BCS Hertfordshire teamed up with the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire (UH) on Saturday 7 March 2020 for their third annual Helloworld Computing Fair and Fun Day.

The event was held in the New Chapman Lounge at the College Lane Campus of UH. This location provided an excellent venue for the 50+ people who attended the event, which ran from 11am to 4pm. We were also able to use the Computer Lab, a big room equipped with a large number of PCs for individual use with our very popular hacking challenge - Capture the Flag.

One of our committee members contacted the BBC and was able to appear live on Three Counties Radio at 8am on the day of the fair. First, he took part in a quiz and was then given the opportunity to advertise our event on the radio. Thanks to Chris for arranging this and making such an excellent pitch for our fair.

The day's events

Robots figured prominently during the day as we interacted with the house robot, Pepper, as well as Kasper who helps children with learning difficulties. Small spherical robots were guided through a maze by participants, while other little robots gave a beguiling display of the way in which they are used in psychological experiments. These particular robots were suffering from OCD and would brush themselves against a post whenever they got the chance.

For those preferring a hands-on technical challenge, we had microprocessor kits to build (and take home), illustrating basic controls including light detection.

Representatives from the Hertfordshire Police team were on hand to answer questions about how to stay safe on line.

We also had an interactive demonstration of virtual reality, with a headset and special hand grips. And the hugely successful UH racing team brought along their new track car which was on display in the New Chapman Lounge.

The day included refreshments with a free pizza lunch and prizes for those who had competed in the activities. There was a prizegiving at the conclusion of the day for several people (of all ages) who had completed their challenges and earnt an Easter egg!

Overall, this was a hugely successful day and we look forward to gearing up for next year’s event.

Find out more about BCS Hertfordshire branch