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IBM’s Blue Fusion inspires Harrow Way’s Computer Science students

March 31st, 2014

IMG_0156Coinciding with National Science and Engineering week, six Computer Science students from Harrow Way Community School recently attended IBM’s annual Blue Fusion event. Competing against 11 other schools at Europe’s largest software development facility, IBM Hursley, the Harrow Way students faced as an assortment of technological conundrums which tested their logic and reasoning as well as their team working and initiative skills.

Quick thinking and scientific knowledge was required in the tests which are all designed to inspire and encourage student interest in Science, Technology and Engineering. Demonstrating a talent for the subject the Harrow Way team students came 3rd out of 12 schools with a gap of only seven points between the top three schools.

James Clarke, Teacher of Computer Science at Harrow Way says: “This event is a great opportunity for our students to experience how a big ICT company works, get some insight into the real world of ICT and to inspire them about the subject and the possibilities it presents for the future. They thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of working as a team, solving the complex problems posed and getting experience in creating algorithms to solve real world problems. They actually found it fun!”

IBM has been running Blue Fusion for more than a decade. The days are organised by IBM volunteers, many of whom are part of the IBM Graduate Programme. On the day the tests included creating algorithms to allow autonomous cars to travel from destination to destination using as little fuel as possible; reserving engineered sounds waves by adjusting wave length, frequency and aptitude (working in teams of three to adjust one of the parameters each); their most successful task, in which they scored more than any other team, required the students to work in teams of two. Each team had a laptop and different tasks to complete such as piloting a plane, avoiding asteroids, whilst solving maths equations.

Back at Harrow Way, ICT sees the students creating algorithms (a systematic list of instructions for accomplishing a task), using technology to solve problems, working with control systems and creating hardware. As a Mathematics and Computing Specialist School, Harrow Way is extremely well-equipped for the modern technological age.

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