UTC Oxfordshire news round-up February/March 2016


Mini hosts VIP day for project winners

On Thursday 25 February, mathematics teacher Kate Tyler Mini VIP daytook nine students to Mini Plant Oxford for a VIP day. The trip was the prize for students who won the employer-led project with Mini just before Christmas.

The students had a fantastic day and got to see the whole production process, many parts of which involve robots. They also visited the Centre for Engineering where the cars’ acoustics are tested amongst other things. For some students the highlight of the day was going on the test track.

The day was very intense, with lots of information to take in, not only about production but also about opportunities for apprenticeships. Students met many of the current apprentices and were very impressed with their enthusiasm and positivity. The apprentices also seemed impressed with the skills and knowledge that our UTC students already possess.

The day finished at about 4.30pm and without exception all students had thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Many thanks to all at Mini for providing us with this highly valuable experience.

Richard Noble speaks to Cafe Scientifique at the UTC

During National Science week, we were delighted to Richard Noble2host an event with Richard Noble OBE, Project Director of BLOODHOUND SSC. The event was held alongside Café Scientifique, a global organisation which organises talks for anyone to attend, with the aim of exploring the latest ideas in science and technology. This was also in association with Didcot First, who help to run the local Didcot Café Scientifique events on monthly basis.

The evening was a tremendous success with over 200 people Richard Noblecoming along to enjoy a bite to eat in the café and a tour of the school with our students, before settling down to hear Richard speak. Richard was also happy to sign books and posters and have a good chat with the visitors as they arrived.

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Whole school CCFE challenge

The whole school has been taking part in a challenge CCFErun by Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE).

The challenge is made up of two parts, the first of which is a communication task for primary school children about nuclear energy. Students were tasked with finding ways to engage Year 5 students and explain complex ideas in simple, understandable ways using interactive resources.

The second part is a robotics challenge. CCFE uses robots to change tiles in a highly radioactive environment, and set our students the challenge to design and build a robot to lift a tile and place it accurately on a peg. The students have been competing in readiness for an overall winner being announced, but we are delighted with how much effort they have all put into the challenge. The winners of the first round are pictured below.

Students reach Karting Championship regional final

Three of our students have rocketed through to the KartingLondon & South East Regional Final of the British Schools Karting Championship (BSKC) 2016.

Elliot, Carlos and Rob secured their place in the BSKC Regional Final by finishing in second place at TeamSport Reading on 24 February.

The BSKC is a nationwide team-based karting championship open to any school or college with students aged 13 to 18. Schools can enter teams of three, and students do not need any previous karting experience or any special equipment to participate.

Adrienne Watson, Championship Manager at the BSKC, said: “Congratulations to the drivers from UTC Oxfordshire on their success. They showed great skill to beat the other teams and make it to the London & South East Regional Final.

“The BSKC offers young people a structured route into motorsport and karting is a great way for them to gain confidence and learn many of the skills that will help them both in school and in other areas of their life.”

Students presented with exciting work experience opportunity

Our Year 12 students were recently STEM World of Workvisited by Katie Yates, STEM Placements Officer at Science Oxford, to hear about their STEM World of Work Programme.

The programme combines three different projects for students in different year groups, giving opportunities for work experience and placements in science, technology, engineering and maths. Throughout the morning, Year 12 students were able to drop in and speak to Katie about STEM apprentice placements, which will take place for two to four weeks with local businesses this summer.

The closing date for applications is Monday 28 March. We hope many of our students will be taking up this valuable opportunity.

Cambridge University experience for Year 12 student

Will Barnes, one of our gifted and talented computer Peterhouse Cambridgescience/mathematics students, has been selected for a residential event at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University.

The residential is a two-day visit for high achieving Year 12 state-schooled students, including an overnight stay. Students have the opportunity to spend the night in the college, meet current undergraduates and teaching staff, experience lectures and other university-style teaching and tour some of the university’s facilities as well as the city itself, all with the aim of demystifying the University of Cambridge and raising aspirations.

The application process was highly competitive, so well done to Will on managing to secure a place. We look forward to hearing all about it.

Intermediate Mathematics Challenge

A total of 29 students (including some volunteers) recently took part in the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge and we are extremely proud of the results.

Around 200,000 pupils from across the UK returned scripts for the challenge, with the top 10% receiving a gold certificate, the next 20% silver and the next 30% bronze.

The award winners from UTC Oxfordshire were as follows:

  • Tyler Lawrence (Gold)UKMT
  • Kyla Panisales (Silver)
  • Yufan Kambang (Silver)
  • Charis Sung (Silver)
  • Barney Jopson (Silver)
  • Fraser Sanders (Silver)
  • Thomas Carpenter (Silver)
  • Ryan Donnelly (Bronze)
  • Joshua Knowles (Bronze)
  • Jude Merchant (Bronze)

Congratulations to all students on these fantastic achievements.

Biodiversity day for applied science students

Just before half term, Sixth Form applied Biodiversity dayscience students were invited to a biodiversity session at the Oxford Natural History Museum.

Starting with a coprolite, more commonly known as fossilised dinosaur faeces, the students classified some of the hominid family and learnt how Madagascan cockroaches are becoming two species.

After some time exploring the museum’s new exhibits, the students were taken behind the scenes at the museum to see the room where the first ever public debate on evolution took place and then down into the wet stores to see some of the specimens preserved in alcohol. “Interesting but a bit grim” was the general view.

A list of forthcoming public events at the museum can be found here.

Rotary Club – Pupil of the Term

We are delighted to announce our winner of the Didcot Rotary Club – Pupil of the Term: Tom Eagles. Tom was nominated because of his contribution to community life at the UTC, his exemplary work ethic and employability skills. Well done Tom.

Keep in touch

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