Teenagers Learn About Computing and Microelectronics with the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, August 16, 2013 --(PR.com)-- Forty nine budding engineers from across the UK, recently attended a Computing and Microelectronics residential course hosted by Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton last week. Sponsored by ARM, the course provided the 15 to 17 year old students the opportunity to explore the exciting and wide-ranging theory and practice of computing and electronic engineering.

Supported by volunteers from Student Robotics, the students were tasked with designing, building and programming a fully autonomous robot in three days, capable of participating in an exciting competition on the final day, where their robots gained points by collecting cubes, returning them to their home area, and placing them into buckets. Students gained experience of planning, teamwork, time management, technical design and build, and learned to use the modular Student Robotics electronic kit and vision system to control their robots.

Students also took part in masterclasses on subjects on nanofabrication of graphene transistors, sensor networks, “wetware” computing, Python programming and high voltage engineering. The course concluded with a robot league competition in a specially constructed arena, for which ARM donated the prizes.

Social activities included a trip to a bowling alley, a barbeque, a film night and a formal course dinner offering students the opportunity to discuss their projects and discover more about careers within computing and microelectronics.

Kirsty Gill, VP Corporate HR Services, for ARM commented, “As an employer of over 2600 people, most of whom are engineers, we strongly believe this country needs to inspire young, talented people to pursue a career in engineering. At ARM we strive to create a fun and challenging environment for engineers to thrive and succeed and we thank The Smallpeice Trust, the University of Southampton and the Student Robotics Team for providing this engaging opportunity for young students.”

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Gemma Murphy commented, “We are most grateful to ARM for sponsoring this worthwhile experience. The course has demonstrated to some bright and enthusiastic young people just how advances in computing, multimedia and telecommunications technologies continue to provide exciting and rewarding careers within the field. Over the five days students attending this course really began to think creatively like engineers. This was particularly evident in their finished designs and group presentations at the dinner.”

The Computing and Microelectronics course is organised by independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an on-going programme of residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 20,353 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2014 will be launched in the autumn school term. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.

Notes to editors:

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 12 to 18.

About Student Robotics:

Student Robotics run an annual robotics competition, for teams of students from 16-18 years old, to build fully autonomous robots. Student Robotics is run by a team of volunteers, most based at the Universities of Southampton and Bristol.

The competition is free for teams to enter; teams receive an electronics kit (developed and maintained by Student Robotics) and a budget for parts, and are supported by Student Robotics mentors. Students have six months to design, build, program and test their robots before an exciting two-day competition during the Easter break.

In 2012, 20 teams took part in the Student Robotics competition, including teams from around the country and 2 from mainland Europe. 36 places are available for the 2013 competition.

Student Robotics is supported by the Motorola Foundation, University of Southampton and BitBox.

For more information about Student Robotics visit https://www.studentrobotics.org/.

About the University of Southampton:

The University of Southampton is celebrating its 60th anniversary during 2012.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, granted the Royal Charter that enabled the University of Southampton to award its own degrees in the early weeks of her reign in 1952

In the six decades that followed, Southampton has risen to become one of the leading universities in the UK with a global reputation for innovation through academic excellence and world-leading research.

This year, the University’s reputation continues to grow with the recent awarding of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education"

For more information about the University of Southampton visit http://www.southampton.ac.uk/.
The Smallpeice Trust:
Gemma Murphy
+44(0)1926 333214