For some reason, it seemed strangely subdued today — we’ve had little direct interaction with students since Monday beyond answering the remaining offline questions. Moreover, our chat today with Loughborough Grammar School was scheduled at 3pm, so we actually knew Tim had been evicted just as we started. But with only two scientists in the chat it was an eye-opening experience, a genuine deluge of questions. I barely had time to look at what was going on (or how Sarah was doing) before new questions were being peppered at us. For the first time, I actually had a significant number of computing and technology-related questions, ranging from suggesting appropriate software tools to whether more programming should be taught at schools; as always, I tried to clearly distinguish between ICT and “digital literacy” and the rigorous academic discipline of computing, its mathematical foundations and how it underpins modern science and engineering. The relevance of my research cropped up a few times, with a few students appreciating our dependency on microprocessors and how power consumption (and efficiency) will be the next challenge. Overall, frenetic but enjoyable.
So, down to the final two…who will be triumphant at 3pm: Sarah or myself? Tomorrow’s 10:30am chat with Sherrardswood School could seal the deal.