Leamington Spa, 25th July 2011:- From 18th to 21st July, twenty-nine students aged 16 and 17 were given a rare insight into the exciting and dynamic field of nanotechnology. During the four-day residential course organised by The Smallpeice Trust in partnership with the University of Leeds, students enjoyed a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about this revolutionary science.
Drawing from expertise across all the main science and engineering disciplines, nanotechnology uses the special properties of matter at molecular lengthscales to develop new products for high speed communications, energy storage, and treatment of chronic diseases. Based in the Centre for Molecular Nanoscience (CMNS), students enjoyed an exclusive view of the nanoworld through hands-on experiments – making nanoparticles and biosensors, visiting the university’s nanotechnology clean rooms, and using scanning probe microscopes to see atoms and molecules. Working in teams, they took part in the ‘nanotechnology challenge’: formulating their own proposals on how nanotechnology could best be used in society.
The social aspect of the course included a film night, sports evening and a BBQ on the final night where students and supervisors socialised and shared their experiences of the week.
Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Claire Fisher commented, “Through this partnership students have been given the chance to learn about the fascinating work carried out by internationally recognised engineers and scientists. Students have left the course with a better understanding of this intriguing subject and the future potential of nanotechnology.”
Professor Robert W Kelsall, the course organiser, commented: “We were delighted by the students’ enthusiasm for this course, and with their ability to engage in serious discussion about both scientific and policy issues. The UK has a pressing need for outstanding scientists and engineers, and The Smallpeice Trust courses are an excellent way of showing our most capable young people the attractions of a scientific career.”
The Nanotechnology course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of subsidised 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 17,677 students across the UK in the past year.
The new course timetable for 2012 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.
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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 13 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.
In 2009/10, The Smallpeice Trust ran 30 residential courses for 1,700 school-aged students at universities across the country, with girls accounting for 38%. In addition, 15,977 students attended a Smallpeice in-school STEM masterclass.
A strong interface is maintained with industry, education and professional bodies that help to support, promote and develop the courses. For more information about The Smallpeice Trust and the training they provide, please visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk.
About the Centre for Molecular Nanoscience:
The Centre for Molecular Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary centre within the University of Leeds comprising approximately 40 academic staff who work on teaching and research in molecular nanoscience and nanotechnology. The Centre is the UK’s principal provider of nanotechnology higher education, offering a 3 year BSc Nanotechnology degree and four interrelated Masters degrees.
For further information please visit www.cmns.leeds.ac.uk.
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The Smallpeice Trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England.
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Registered office: Holly House, 74 Upper Holly Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 4JL. Registered Charity number 313719.