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GCHQ at Cheltenham Science Festival

The Times Cheltenham Science festival

Inspiring the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians is something that GCHQ takes very seriously. That is why we are delighted once again to be involved in this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival.

In conjunction with STEMworks, which helps promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in schools, we will be running an interactive code cracking and communications workshop on 10th and 11th June in St Andrews Church for local schools (fully booked).  This will encourage young people to consider how STEM subjects can be applied in the real world. The workshop will include a communication challenge in which participants will devise, build and test a mechanical or electrical message transmitter to send a coded message across the room which can be understood by the receiver.

We will also be fully participating in the Discovery Zone each day at the Festival and in addition to our displays, running a series of smaller hands on demonstrations. These will be aimed at children aged ten and over, and will include a new interactive demonstration to study computer attacks. This will allow participants to remotely access or take control of another computer and develop better understanding of the security risks to personal and home computers, including the importance of virus protection.
Another interactive demonstration will reflect GCHQ’s heritage using a Morse code simulator.  This will demonstrate how, using updated methods of transmitting and decoding, this traditional method of communication still has relevance in the 21st Century.
GCHQ’s Director of Engineering and Technology said; “running an active and successful education outreach programme is part of our commitment to our local communities. Numbers choosing to study STEM subjects at school and university are reducing and at GCHQ we’re keen to help change this. We want to stimulate the curiosity of young people, helping them understand how Science, Technology Engineering and Maths can affect their lives on a daily basis, and also offer the opportunity for stimulating and successful careers.”

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival  runs from 9 - 13 June 2010

Explore Gloucestershire
24 May 2010



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