Smallpeice Trust Electronics with Cyber Security Course Causes Buzz Amongst Teenagers

From 23rd - 26th June, teenagers from across the UK learned about electronics and cyber security from engineers from leading organisations such as GCHQ and QinetiQ at the University of Portsmouth. The course was sponsored by educational charirty the Smallpeice Trust.

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, June 29, 2014 --( From 23rd to 26th June, fifty-three teenagers from across the UK enjoyed a unique learning experience at the University of Portsmouth.

Sponsored by the University of Portsmouth, this 4-day residential course gave students a valuable insight into the fields of electronic engineering and cyber security. During the course the 14 and 15 year olds students took part in ‘solder-and-keep’ workshops and gained hands-on experience of electronics by designing and building circuits with immediately visible results.

Students were also given first-hand experience of the electronics department giving them an idea of the specialist equipment and resources available at the University. Engineers from GCHQ and QinetiQ supported the event, leading various hands-on activities while also providing students with information about possible career paths.

The main objective of the course was to inspire and encourage young students to consider a career in cyber security and electronics engineering. The content had both practical and theoretical elements; innovative thinking, presentation skills and planning were an integral part of the course – key skills that students don’t often get chance to explore fully in their school environment.

As well as working on the design, build and test elements of the projects, they developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentation. Social activities included a movie night, bowling and a formal course dinner and disco.

Nick Savage, Head of the School of Computing commented, "It has been great to work with educational charity The Smallpeice Trust and to host this course at Portsmouth. cyber security is a key discipline and graduates with an understanding of cyber security issues are highly sought after, so to enthuse young people while they are still at school is absolutely crucial. I can't think of any better way of achieving this than having excellent representatives from companies such as GCHQ and QinetiQ involved in an interesting project like this.”

Spokesperson Claire Fisher from The Smallpeice Trust added, “Our continuing partnership with the University of Portsmouth has meant that students have been fortunate enough to gain an in-depth insight into the world of electronic engineering and cyber security. They had a fantastic week taking part in a series of hands-on workshops and presentations and have now gone away excited about the prospect of a career in this fascinating subject.”

The Electronics with Cyber Security course is organised by independent charity, The Smallpeice Trust, and is part of an on-going programme of residential courses to help young people aged 12 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 17,495 students across the UK in the past year.

The new course timetable for 2015 will be launched in the autumn school term. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit, 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.

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.

Over the past year, The Smallpeice Trust has engaged with 17,495 young people through 35 different subsidised residential courses, in-school STEM Days and starting up STEM Clubs. More emphasis has been put on programmes physically delivered by The Smallpeice Trust. The Smallpeice Trust has also trained 1,280 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.
The Smallpeice Trust:
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203