Computers play such a big role in our lives that it’s important to know how they were invented and modified to be what they are today.
The first computer is said to have been invented between 1833 and 1871 by a man named Charles Babbage. He dedicated about forty years of his life to computers and invented a machine called the Analytical Engine, which was programmed by punch cards and could solve calculations.
A good friend of Charles was a lady named Ada Lovelace who was inspired by Charles and worked with him. Lovelace recognised what the Analytical Engine was capable of. She is seen as the world’s first computer programmer.
In the early 1900’s, computers used mechanical or electrical systems to perform computations, for example, wheel and disk mechanisms. Around the time of the Second World War, these progressed to machines where electrical switches drove mechanical devices to perform calculations and the binary system of numbers was used, making computers easier to build and more reliable. These electromechanical mechanisms were soon replaced by purely electronic circuits.
The era of modern computers is widely believed to have been started in 1936 by Alan Turing, from London. He had the idea of storing a program in the computer’s memory. He died young, committing suicide after being treated badly for being gay. Computers at that time were large devices that required specialist users.
Personal computers for non-experts to use at home were developed in the 1970’s. A firm called MITS made the first personal computer and then other companies like Apple, Commodore and IBM began to sell their own versions.
Advances in operating systems and computer circuits have since meant faster, more powerful and smaller home computers.
In fact computers now are everyday objects, in the form of smartphones.
By MajorTim.space 2021-2022 Young Ambassador, Seren Shaw (age 12)
LetterBox Lab Letterbox Lab provide science kits for kids which have been reinvented to be more fun, more colourful, more convenient and more educational than ever before.
Developed by two passionate science fans who have dedicated a decade to engaging the public with science – their science kits inspire young people to play with scientific ideas and make hundreds of discoveries in their living rooms.
Ruth is an inventor, presenter and co-founder of YouTube channel Kids Invent Stuff, aimed at inspiring the next generation of inventors and engineers, by bringing their inventions to life. From custard firing superhero suits, flaming pianos and Slime firing cars – Ruth and Shawn bring to life kid’s inventions.
An award winning engineer and is passionate about making and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths), co-running the #girlswithdrills campaign around inclusive making.
Sue Nelson An award winning radio producer,
science journalist and former BBC TV science/environment correspondent.
She is also the author of – Wally Funk’s Race for Space: The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer.
CELEBRATING WALLY FUNK’S UPCOMING BLUE ORIGIN SPACEFLIGHT! Along with Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder), Wally will fly on board a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, which is set for launch in West Texas on 20th July 2021.
The MajorTim.space 2021 – 2022 Young Ambassadors battled it out for The Great STEMsational Bake off Champion title by baking and designing exceptionally STEMtastic cakes!
The competition was judged by Andrew Smyth –
Finalist of The Great British Bake Off in 2016.
He works at Rolls-Royce – researching Future Aircraft Concepts.
The Awards Ceremony event was hosted by our CEO/founder, Amelia Jane Piper. During the event each Young Ambassador presented their recipe and STEM cake design to Andrew Smyth (judge) – later on Abi Paine from The Wildlife Trusts delivered a fascinating talk.
1st Place – The Great STEMsational Bake off Champion
Tom Jones – Honorary Young Ambassador
Name – Tom’s Gluten Free Underwater Surprise Cake
Myle Ali Faraz – 7-9 Young Ambassador
Name – Myle’s Double Choco Neutron Star Sensation Cake
Dr Jackie Bell Mathematician & theoretical particle physicist – based at Imperial College London.
A contestant on the BBC’s ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes?’ programme –
She was selected from from over 3,500 applicants to take part and undertake tests similar to those used in the astronaut selection at major space agencies.
Jackie has won multiple awards for her work!
She’s from Liverpool, UK.
Louis Pasteur is one of the most important scientists in history.
He discovered how microbes work and how they lead to disease.
Louis was born in France on 27 December 1822 into a poor family. As a teenager he loved science and went on to become a science teacher and then a chemistry professor at the University of Strasbourg.
Louis and his wife had five children together, but, three of them died from typhoid fever. The death of his children led him to investigate infectious diseases in order to find a cure.
Through his research and experiments, Louis invented the practice of microbiology.
He noted that things rotted because they were reacting with microbes (germs) and realised that these microbes were responsible for illnesses.
He used this knowledge to investigate how food and drink were damaged by germs such as bacteria and mould. He discovered that heating the items killed the germs which meant they would be safer for longer. This process is called pasteurisation and is named after him.
Louis went on to help when the French silk market was under threat. He discovered that the silkworms had become diseased by microbes. When the microbes were killed the disease disappeared; this saved the silk industry.
He also modernised vaccinations and developed injections which stopped people from catching diseases. He successfully vaccinated a child against Rabies who had been bitten by an animal infected with Rabies.
In 1887 Pasteur established the ‘Pasteur Institute’ which is still being used today to fight infectious diseases.
It is due to his discoveries of how diseases are caused and how they are killed which led to doctors washing their hands and boiling their instruments prior to surgery, meaning many more people survived surgery.
Louis died in 1895 and is buried in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris.
By MajorTim.space 2021-2022 Young Ambassador, Myle Ali Faraz (age 8)
Herb Baker – Patron of MajorTim.space
Herb recently retired from NASA after 42 years at JSC, KSC & NASA Headquarters having worked in the Space Shuttle, Space Station & Orion program offices and managing the business office supporting Flight Operations.
He is currently on the Board of Directors for the JSC NASA Alumni League and volunteers at Space Center Houston.