BAE Systems launched the new roadshow for 2017 this February. The audience of Year 8 girls were mesmerised by the new technology that was demonstrated and eager to learn more about how the technologies on display play an integral part of the work undertaken at BAE Systems.
With partners, the RAF and the Royal Navy, this years roadshow is 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. Learning how computers work and how to programme computers is now recognised as one of the key skills for life.
The roadshow performance is in three parts. Part one takes a close look 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. As well as a practical demonstration with a drone, students learned about the dangers of hacking and the work that computer scientists and programmers do to keep our computer systems safe.
The second part of the show focuses on how computers work and the students were engaged in some practical activities to help them understand how the binary system works and also how computers spot an error. A wonderful ‘magic’ demonstration brings to life just how clever computers are at processing information.
The final part of the performance featured a 70cm high android robot that showed just how advanced robotics can be. This talking, dancing , sensing, ‘thinking' robot has features that are present in many of the products that BAE Systems manufacture. For example, the gyroscope in the robot is very similar to the gyroscope that can be found in fast jets to help them keep level, or the ships that they build to keep them stable in rough seas.
CBeebies presenter Maddie Moate was there to join in the fun and take a few ‘selfies' for her own personal collection.
Everyone had a wonderful day and cries of ’The best one yet’, greeted the team as they packed up to move on to their next school.
During 2017, it is expected that over 400 schools across Britain will receive the roadshow and by the end of the year, well over half a million young people will have seen and participated in the BAE Systems Education Programme Roadshow, since it started 11 years ago.