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UTC Reading newsletter May 2016

Welcome to the May edition of the UTC newsletter. Take a look at the range of exciting activities that have been taking place throughout the past month.

HRH The Duke of York awards outstanding performance

UTC Reading students and alumni recently joined over 100 students from UTCs across the country at the 2016 Duke of York Awards Ceremony at St James’ Palace in London.

Each student was presented with their award by HRH The Duke of York. A total of 117 students, aged between 16 and 19, received Silver and Gold awards for outstanding achievements.

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Students develop software testing skills with professionals

During the Easter break, a group of UTC Reading students took time out of their holiday to take part in Software Testing Week.

The students were given the opportunity to develop new skills essential for a career in software development, by testing software under the guidance of experienced professionals from We Know Data and FileMaker.

By working in a live environment, the students learnt the importance of accuracy, diligence, and perseverance in determining the functionality of operational systems.

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Cisco in the classroom

A team of five Cisco engineers, including three UTC Reading alumni, recently delivered the first in a series of practical sessions with current students.

Our students were given the chance to design, build and problem-solve networks, based on cloud and data centre topologies. Former students James Walsh, Israr Hassan and Anwar Whight were all excited to be back and helping our next generation of networkers to build on their skills.

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Students team up for Thames Tunnel challenge

On Friday 22 April, a group of Year 10 and 11 UTC Reading students visited Thames Water to take part in a unique activity delivered by a STEM ambassador from the Thames Tideway Tunnel project team.

Working in teams of three to four, students were tasked with designing, costing and building a section of reinforced tunnel using card, wire, straws, copier paper and tape.

The purpose of the activity was to help students learn about the Thames Tideway Tunnel and how people from a range of STEM careers are all playing vital roles in designing, planning for and building the tunnel.

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Inspiration from industry experts

Students have seen how their learning can be applied to the real world through presentations from a BT employee and University of Reading lecturer.

Graham Puddephatt from BT visited Year 12 students to talk about his long and varied career and explain what it is like to work for the company. It was an ideal opportunity for students to gain more insight into the working world and see an example of how they will be able to apply their engineering and computing skills.

Meanwhile, Dr Mark Dallas, from University of Reading, delivered a biology lecture about dementia, in particular about how alzheimer’s disease affects nerve cells in the brain. Students learnt how genetic defects can cause these nerve cells to waste away, as well as possible cures.

Lewis Hutchinson, UTC Reading STEM Co-ordinator, commented: “We are extremely grateful to Graham and Dr Dallas for giving up their time to demonstrate the real world applications of engineering, computer science and biology. Students were thoroughly engaged throughout both talks and it was clear they really enjoyed the experience.”

Primary schools race to reach F1 in Schools final

On Tuesday 19 April, we were delighted to host the 2016 Jaguar Primary School Challenge F1 in Schools Regional Final.

Four schools each entered 10 teams into a highly contested battle for the best overall team, who will go through to the national finals at the Ricoh Arena in Birmingham.

The children were extremely enthusiastic, and the evidence of their work and passion for this hugely engaging engineering project was obvious for all to see.

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Challenge proves life is a rollercoaster

Michaela Brown from AMEC Foster Wheeler recently visited the UTC to deliver an engineering workshop to some of our Year 12 students.

Students were split into four groups and were tasked with building a section of a rollercoaster for a squash ball. The challenge put their teamwork, financial, analytical and engineering skills to the test.

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Visit helps students stay safe online

Last month Intel visited UTC Reading to give our students a briefing on safe internet conduct.

The briefing included details on the risks associated with using personal data in social media and other unsafe activities. 

Mike Halliday, UTC Reading Business Relations Manager, commented: “Having Intel as a partner adds real value to the knowledge and awareness of our students, especially those entering the computing and technology industries in the coming years. The talks were frank, enlightening, and really opened the students' eyes (and ours) to what happens out there on the world wide web. Thanks to Intel for leading the session."

Keep in touch

You can also keep up to date with the latest developments of UTC Reading through our website and social media channels:

Twitter: @UTCReading

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