From 8th to 10th April, forty three students from the Bury St Edmunds area benefitted from a unique hands-on learning experience hosted at Culford School. The three-day residential programme, led by national educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust and sponsored by the local William and Ellen Vinten Trust, aimed to engage the students and provide them with the opportunity to learn about careers in engineering through a series of presentations and hands-on workshops.

In teams, the 13 to 15 year old students worked on ‘real-life’ challenges led by young engineers from Jaguar Land Rover and Thales. The design-and-make projects included designing and building, a motor-powered vehicle to meet certain criteria and a set of speakers for iPods. As well as working on the design, build and test elements of the projects, the students developed life skills such as team work, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentations.

Students were also given a unique insight into the industry when they visited local company Vitec Videocom, to see engineering in action.

The social programme included a sports night and a formal dinner and disco.

Adrian Williams, Chairman of the Vinten Trust said that he and his fellow trustees were delighted to continue to sponsor this event for the third time. He added,“The Smallpeice Trust is a national charity, whose aim is to encourage youngsters to consider a career in engineering and we at the Vinten Trust share the same goal.”

Claire Fisher from The Smallpeice Trust commented, “We are extremely grateful to the William and Ellen Vinten Trust for sponsoring this course. These youngsters will take away an enormous amount of knowledge about engineering, particularly the opportunities in their local region, and will have come to appreciate just how fun and exciting a career in engineering can be.”
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 Engineering Experience course is part of an ongoing programme of subsidised residential courses to help young people aged 12 to 17 develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing.

Founded by Dr Cosby Smallpeice in 1966, The Trust has grown tremendously over the past 47 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, 20,353 students have attended a Smallpeice activity in the past year.

Bookings are now being taken for summer residential courses. Telephone 01926 333200 for further details.

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