SATROfest - Inspiring Young People in STEM

SATRO is a Surrey based Educational Charity inspiring young people in STEM, Employability Skills and Vocational Construction.

Operating for nearly 40 years they deliver workshops, cross-school challenges, events, and qualifications across South Central England. Acting as a partner with both education and business they bring opportunities to students of all abilities from Primary to Post 16 where last academic year they inspired over 14,300 students.

 At the end of March, SATROfest took place - a day aimed at inspiring young people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and careers for the future. 235 students attended, aged 12-14, of whom over 15% were identified as disadvantaged or special needs.

“SATROfest was a huge success this year particularly as we welcomed COINS and Beard for the first time to showcase the Construction Industry and the vast range of careers it offers. We also welcomed volunteers from construction backgrounds and visitors keen to engage in our Vocational Construction programme teaching skills from our seven mobile vans.” – Anne Edwards, CEO of SATRO

As a partner, we were delighted to be in attendance with a COINS stand and representatives working with the students and answering their questions.

Richard Vale - COINS
“SATROfest is aimed at providing Year 9 students with increased understanding of the careers that they could pursue in STEM based businesses, before they choose their GCSE courses. 18 schools sent student delegates to the event to participate in a variety of activities, including meeting relevant businesses. COINS met with groups of 5 to 10 children from each school, to tell them about COINS and COINS Foundation. Focussing on the purpose of the event, we gave them logic puzzles to try as a test of their aptitude for Computer Programming. The kids engaged brilliantly. Hopefully, we gave them some useful information but they certainly all engaged wholeheartedly in the puzzle challenges and looked to be enjoying themselves. Engaging with so many enthusiastic, young people was very rewarding, and I recommend it to all colleagues who would like to take part in future events.” – Richard Vale, COINS

Students had the opportunity to take part in 3 main activities: Company Activities (to introduce them to the work they do and the careers available), SATRO workshops and Careers Challenge, which was run by SATRO and supported by STEM volunteers.

“I was truly fascinated by the incredible variety of employment opportunities in STEM. Even though I have always loved Science from the beginning and am very keen to look for a job in this sector, the SATROfest event has opened many more new ideas for me which I could not have thought of before." - Student

Feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive;

-      62% met someone or took part in an activity that has changed their attitude to STEM careers.

-      75% felt like they had been introduced to STEM careers they didn’t know about.

-      64% are more interested in studying STEM after leaving school.

-      50% are more likely to take part in a STEM club or activity.

-      82% would like to have more STEM activities in school.  

“The students were brilliant, and I was very impressed with their knowledge and experience of coding data. There were definitely a few of them who would enhance COINS’ development team in years to come!