Science at work – Blue Fusion 2008

I’ve previously written about the annual Blue Fusion event that we run as part of National Science and Engineering Week at IBM’s Hursley Lab in the UK. It is one of the highlights of my year… I have been volunteering to help host school groups and run activities for a number of years now and I never fail to enjoy the time I spend on it.

Blue Fusion HostAs a volunteer, you get to choose to either host a school for the day and stay with a single group, or host an activity and see the various different teams that come around during the day. Both options have their own advantages. Yesterday I took a wonderful group around all day, so I had an opportunity to get to know the students, and also to see the whole range of activities that my colleagues have invented. Today, I spent all day on a single activity and got to meet all of the groups (well, to be fair, half of the groups, since there are two “instances” of this activity and someone else is hosting the other one). Being with one group all day definitely has the advantage of getting to know the students well and being part of the team. Seeing all the different groups though, you get to see how the teams interact and behave, which is a whole separate stream of interest.

(side note: you also get a nice badge and a t-shirt)

No monkeys this year… but we do got rubber ducks, which is a bonus.

As usual, the activities are a great mix of practical and computer-based tasks. Without giving too much away… one involves an articulated biomechanical arm (plus the aforementioned rubber ducks), and learning about muscle groups. There are some game-based activities too… the DTMF telephone game I ran today, an activity where the students have to run a taxi company, remote-controlled cars delivering medicine around a 3D body maze… it’s all great fun. The feedback we had yesterday was really good and it’s great to see the students enjoying themselves.

6 thoughts on “Science at work – Blue Fusion 2008”

  1. Cool stuff. Funny thing is I wasn’t intending to leave a comment, but actually give you a ‘star’ (we can ‘star’ posts on IBM’s w3 BlogCentral, for non-IBM readers), but was surprised to see I got sent to your internet blog.

    Only reaffirms the fact that feedreaders truly abstract the information source and focus on content rather than ‘form’.

  2. Hello! It is Lizzie U, one of te members of Malvern, that “Wonderful group”! I am glad you enjoyed taking us round. I would just like to say thank you for doing that and I had I really good time at Blue Fusion. Do you know where we came overall?

  3. Hey, I’m from Romsey Community School. Just searching around about this years bluefusion and came across this, just like to say thanks for the great day – there were some really good ideas for activities – and its a shame me and my group cant come next year! Also i was if you could tell me where my school came in the leaderboard overall? Oh and tell the person who made the Orbits game that he has a great taste in music 😛
    Thanks again, keep the great work up!

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