News Article

"I want to be ... a restaurant owner in space"

Last Updated: 15 Jun 2018
Meeting inspirational young scientists of the future at Cheltenham Science Festival

News article - 15 June 2018

We enjoyed another successful and busy six days at Cheltenham Science Festival recently. This was our fourteenth year at the Festival, a prestigious event that attracts schools from around the UK and many high profile speakers.

This year was slightly different for us - in addition to our usual stand in the Discover Zone, for the first time our Women in Technology group inspired two exhibitions demonstrating the future of Women in STEM, a giant photo panel on the side of one of the marquees highlighting role models in STEM, as well as a stand in the Cyber Zone. The stand comprised a photo booth to encourage youngsters to think about their career aspirations - these were many and varied, ranging from "I want to be a marine biologist" to "I want to be a restaurant owner in space" and heart-warmingly, "I want to be myself".


We also had Mike, one of our GCHQ puzzlers, who helped run the Great Festival Puzzle Challenge with well-known author of maths puzzle books, Alex Bellos. This went well, with around 80 enthusiastic puzzlers trying their hand at the various challenges. Try out this one published on Twitter.  

Our stand in the Discover Zone looked even more professional this year with a new wrap-around TV screen on top of the tower, designed and built by three of our STEM outreach volunteers. It also included two new games, 'Escape to Space', a VR game  where visitors had to solve a number of puzzles to get through the spaceship and escape an alien invasion, and a short GCHQ analyst challenge.  

It is always a pleasure to support the Science Festival and to meet some of our inspirational young scientists of the future.