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The Smallpeice Trust

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Students Explore Artificial Intelligence with the Smallpeice Trust


Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, May 03, 2012 --(PR.com)-- From 10th to 13th April, forty-five promising students from across the UK benefited from a unique hands-on learning experience at the University of Exeter.

Sponsored by the University of Exeter and delivered by educational charity The Smallpeice Trust, this 4-day residential course gave the students a valuable insight into artificial intelligence. During the course, the 13 and 14 year-old students learned about the different aspects of the field of Artificial Intelligence including talking robots, otherwise known as "chatbots." Students worked in small teams to develop their own computer programme that they then tested for intelligence. The students also discovered the methods machines of the future may use to learn about their environments and make decisions for themselves.

Dr Zena Wood of the University of Exeter said: “It has been fantastic to welcome such an enthusiastic group of students to the University of Exeter. We are at the forefront of the fast-developing field of artificial intelligence and our research and teaching is focused on applying the latest developments in computer science to really important fields, such as aviation and medicine. Events like this provide a wonderful opportunity for us to share our expertise and to encourage young people to consider a career in this really exciting and important area of science.”

Dr Andrew Cave, Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust added: “Thanks to the University of Exeter, these students have been given a worthwhile insight into Artificial Intelligence. This has become an important area of study with a wide range of applications in fields ranging from financial trading systems to gaming and medicine. The students have worked enthusiastically on some interesting projects, enjoyed their first taste of studying and living in a University, and had the chance to explore some fascinating topics.”

All Smallpeice courses are linked to the National Curriculum and are designed to improve core skills such as team building, financial management, communication and problem solving. By attending one of our courses students will gain experience of university and working life that will accelerate their personal development and their potential for greater academic achievement.

The Smallpeice Trust Artificial Intelligence course is part of an ongoing programme of subsidised residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing.

Founded by Dr Cosby Smallpeice in 1966, The Trust has grown tremendously over the past 46 years, helping thousands of young people find a successful career in a multitude of disciplines within the industry from engineering materials, marine technology and naval architecture to nanotechnology and structural engineering. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, 18,175 students have attended a Smallpeice activity in the past year.

Bookings are now being taken for summer residential courses. Visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk or telephone 01926 333200 for further details.

About The Smallpeice Trust:

The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career, primarily through the provision of residential courses for young people aged 13 to 18.

The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby Smallpeice, a pioneering engineer and inventor of the Smallpeice Lathe. Following the stock market flotation of his company Martonair, Dr Smallpeice invested his energy and part of his personal fortune to set up the Trust to ensure that British industry could continuously benefit from his proven design and engineering philosophies: “Simplicity in design, economy in production.”

The Trust is now governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies.

In the past academic year, The Smallpeice Trust has reached out to 18,175 young people through 37 different subsidised 4-day residential courses and 1-day in-school STEM Days. The Smallpeice Trust has also trained 674 teachers to enhance their delivery of STEM in the classroom.

A strong interface is maintained with industry, education and professional bodies that help to support, promote and develop the courses. Through these relationships the Trust is also able to provide a number of tailored or specialised courses.

About the University of Exeter:

The University of Exeter is a leading UK university and in the top one percent of institutions globally. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter is ranked 9th in The Sunday Times University Guide, 10th in the UK in The Times Good University Guide 2012 and 11th in the Guardian University Guide 2012. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 90% of the University’s research was rated as being at internationally recognised levels and 16 of its 31 subjects are ranked in the top 10, with 27 subjects ranked in the top 20.

The University has over 17,000 students and is developing its campuses in Exeter and Cornwall with almost £350 million worth of new facilities due for completion by 2012. For more information visit www.exeter.ac.uk
Contact Information
The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
+44(0)1926 333214
Contact
www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk
or contact:
Hayley Charlesworth
Marketing Support Officer
Tel: 01926 333206
Fax: 01926 333202
Email: hayleyc@smallpeicetrust.org.uk

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