The problems posed were designed to meet a recycling challenge and scoring was based on careful use of materials, re-use and carbon saving, as well as resolution of the recycling task.


We had four heats this year with 516 students taking part. 24 teams qualified to the final which took place at Charters School in Ascot.


The problems were devised and set by our own STEM tutor, Carl Webb, who as a D&T teacher brought his school students to the challenge for 20 years before joining SATRO.

Congratulations to our 2023 Winners

Key Stage 3

1st Nonsuch High

2nd Wilson's 

3rd Folkestone Girls

Key Stage 4

1st Tomlinscote

2nd Caterham

3rd Halliford

Key Stage 5

1st Hurtwood House

2nd Grey Court

3rd Heathside

Thank you to all the schools that hosted our heats (St Philomena's, Tomlinscote, Heathside, George Abbot) and the final (Charters), and to our funders Air Products and Armourers & Brasiers.

Welcome to New Staff & Trustees

SATRO are very pleased to welcome two new staff to the team to re-build the capacity of the charity following a period of cost-saving through the pandemic.  


  • Lorena Gianfelice joins us as Operations Manager taking on responsibility for our construction and STEM programmes.  As an Engineer with experience both in industry and education she joins us from Guildford College where she was a Programme Manager.
  • Kirsten McGuire joins us as a STEM tutor with 13 years of teaching experience in STEM and Humanities with extensive experience of Learning Difficulties.  She is also a co-owner of Muddy Bugs Forest School, is a volunteer Leader in the Girl Guides and has led Duke of Edinburgh schemes and expeditions. 

In addition we are pleased that Jane Sheridan has taken the new role of Partnerships & Volunteer Manager as we re-focus our strategy for the future.


  • Pete Garrett is a Chartered Accountant and is currently the Commercial Director at Uvex Safety (UK).  He has held various voluntary roles as a School Governor for 14 years and with his Cricket Club and Alumni Association.
  • Shash Patel is a Principal Consultant with Asym IG providing guidance on information governance, risk management and data privacy.  Hi worked with Air Products for many years and was Co Chair of their LGBTQ+ employee resource group.  He has been a volunteer with SATRO for many years and since 2020 also volunteers at his local foodbank as a team leader.

We welcome them all to the team as we look forward to the future and supporting young people's aspirations across our region.

Launching our 2022 Mentoring Programmes

We are pleased to be launching a new year of mentoring for 2022 with the support of our amazing corporate volunteers across the region.

Our nine year-long programmes have since the start of the academic year seen our corporate and community volunteers trained by our mentoring team in the skills they need, safeguarding and advice for the issues they may be confronting with their mentees.

Students are identified by the school coordinator with whom we work closely throughout the year.  Most of our mentored students attract pupil premium for whom the support of an independent listening ear can be invaluable and transformative.  In particular mentors will support self-confidence and motivation as students make decisions for their future.

This year we are working across the region with schools in Guildford, Reigate, Milford, Godalming, Eastleigh, Reading, Leatherhead, Cobham and Thamesmead.

This programme would not be possible with the time that each corporate or community mentors dedicate to the students they support and our funders: Allianz, CarVal, Cisco, HEON, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, Sanofi, Synamedia, Thakeham, UNUM and Waverley Borough Council.

Celebrating our Summer Research Programme

We held a wonderful celebration event at the Surrey Technology Centre for our 2022 summer research work placement students and providers.  


We heard from providers on the impact of the research carried out by students and from the students themselves on their project and experience.  Overall, we had 100 applications, offered 70 places and 45 students took up the opportunity.  

Feedback from students:

"Overall, I think I’ve gained a greater understanding of the climate crisis and the importance of the energy transition. Through this project, I’ve become more invested in climate change and genuinely enjoy finding out more about its solutions, which I hope I can somehow incorporate into my degree or future career. I think this was a great experience to learn more about real-world science and to also become more independent by managing my own deadlines."

"I was asked what have I gained from this project and, for me, there were 3 big takeaways. Firstly, I learnt how to conduct myself in an online workplace. While I had experience of virtual schooling, a professional setting differed in many ways, I really haven’t had much reason to write emails before. Secondly, I learnt how to approach a topic which I knew nothing about, starting with broad questions and narrowing my focus as my understanding grew. Finally, I leant how to interact with those more experienced than myself. The various meetings encouraged me to work on my ability to converse with my ‘superiors’ (a term I used when initially answering this question, that those with me found deeply entertaining), both taking into account their seniority, while also maintaining and developing my own views and opinions."

"I loved researching a multitude of technologies that could be implemented in the UK to increase the number of homes being built every year. For example, a technology I explored was robotic swarm construction, developed by a research group at Harvard University, where simple robots in large numbers built a design rapidly, safely, and cost-effectively. I found this fascinating as with no central control, a single point of failure did not exist, meaning it is very reliable. Some of the skills I gained included research, presentation, organisation, and communication skills."

Thank you to all our providers who gave students such interesting topics to research, mentored them through the project, offered advice and support as feedback and celebrated their successes.  


Congratulations to our BTEC Students

SATRO would like to celebrate the success of our BTEC students this year: 177 students achieved their Award or Certificate in Construction.  They have gained experience in vocational skills of carpentry, plumbing and electrics with opportunities to learn about careers.  

The Certificate students started this practical based course in 2019 or 2020 and have faced challenges to achieve this success.  In the summer of 2020 SATRO posted weekly website resources to keep students studying, tutors went online to teach in 2021 and risk assessments made the support of student's work possible through social distancing.  Students have shown their ingenuity and determination.  Tutors have shown their creativity and dedication.  Together they have succeeded and deserve to celebrate these results!

A further 146 students completed the first year of their BTEC certificate which they will complete next year.

Thanks to the funders who support this programme: Shanly Foundation, COINS, Beard Construction, Community Foundation for Surrey, Walton Charity, Edward Gostling Foundation, Berkshire Community Foundation, St Faiths Trust and Guildford Poyle.

Time to hang up the aprons as our students move on to college and apprenticeships in their chosen career path.

Busy Summer Term to end the academic year
It was great to finish this academic year on a high with a really busy summer term:

  • We delivered over 20 workshops into schools including: coding, health, sustainability, maths;
  • We ran  multi-school challenges including: STEM for Girls, BAE Challenge, Primary Energy Saving and a Primary Science Day;
  • We ran our first Home Education day at Brooklands Museum;
  • We attended and ran activities at a number of external events: Sutton Science Fair and the COINS Festival;
  • We completed with our international partners our 2-year ERASMUS CyberAdventure project  for online safety for primary school students;
  • We also attended and spoke at the Surrey University Showcase and were asked to attend events for the High Sheriff of Surrey and the Shanly Foundation.
  • We worked with schools and our volunteer mentors to celebrate the end of year in our mentoring schemes for our 85 students on the scheme;
  • We delivered 5 of our ever-popular Enterprise & Business Game events with a number having to be postponed into autumn due to Covid or Heatwave;
  • We presented on STEM careers at Godalming College Future Fridays event;
  • Launched our 2022 Research Project Placement scheme with over 40 students allocated to industry projects over the summer.
  • Of our 442 students (from 32 schools) on the programme this year we will be awarding 163 BTEC qualifications this summer with around 150 continuing into their second year with us in September;
  • 63% of the cohort this year were identified with additional needs and 30% were in receipt of pupil premium;
  • 14% of the cohort were girls which was great to see - an increase on recent years.
We will be presenting our impact report in the autumn term.
Home Education Sensational Science Event at Brooklands Museum! - Updated: 05/05/2022
Students from all across Surrey and Hampshire joined us at Brooklands Museum for a day of sensational science activities. They participated in a CSI investigation, wrote code to control robots, travelled the world through virtual reality and studied their internal organs. This event showcased the use of technology in scientific discovery, as well as introducing the students to some very different and varied areas of science and engineering. 

The students and their families also had the opportunity to visit the wonderful exhibits at Brooklands Museum, displaying the fascinating history of motorsport and aviation at the world’s first purpose built racetrack. The students were offered tours of the museum and were able to visit the exhibits while enjoying the activities at our drop in session throughout the day. 

85 students plus associated adults/families joined us for the day. 
Email Us
Are you interested in providing a STEM student a research project placement this summer? Updated: 28/04/2022

SATRO Research Work Placements programme has been running since 1999 SATRO and matches Year 12 A-Level (or Level 3 Equivalent) students with companies and research organisations in the summer to undertake a short research project. This should be of benefit to both the organisation and the student as part of a real-world aspect of the work you do. Examples from last year include:

  • Are grey, blue, and purple hydrogen colourful stepping stones to an entirely green hydrogen market?
  • Explore the future of work in 1, 5 and 10+ years time based on the impact on work of the COVID pandemic.
  • Create a video storyboard to explain a project at the Surrey Ion Beam Centre to young STEM students eg. quantum computers.

Sign up for 2022: we have over 100 applicants this year and are looking for new companies to join us in inspiring the next STEM generation in Surrey. Email: 

Construction Tutor Vacancy
Due to the success of our construction programme which has been running now for nearly 20 years we are looking for new tutors to meet the demand from schools.

This is a unique opportunity to make a difference to students seeking vocational skills.  Working within the charitable sector you will have the opportunity to teach BTEC Level 1 Construction or a SATRO Construction Skills Course to students aged 14 ??" 19 in school.  


Join a team of six tutors working across Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, West London supporting young people discover skills for employment and life through vocational training.

Read about the impact of the programme below and  FIND OUT MORE  HERE

Assistant Head Teacher, Altwood School 2021

"A wonderful opportunity to students to engage in a meaningful programme that develops students both socially and academically. The SATRO construction course offers students real currency and enables them to succeed practically, setting them up as desirable candidates to progress onto college courses and apprenticeships. This is what vocational education should be!”

SATRO Construction Students 2022

  • “we get to experience things not on the curriculum”
  • “Not focussed on academic ability”
  •  “Can lead to an apprenticeship or job”
  • “Motivates me to come to school because it’s my favourite subject”
  •  “Like working in a small group”
  •  “Like being trusted to use tools”

Parent of Student 2020

“We’re really pleased that Kieron was chosen for this apprenticeship though his own merit. …… it was his talking about the SATRO construction course that so impressed them and really put him ahead of the other candidates……I could not be prouder! thank you for giving him this experience.”

Celebrating Science Week with our successful Problem Solving Final & SATROfest Event - Updated: 24/03/2022
SATRO has delivered two of its biggest events during the period of Science Week in March whilst continuing the delivery of in-school workshops.  With over 600 young people inspired in STEM in celebration of science week by our wonderful STEM team.

Problem Solving Final - 16th March was the culmination of the 3 regional heats which saw 354 students in 59 teams compete in their relevant Key Stage to gain a place in the final.   Each team has 6 students and they have 1.5 hours to complete a problem with the materials provided.  Volunteers from STEM industries provide the judging on the day.   

The Final Winners were:
  • Key Stage 3: Rodborough (runners up: Heathside)
  • Key Stage 4: ACS Cobham (runners up: More House)
  • Key Stage 5: Godalming College (runners up: George Abbot)
SATROfest - 23rd March was the re-scheduled date for our annual STEM festival in which 235 students attended a full day of activities to inspire their interest in all things STEM.  This included:

·       Company Activities: to introduce them to the work they do and the careers available with Air Products, Atkins, BCS, Beard, CNOOC, COINS, KPMG, Let’s Learn Energy, NatureMetrics, National Physics Laboratory, Pfizer, Powercor, Royal Horticultural Society, Thames Water.

·       SATRO Workshops: Air Products Hydrogen Cars, Pfizer’s Challenge, Tower Building and Space VR Headsets.

·       Careers Challenge run by SATRO and supported by our STEM volunteers based on a humanitarian engineering project in Africa.

Students also had the opportunity to meet: careers representatives from HEON (Higher Education Outreach Network) and Farnborough College of Technology.  With the opportunity to find out more about the SATRO Research Work Placement programme, see reports and presentations of work submitted in 2021 and meet some of the A-Level students who undertook research with companies.

Feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive:

  •  62% met someone or took part in an activity at SATROfest that has changed their attitude to STEM careers;
  •  75% felt that they had been introduced to STEM careers they didn’t know about;
  •  64% are more interested in studying STEM after they leave school;
  •  50% are more likely to take part in a STEM club or activity;
  • 82% would like to have more STEM activities in school.
SATRO Impact Report 2021 - Updated: 08/03/2022
We are pleased to share with you our Academic Year 2020-21 Impact Report.  A year in which the students we support continued to be affected by the ongoing pandemic but for whom we delivered in-school and virtually throughout. 
Our thanks goes to all our supporters both funders and volunteers, to the organisations that partner with us to deliver learning, to the schools who welcome us into their classrooms but most of all to the students who are inspired to make our future better.
We hope you enjoy reading all about what the team at SATRO has achieved with your support.  Please do get in contact with us if you would like to explore further opportunities to work together to benefit the next generation in our region.

If there are any issues accessing the report, please email Giorgia via the button below for a PDF version.
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