Aspiring Students Dig Out Mining Careers with Help from the Smallpeice Trust

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, August 08, 2014 --( From 28th to 31st July, nineteen aspiring young engineers from across the UK enjoyed a unique learning experience at the University of Exeter’s Tremough Campus, near Penryn. Sponsored by the Camborne School of Mines Trust, the group of 15­­ to 17 year olds spent four days at the University’s Camborne School of Mines (CSM), learning about mining and minerals through a jam-packed timetable of educational and fun activities.

The four-day residential programme was specifically designed to help engineering and design and technology students reach a higher attainment target of the National Curriculum. The programme was designed through a partnership between The Smallpeice Trust, the University of Exeter and the Camborne School of Mines.

The course provided pupils with the opportunity to learn how the fortunes of mining underpin so much of modern life and how the latest technology is used to limit the impact of mining activity on the environment. Students discovered more about minerals and their properties and what will happen when natural resources are depleted. The course also included spending the day at CSM’s own subsurface test mine, visits to a local open-pit clay mine, and a trip to the Eden Project’s educational centre to show how a clay mine can be remediated and redeveloped.

Throughout the four days students developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and time management. They also had the opportunity to find out about relevant engineering degrees, training routes including world travel and exploration, all of which will help them make their future career choices. Social activities included a trip to the beach, Laser Quest and a formal dinner where students and supervisors had the opportunity to socialise and share their experiences of the week. A recent CSM graduate spoke at dinner about her experiences at the university and her new graduate role.

Dr Patrick Foster of the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines commented: “As one of the world’s leading mining schools with an international reputation for first-class teaching and research, we have a responsibility to share our mining and minerals expertise with young people. CSM graduates are in high demand and are extremely well-placed to enjoy an exciting and lucrative career with the opportunity to work all over the world. This event was a great way of making young people aware of the opportunities that a degree in mining engineering or geology could provide. It has been fantastic to work with The Smallpeice Trust to share our enthusiasm for this exciting and important science with such an engaged bunch of students.”

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Claire Fisher added: “In partnership with Camborne School of Mines, we were able to offer students a valuable insight into this fascinating sector. Students were able to explore the subject and the vast opportunities that are available to them, while being encouraged to consider a career in this exciting, global and economically important field.”

The Mining and Minerals 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.

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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 the Camborne School of Mines:

Camborne School of Mines (CSM) was founded in 1888 and became part of the University of Exeter in 1993. CSM has an international reputation for research and teaching related to the understanding and management of the Earth's natural processes, resources and the environment. Its portfolio of undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree programmes provide an excellent basis for careers, in the UK or overseas, within the Earth resources, civil engineering, environmental and energy sectors.

The vast majority of CSM graduates are employed in areas related to their degree. CSM is based at the £100 million Tremough Campus, which the University of Exeter shares with University College Falmouth as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The Campus is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.
The Smallpeice Trust
Claire Fisher
+44(0)1926 333203