Ofcom showcases spectrum to promote STEM careers

16 August 2018

Last week Ofcom opened the doors of our Baldock Radio Station, to give budding engineers a rare glimpse of the goings-on at our spectrum management centre.

The event was part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Open House Day, a collective, nationwide effort by organisations to show kids the world of engineering first-hand, with the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in STEM.

Children and parents visiting the station got to see the benefits that wireless technology brings to our everyday lives, as well as understanding how a tableful of necessary items can now be carried in our pockets in the form of a mobile phone.

The Ofcom team pulled out all the stops to create varied and fun activities for the youngsters to see and get involved in. These included coding Micro:bits using Scratch, being a weather forecaster on amateur TV, going on treasure hunts for illegal interference, and nabbing front-row seats to the Huey and Louis show, where our drones zoomed through the sky to monitor radio frequencies.

children looking at engineering technology

All of the activities were created with the aim of opening their minds and imaginations to the possibilities and opportunities that come with engineering careers.

Reflecting on the day, Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s Spectrum Group Director, said: “Ofcom’s spectrum team is an integral part of the community, and engineering is really important for the future. We want to do all we can to encourage children and young adults to consider engineering as a career.”

Did you know?

Baldock radio station is where Ofcom engineers and technology experts manage efficient use of radio waves in the UK. And it’s steeped in radio history going back almost 90 years – the first transatlantic radiotelephone call was completed through this station from Rocky Point, New Jersey on 1 June 1929.

transmitting station plaque

Ofcom has a duty to protect consumers from harmful interference to the spectrum. We are part of the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, and as part of this we work alongside partner organisations to manage the proper use of spectrum all around the globe.