Dalek and robots inspire the next generation of scientists

jpco 22-5-13 Stemfest launch (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco 22-5-13 Stemfest launch (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A Dalek beamed down for the launch of Crawley’s second annual STEMfest .

STEMfest aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

STEMfest Ambassadors - Engineering students at the University of Brighton - provided a spectacle for everyone who attended by offering demonstrations of many varieties of robots.

The launch event at Oriel High School on Thursday (May 16) was attended by members of Crawley Borough Council (CBC), Central Sussex College, the outreach department of Science and Engineering at the University of Brighton and STEMfest Sussex.

Cllr Bob Lanzer, leader of CBC, was introduced to a robot and a Dalek before revealing that he has a secret affection for the world of sci-fi during his launch opening speech.

He said: “I believe when you put science, technology, engineering and maths together it makes Britain Great.

“The Dalek was part of the early Dr Who programmes, it first screened in the early 1960s. It was so groundbreaking in its approach to entertainment and science fiction it was repeated shortly afterwards and Daleks have been repeated to this day.

“It illustrates the creativity we can create a country with these subjects.”

Cllr Lanzer tried his hand at controlling some remote control robots made by Oriel High School pupils.

The Year Eight pupils made the gadgets earlier that day with the ambassadors by using only the essential mechanics and scrap materials.

Ambassador Ian Watts explained how the pupils spent their day with the STEMfest team.

He said: “We put them in teams of four or five and gave them an hour to design and make the little robots then they spent the rest of the day using them in drag races, football and sumo matches.”

Oriel High School teacher Russell Arnott attended the launch and demonstrated his home-made electrical musical instruments.

Mr Arnott provides physics and music classes at the school which show how music can be made by using the laws of Physics.

Ambassador Carl Davey demonstrated a 100kg fighting robot called ‘Bigger Brother 2’ which has fought in battles on BBC’s Robot Wars.

To find out what other STEMfest events are coming up visit www.crawleystemfest.co.uk

To watch a video of the launch visit www.crawleyobserver.co.uk