This year’s roadshow was designed to enlighten students about the importance of control systems and computer technology in all aspects of present day life, helping them see the connection between what they study in school and the day to day applications in the real world. The session started with the question ‘who is in control?’
There were three parts to the session. The first part looked at drones, or unmanned craft. As well as being used extensively in all three of the sponsors organisations, there are many different kinds of drone, from unmanned ‘Google’ cars to tiny ‘bots’ that can be used in medicine, so small they can be injected into the bloodstream to carry drugs to the parts of the body where they are most needed. A real drone was flown behind a safety net and the audience could see themselves on the screen.
The second part of the show focused on how computers work and the pupils were engaged in some practical activities to help them understand how the binary system works and also how computers spot an error.
The final part of the performance featured a 70 cm high android robot that showed just how advanced robotics can be. The roadshow team talked to the robot called Mia who replied back. A pupil was selected to place a large hat over the robot’s head to completely cover it to see how it would respond. As expected, the robot responded in a similar way to us saying why am I in the dark? The robot was given more instructions and carried out a series of movements including going from sitting down to standing up and impressing the audience with her Tai Chi skills.
The session concluded with the answer to the question ‘who is in control?’ which is of course is still humans but maybe one day robots will take over. Pupils most importantly got to see how technology has advanced and what a career in STEM could lead to. Many thanks to the roadshow team for delivering an exciting and interactive session.
Photos credit: Mr M Woodward and RAF Roadshow Twitter Page