Inspiring young minds at the Cheltenham Science Festival
Once again our enthusiastic team of volunteers, which included the new intake of industrial students, put in many hours of their own time to design some new games and gizmos to amaze and delight young and old alike.
The games covered maths, problem solving and computer security as well as demonstrating some new technologies. ‘Robot Maze’ was particularly popular - visitors were able to drive a robot around a specially designed three-tier maze using a Virtual Reality headset, avoiding a number of obstacles along the way.
‘Cyber Squad’ was a new game designed by the students for four players who had to work together to defend a computer network from attack. Not only did the game provide some valuable computer security information, it enabled players to develop their team-working and communication skills too!
Last but not least, our new ‘Commander’ game, which challenged players to recall random sequences of lights, proved a big hit with visitors who competed to get the highest score of the day.
The Enigma/Cryptoy interactive experience on the adults-only Friday evening session also attracted lots of interest; visitors were able to encrypt a message on a genuine Enigma machine and tweet it to two of our volunteers nearby, who decrypted the message using our Cryptoy code-breaking app, and tweeted it back. A great demonstration of old and new technology working side by side!
Supporting the Cheltenham Science Festival is an important part of GCHQ’s outreach programme. While our aim is to inspire a passion in youngsters for science, we in turn are always greatly inspired and heartened by their enthusiasm and enquiring minds. We look forward to next year!