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SATRO Problem Solving Challenge 2024

Teams will be set a problem to solve, using only the materials provided, within a fixed time. Teams will be judged by industry volunteers.

SATRO Problem Solving Challenge 2024

SATRO Challenge is sponsored by Air Products, with 3 heats held at schools in Surrey between January and February, and a final held later in March.

Teams are challenged to solve a problem in a given time period using the minimum of resources to be more sustainable. Just like in industry!

The students will develop their problem solving, creativity and teamwork skills.

The winners of each key stage at each heat plus the next best 5 high scoring teams overall qualify for a final later in March, with the date and venue to be confirmed.

Some quotes from our previous challenges:

“I've learnt how to work as a team to build each other’s confidence, to create a structure that will suit what we have been asked to create and to manoeuvre quickly as a team to complete the task in time.”

“It required the team to think fast and come up with innovative ideas to solve the problem. This was an enjoyable competition, because you had to think creatively and work together to solve the challenges you faced … It was a good learning experience.”

“Tensions were high, especially as we neared the time limit, but I know that we are all very pleased with the result, and would love to have another go!”

“All teams showed excellent communication and perseverance throughout the challenge”


Each school can enter a maximum of 3 teams (KS3, 4 and 5), £35 per team or £90 for 3 teams.


Heat 1 St Philomena's Catholic High School for Girls Shorts Road Carshalton Surrey
25 January 2024
Starts at 4.15pm, finishes at 6.30pm

Heat 2 Tomlinscote School, Tomlinscote Way Frimley Surrey
1 February 2024
Starts at 4.15pm, finishes at 6.30pm

Heat 3 St John the Baptist School Elmbridge Lane, Woking, Surrey
6 February 2024
Starts at 4.15pm, finishes at 6.30pm

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

Subjects and topics

    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Maths
    • Physics
    • Energy and environment
    • General engineering
    • Materials, products and manufacturing
    • Structures, construction and civil engineering

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming high - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Staying positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

We would love to read all about your time with this experience!

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