IBM Hursley: Where young talent goes to play

Having run for 21 years, Blue Fusion is still very much a vibrant and youthful part of IBM’s image3368Community Engagement at Hursley.  We get the chance to encourage, enable and mentor budding technologists of the younger generation.  Students compete in teams of 6 from a variety of schools and backgrounds, and all get the same glimpse of life within one of the most innovative companies in the world.

Blue Fusion is a large educational event that takes place every year at IBM Hursley, Europe’s largest software development laboratory.  As Lab Director and a parent myself,  I fully appreciate the value of making education a fun process for our children. The subsequent success doesn’t just benefit the children themselves but helps foster a wider interest from a younger generation who will ultimately end up staffing our world in the decades to come.  It’s been very exciting to see students who’ve participated in Blue Fusion as 14 year olds now having successful careers as graduates at IBM Hursley.

Twitter Drone was one of the ingenious activities developed by graduates for students attending the event at Hursley.  The team let me have a go, and using an iPad and open source Node.js software, I was challenged to navigate the drone via a series of ‘tweets’ across an obstacle course.

Other activities this year included HackBerry, which demystifies students about hardware through wiring up a small Ardunio Processor to create an RFID card-reading device; and Pi-Maze where students program a custom-build Raspberry Pi robot through a series of mazes, using iterative development processes to learn as throughout the process.
Our world needs creative and technical minds to help solve big challenges now and in the future, and we want to engage students’ imagination in the possibilities of technology now.
What are you doing to grow the next generation of talent?
Read more about events promoting STEM at IBM
Photos from the event here on Flickr – there is a nice one of Stephen Warwick with students
This year’s press release for Blue Fusion