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The Smallpeice Trust

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Students Learn About Materials for Energy with the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, July 19, 2014 --( From 7th to 10th July, forty teenagers from across the UK have been learning about the global energy situation and the work of materials scientists and engineers as they try to meet global energy demands whilst reducing carbon emissions.

Sponsored and hosted by Loughborough University, this four day programme offered students a unique insight into the materials used in energy and power generation through a series of fascinating lectures delivered by leading industry speakers, practical workshops and discussions. Not only were students shown the university’s world class facilities, they also got to discover materials characterisation first-hand, including electron microscopy.

Students participated in five masterclasses which offered them a broad-based view of how energy is produced and stored, and how materials technology is crucial for this. The 15 to 17 year old students were then challenged in their teams to carry out their own research and complete practical laboratory sessions. Research areas included physical properties and experiments with materials that present challenges. Students also took part in an icebreaker activity where they had to make a working speaker, soldering components onto a circuit board and building housing for it.

The “Energy Materials Challenge” project really tested students’ team working, communication and problem-solving skills, and involved extensive research, discussion and plenty of creativity to complete. The course culminated in presentations of each teams’ findings to an ‘expert’ panel, plus the production of a display to showcase their work with prize being presented to the overall winner.

Students also got to visit two major industrial partners, Alstom Power and Rolls-Royce, to see materials in action and gain a “real life” insight into careers in the sector. Social activities included a sports night, a campus treasure hunt, and a formal course dinner and quiz.

Martin White, School Projects Manager for Loughborough University commented, “This was our second time of hosting a Smallpeice residential course and once again the experience has been a delight. The organisation by The Smallpeice Trust has been excellent and all their supervisory team have been brilliant. Most important are the students who attended the course and we have been so impressed by what they have achieved and how well they have got on together having all been complete strangers when they arrived. The quality of their project work and high standard of questions asked in the masterclasses were impressive and they should all feel very proud of what they have achieved this week. We would also like to acknowledge the fantastic support we have received from our industrial partners in delivering this course; Rolls-Royce; Alstom Power; E.ON; Energy Technologies Institute (ETI); Intelligent Energy.”

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Claire Fisher added, ‘“We are delighted that Loughborough University have partnered with us to run this ‘Materials for Energy’ course for the second year running. This course has proved very popular with students and has not only offered them a valuable insight into the science behind energy materials but also the global energy situation while demonstrating what a career in this worthwhile sector would entail.”

The Materials for Energy 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.

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.
Contact Information
The Smallpeice Trust:
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203

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