Festive Open Eve

Prospective students, who attended the recent South Wiltshire UTC open evening, had the chance to make their own Christmas decorations.

As part of their tour of the Wilton Road building the youngsters were able to assemble their own decorations which were engineered by Year 10 UTC students using plywood and acrylic.

The UTC is aimed at young people who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. The event was attended by local top employers including: Babcock (Defence Support Group), Chemring Countermeasures, Porton BioPharma, QinetiQ, Navy Careers, University of Southampton, Dstl, Cranfield University, Roke Manor, Ocado Engineering and Flowplant.

Grace Basinger-Adams from Gillingham visited the UTC with her dad. Interested in maths and science, 13 year old Grace decided to have a look around the facilities. “I wanted see what the UTC could offer me compared to my current school.”

Principal of the UTC, Joe Mulligan, in his welcome speech described a UTC as being like a big school. “UTCs sit somewhere between school and a college, and offer a calmer and more grown-up environment. With our fantastic facilities, specialist equipment, experienced teaching staff, and links with employers, we are inspiring the scientists and engineers of the future.”

One local employer who attended the event for the first time was Ocado Engineering based near Andover. Robot Workshop Manager Steve Payne, said they were attending the open event as they take on a lot of apprentices. “We are always on the look- out for talented young people who have that extra spark to work in our unique environment.”

Lee Jonson, Project Manager from Babcock, who also attended the event with his colleagues said: “It’s been good to attend this evening as we’ve spoken to a few potential apprentices and we’ve been able to explain what we do and the range of opportunities we can offer.”

Students travel to the UTC from across the region. Fifteen year old Katie Hopper travels to Salisbury from Southampton every day to study a range of STEM focussed subjects including, electronics, engineering and computer science. “Coming to the UTC was the best decision of my life,” she said. “When I came here I didn’t know anyone but I found it easy to make friends.”

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